May 29, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University's Pee Wee Halsell has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year in an announcement made by the conference office on Thursday.
Halsell directed the Vikings to their third straight conference championship and the school's fifth title overall, matching the most by any GNAC school. WWU also placed 15th at the NCAA Division II National Championships, the school's highest finish since joining that organization in 1998.
The GNAC men's outdoor honor was the fifth (2005, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014) for Halsell, who has won 10 GNAC track & field Coach of the Year awards overall. He also has four in men's indoor (2005, 2006, 2013 and 2014) and one in women's outdoor (2009).
Halsell completed his 27th year at WWU as head coach for men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country.
During that time he has received 31 Coach of the Year honors. Included in that total are 23 league awards, 14 from the GNAC.
The 56-year-old Halsell has mentored 111 All-Americans and nine national champions. In all, Halsell has coached 35 years, being an assistant at Wayland Baptist TX for eight seasons prior to coming to WWU. He is a 1981 graduate of Wayland Baptist.
GNAC Men's Outdoor Track and Field (May 29, 2014)
UAA's Cody Thomas GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Award Winner
PORTLAND, Ore. - Cody Thomas, who placed seventh in the decathlon at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championship meet at Allendale, Mich. last weekend, been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year.
The University of Alaska Anchorage junior tallied 7,189 points becoming just the second athlete in GNAC history to score 7,000 or more points in the multi-events.
Among his marks was a 48.21 time in the 400 meters, which set a GNAC record for a multi-event and was the eighth best time for any 400 meter race in GNAC history.
Prior to the national meet, Thomas (Jr., Blenheim, New Zealand) earned Outstanding Performer honors in the GNAC Championship meet. Thomas won the decathlon with a point total of 6,617 and also finished fifth in the high jump (6-2 ¼) and long jump (21-10 ¼) and sixth in the 100 meters (11.00). He also ran on UAA's 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams that finished fifth (42.05) and second (3:15.51), respectively.
Also winning special awards were Western Oregon sprinter Tyrell Williams, Simon Fraser distance runner Oliver Jorgensen and Western Washington head coach Kelven "Pee Wee" Halsell.
Williams (Jr., Salem, OR), who had played three years of football but competed in track and field for the first time at WOU this spring, was selected the GNAC Newcomer of the Year.
In the GNAC conference meet, he won the 200 meters in a meet record-tying time of 21.32 and also finished third in the 100 meters (10.74). He finished 13th in the national meet in the 200 in a time of 21.31.
Jorgensen (Abbotsford, BC) was voted the GNAC Freshman of the Year after winning the conference title in the steeplechase (9:17.20) and placing third in the 5,000 (9:17.20). Jorgensen, who qualified for the national meet in the steeplechase, had a season-best time of 9:09.38, which ranks ninth in GNAC history.
Halsell led the Vikings to their fifth GNAC Men's Outdoor team title, matching Western Oregon's record for most championships, and to a 15th place finish in the national meet.
Halsell has now won 10 GNAC Track & Field Coach of the Year awards - five in men's outdoor (2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), one in women's outdoor (2009) and four in men's indoor (2005, 2006, 2013, 2014).
GNAC Women's Outdoor Track and Field (May 29, 2014)
SPU's Fricker Wins GNAC Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award
PORTLAND, Ore. - McKayla Fricker, who won the women's 800 meter title at last weekend's NCAA Division II National Track & Field meet at Allendale, Mich., been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Year.
The Seattle Pacific senior won the NCAA Division II national championship in a time of 2:06.18, which is the fifth fastest 800-meter time in GNAC history.
The win earned Fricker (Canby, Ore.) her fifth career All-American award. She previously won four in indoor track and field including three in the 800 meters (2012, 2013 and 2014) and one in the 4x400 meter relay (2013).
Also winning special awards were Alaska Anchorage's Joyce Kipchumba, Jamie Ashcroft and head coach Michael Friess.
Kipchumba (Jr., Kapsowar, Kenya) was selected the GNAC Newcomer of the Year. Ashcroft (Shawnigan Lake, BC) was voted the GNAC Freshman of the Year and Friess was named the GNAC Women's Team Coach of the Year.
Kipchumba, who also won the Newcomer of the Year award for GNAC Indoor Track and Field in February, placed seventh in the 10,000 meters in the national meet in a time of 35:35.61 and also finished 11th in the 5,000 meters in a time of 16:50.38.
In the conference meet, she scored 18 points, winning the 10,000 in a meet-record time of 35:43.39 and placing third in the 5,000 meters in a time of 17:15.00. The transfer from American University had season-best times of 16:44.97 in the 5K and 334:54.04 in the 10K. Those times rank sixth and fifth, respectively, in GNAC history.
Ashcroft swept the 100 and 200 meters in the conference meet in times of 11.99 and 12.34 and also led UAA to a win in the 4x100 meter relay in a GNAC meet record-time of 46.68.
In the national meet she finished 11th in the 100 meters in a GNAC-record time of 11.69, breaking her own record of 11.74, and 22nd in the 200 in a time of 24.74. She had a season-best of 24.27 in the 200, which ranks third in GNAC history.
Friess led the Seawolves to their second consecutive GNAC Women's Outdoor Track and Field team title, earning the GNAC Outdoor Women's Coach of the Year award for the second year in a row.
He has now won six GNAC Track and Field Coach of the Year awards - two in women's outdoor, two in women's indoor (2013, 2014) and two in men's outdoor (2008, 2009).
Q&A with Monika Gruszecki
Former WWU javelin thrower Monika Gruszecki now works an an intern with the NCAA
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