Friday, February 17, 2012

SPU's Worthen & Gross along with Central's Davis, Boyes, and Melo win GNAC indoor titles...

NAMPA, Idaho--Seattle Pacific's Ali Worthen became the all-time leading women's point scorer in the history of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field championship meet Friday finishing first in the long jump with a leap of 18-9 1/4 (5.72m).

Worthen, a senior from Coos Bay, Oregon's Marshfield HS, came through in the final round to pass previous leader Emily Warman of Western Washington by 2 ¾ inches for her second straight title in that event and third in her four years as a Falcon.

“That's usually when I get my PRs and when I perform my best,” said Worthen, adding that she has found herself in late come-from behind situations “quite a few times” during her career. “I like to be challenged in competition – the more competition there is, the better I compete. “Emily is a great competitor, and I respect her.”

Worthen's victory was worth 10 points and moved her past former SPU star Jessica Pixler as the highest-scoring woman in GNAC indoor history. Worthen now has 82 points; Pixler finished with 76. Worthen has a chance for more on Saturday, and will be the top seed in the 60 hurdles finals after her best-ever time of 8.82 in Friday's prelims.

SPU, going for its ninth straight team title, leads with 41 points. Western Washington is second with 34 after Friday.

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific, Worthen spoke about her last round victory.

Falcon teammate Katy Gross (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific) won the pentathlon with a meet record score of 3,469 points, improving on her winning score last year of 3,297, which was the first year for the event.

Her mark is currently the 12th best score in Division II this season.

In other finals, Central Washington's Kati Davis beat Western Washington's Karis Anderson in the women's pole vault on fewer misses, as each jumped 12-5 1/2 (3.80m);

Davis' teammate Brennan Boyes won his second GNAC high jump title, setting a meet record with a mark of 6-9 (2.06m) in a jump-off with Western Washington's Logan Myers;

Central's Manny Melo won the long jump title with a leap of 23-2 3/4 (7.08m).

In the men's team race, Central Washington leads Western Washington 41-31 after four events.

The meet concludes Saturday.

Complete results of the GNAC championships are available here.

NOTE:  The GNAC, Seattle Pacific, and Central Washington's sports information offices contributed to this report.

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