WWU men second, women third at 11th Annual GNAC Championships
Oct. 22, 2011
YAKIMA, Wash. - Paced by the top 10 performances of Lauren Breihof (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View), Tyler Cannon (Jr., Kennewick/Kamiakin) and Dak Riek (So., Everett/Mariner/CC of Spokane), the Western Washington University men placed second and the women third at the 11th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships held Saturday at the Apple Ridge Run Cross Country Facility.
Alaska Anchorage dominated both 10-team races, the men successfully defending their title and the women winning for the third straight year. Both squads have yet to lose this fall.
"We had two good races today," said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell (25th year). "As a whole, we ran very well. Both teams ran real solid. We're definitely going in the right direction.
"Both Alaska Anchorage teams are very solid. Our goal is to get closer to them and we're doing that."
UAA's Micah Chelimo took the men's individual title by seven seconds, completing the 8-kilometer course in 24:24. The Seawolves' Ruth Keino won the women's crown by 13 seconds, covering the 6-kilometer course in 21:26.
UAA placed all five of its men's scoring runners in the top 10 for a winning score of 27 points. WWU was second with 63.
Cannon, who was named the GNAC men's top newcomer, paced the Vikings by finishing fifth in 25:18, and Riek was 10th in 25:44. The top 10 placers in both divisions earned conference all-star recognition.
In the women's run, UAA won with 28 points and Simon Fraser was second with 76, followed by WWU with 87. The Seawolves placed six runners among the top 13.
Breihof led the Vikings, finishing ninth in 22:45. Placing 16th through 18th for WWU were Sierra Brisky (Sr., Acme/Mount Baker) (23:09), Katelyn Steen (Fr., Sammamish/Eastlake) (23:17) and Rachael Johnson (Sr., Yakima/West Valley) (23:21).
This is the fourth straight year that the GNAC Championships have been held at the Apple Ridge course and Central Washington the host school.
Entering the meet, the Viking men were ranked No.19 nationally and the women No.16 in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 polls. Alaska Anchorage was No.11 in the men's poll and No.6 in the women's rating.
UAA and WWU were rated two-three in West Regional men's and women's polls with Chico State leading both.
WWU takes a week off before competing in the NCAA II West Regional on Nov. 5 at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex near Spokane.
11TH ANNUAL GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CROSS COUNTRY RESULTS
Women's Race Conditions: Start Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT, Temperature: 49 degrees F, Wind: 1 mph SSW, Weather: Cloudy
Women's Team Scores: Alaska Anchorage 31, Simon Fraser 76, Western Washington 87, Alaska Fairbanks 97, Seattle Pacific 110, Northwest Nazarene 173, Western Oregon 196, Montana State Billings 234, Saint Martin's 236, Central Washington 269
Women's All-Conference Performers (Top 10): 1) Ruth Keino, Alaska Anchorage, 21:26; 2) Jessica Smith, Simon Fraser, 21:39; 3) Mirian Kipng'eno, Alaska Anchorage, 22:12; 4) Ivy O'Guinn, Alaska Anchorage, 22:24; 5) Lindsey Butterworth, Simon Fraser, 22:36; 6) Theresia Schnurr, Alaska Fairbanks, 22:44; 7) Natty Plunkett, Seattle Pacific, 22:44; 8) Heidi Laabs-Johnson, Seattle Pacific, 22:44; 9) Lauren Breihof, Western Washington, 22:45; 10) Whitney Mickelsen, Montana State Billings, 22:51.
Women's Top Newcomer: Heidi Laabs-Johnson, Seattle Pacific (8th place finish) Women's Top Freshman: Bryn Haebe, Alaska Anchorage (13th place finish)
Men's Race Conditions: Start Time: 10:58 a.m. PDT, Temperature: 57 degrees F, Wind: 2 mph SW, Weather: Partly Sunny
Men's Team Scores: Alaska Anchorage 27, Western Washington 63, Western Oregon 80, Northwest Nazarene 139, Saint Martin's 151, Seattle Pacific 161, Simon Fraser 193, Central Washington 203, Montana State Billings 220, Alaska Fairbanks 228
Men's All-Conference Performers (Top 10): 1) Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage, 24:24; 2) Barak Watson, Northwest Nazarene, 24:31. 3) Kyle Van Santen, Saint Martin's, 25:00; 4) Alfred Kangogo, Alaska Anchorage, 25:13; 5) Tyler Cannon, Western Washington, 25:18; 6) Yonatan Yilma, Alaska Anchorage, 25:18; 7) Dylan Anthony, Alaska Anchorage, 25:32; 8) Spencer Hunt, Saint Martin's, 25:38; 9) Isaac Kangogo, Alaska Anchorage, 25:41; 10) Dak Riek, Western Washington, 25:44.
Men's Top Newcomer: Tyler Cannon, Western Washington (5th place finish) Men's Top Freshman: Dylan Anthony, Alaska Anchorage (7th place finish)
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