Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pixler earns two wins; Krissy Tandle from CWU & Emily Warman from WWU win national titles...

HOUSTON, Texas--First, it was a three-peat in the mile. Then, Seattle Pacific’s Jessica Pixler went out and made it a title double at the NCAA indoor track and field championships on Saturday, winning the mile once again and claiming her first crown in the 5,000 meters.

The Falcon junior took the lead just a few strides into the mile and led all the way, combining with fellow Falcon junior Jane Larson for a 1-2 finish for the second straight year. Pixler stopped the watches in 4 minutes 43.69 seconds at Yeoman Field House on the University of Houston campus.

Larson came across the line in 4:48.87.

Then in the 5,000 meters, it was top-seeded Pixler, Western Washington’s Sarah Porter and Mary Ballinger of Southern Indiana running within a stride of each other through the first half of the race. With eight laps to go, Pixler kicked it up a notch and pulled away to win by nearly 11 seconds, clocking a 16:22.64. Larson was seventh in 17:04.01.

Pixler also was top-seeded in the mile coming into the meet, but Larson posted the fastest time in Friday’s prelims, going 4:55.45. Pixler had a 4:56.07. Both won their respective heats, and were among a group of six runners who came into Saturday’s final within 1.01 seconds of each other.

The times of both Pixler and Larson were faster than what they ran a year ago in Mankato, Minn., when Pixler won in 4:47.79, and Larson was second in 4:51.74.

Senior Krissy Tandle (left/photo courtesy Central Washington University) from Wenatchee became the first Central Washington University student-athlete to win a national championship at the NCAA Division II level, winning the women's shot put championship.

Tandle, the four-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion in the shot put, matched her season's best mark in the event with a throw of 48 feet, 9 1/2 inches. That is the same mark that she had posted in winning the GNAC title on Feb. 21, and is also the same mark that earned her the top spot in the nation entering Saturday's championship meet.

Tandle was nearly a foot better than second-place finisher Kayla Muyskens of Central Missouri, who had a throw of 47 feet, 10 inches.

Western Washington University's Emily Warman became just the second freshman in school history and the 10th individual overall to win a national championship as she placed first in the women's triple jump Saturday at the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Warman broke her own school record by almost a foot, posting a winning mark of 39-3 on her second attempt to earn All-America honors.

Warman had efforts of 39-2, 39-3 and 39-1 on her first three tries, the only competitor to reach 39 feet in the prelims. She won the competition by two inches.

Also earning All-America honors for Western were Sarah Porter, who placed sixth in the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 17:00.14, and Rachel Johnson, who was seventh in the women's 800, breaking her own school record for the second straight day with a time of 2:11.82.

Jordan Welling finished 10th the men's 5,000 with a 14:45.60 clocking, and Ryan Brown placed 13th in the men's pole vault with a mark of 15-11.

Seattle Pacific, thanks to Pixler's 20 points in her two wins, finished sixth in the NCAA team standings with 35 points. The Viking women placed ninth in the team standings with 20 points.

Falcon freshman Ali Worthen took fourth place in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 7½ inches.

Complete results from the NCAA Division II championships from Houston can be accessed here...

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, and Central Washington all contributed to this report.

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