Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SPU'S Crystal Sims, Western's Alex Harrison win GNAC Multi-Events titles...

NAMPA, Idaho--Crystal Sims of Seattle Pacific cruised to an easy victory Tuesday in the heptathlon at the GNAC Multi-Event Championships in Nampa, Idaho.

Sims finished with 4,769 points to outdistance Raquel Gonzalez of Central Washington who finished second with 4,327 points.

"I was trying to win the hurdles. (But) I didn’t know that I won four of the seven,” Sims said. “The first day went really well, and that carried into the second day.”

For Sims (Portland, Ore.), it was her second straight conference heptathlon championship. Last spring, she won the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges event with 4,305 points while a sophomore at Mount Hood CC in Gresham, Ore.

Alex Harrison of Western Washington won the decathlon with 6,474 points, setting two meet records along the way.

In the heptathlon, Seattle Pacific also got a third-place finish from Jennifer Pike, a fourth from Katy Gross and an eighth from Brittany Tri in earning 22 team points for the GNAC championship meet which continues next weekend (May 14-15) at Monmouth, Oregon.

Northwest Nazarene earned nine points, while CWU garnered eight points.

Sims, who added 263 points to her previous provisional national qualifying score, had the best mark in the long jump leaping 17-7.

"I’m just proud of her to see where she’s at right now and winning a conference championship,” Falcons coach Karl Lerum said. “Crystal is such an athlete. She hasn’t been in track long enough (this is just Sims’ third year in the sport), so she still has the ability to surprise people.”

NNU's Lindsay Brady, who finished seventh with 3,902 points, won the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.30. Tri led the way in the javelin with a throw of 112-11.

WWU's Sarah Daigneault placed ninth with 3,710 points.

Harrison, who finished 301 points ahead of runnerup Eric Zwiefelhofer of Northwest Nazarene in the decathlon, had the best marks Tuesday in the discus (128-2) and javelin (197-10), setting a meet record in the latter event.

On Monday, Harrison set a meet record in the shot put (46-1 1/2). His javelin distance was also a provisional national qualifying mark.

"Alex had an excellent second day," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell of Harrison, who is just the second Viking decathlete to take the GNAC title.

Western Oregon's Andy Loscutoff, who placed third with 6,159 points, had the top mark Tuesday in the 110 high hurdles (15.67).

Two Central Washington athletes - Brandon Roddewig who was fifth with 5,799 points and Scott Hunter, who placed eighth with 5,436 points, tied for the best pole vault (14-7 1/4). Ben Heidegger of Northwest Nazarene, who was 14th overall, had the best 1500 meter time (4:36.14).

Western's Kevin Iverson finished ninth with 5,379 points and Derek Hartwigsen was 10th with a personal-best 5,364 points.

NOTE: The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Seattle Pacific University, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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