Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vikings get second and third at GNACs in Yakima...

YAKIMA--Paced by the top 10 performances of Lauren Breihof, Tyler Cannon (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) and Dak Riek, the Western Washington University men placed second (63 points) and the women third (87 points) 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, as the men successfully defending their title and the women won for the third straight year.

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.

In the men's 8k race, Saint Martin's Kyle Van Santen took third in 25:00. The Vikings' Cannon took fifth, with Saint Martin's Spencer Hunt eighth, and the Vikings' Riek squeezing into the top ten in 25:44.

Saint Martin's took fifth with 151 points, Seattle Pacific was sixth at 161, and Central Washington was eighth at 203.

In the women's 6k race, Seattle Pacific's Natty Plunkett led three Washington athletes onto the top ten, finishing seventh in 22:44. Teammate Heidi Laabs-Johnson was one spot behind in the same time, and the Vikings' Briehof ninth in 22:45.

After the Vikings, Seattle Pacific was fifth at 110, Saint Martin's ninth at 236, and Central Washington tenth at 269.

Western's Cannon and SPU's Laabs-Johnson each earned GNAC male and female newcomer of the year for this season.

The road to the national championships begins in two weeks at the NCAA Division II West Regionals at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane Valley, with individual and team berths to the national championships, which will be held in the same venue on November 19th.

Complete results of the GNAC Championships are available here.

NOTE:  The GNAC, and the sports information offices at Saint Martin's, Western Washington, and Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.

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