Thursday, May 24, 2012

SPU's Ali Worthen in fifth at the break in NCAA D2 heptathlon...

PUEBLO, Colorado--After day 1 of the heptathlon competition at the NCAA Division II track & field championships, Seattle Pacific's Ali Worthen (left/photo by Paul Merca) is in position to grab a top-three finish, as she currently stands fifth.

Worthen, the senior from Marshfield HS in Coos Bay, Oregon, totaled 3,177 points on Thursday, which is 25 more than she had earlier this month on the way to her second consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. As expected, defending champion Lindsay Lettow of Central Missouri is on top with 3,464, and teammate Erin Alewine is second with 3,349. Cheryl Bourne of Ashland (Ohio) is third with 3,239, meaning that Worthen is just 62 points out of the medals heading into Friday's events.

“I'm pretty happy with how I did,” Worthen said. “I'm about where I thought I would be and where I was planning to be. So hopefully on Friday, I can come back and hold on to that spot or move up.”

She started her day with a personal best of 14.28 in the 100 hurdles, worth 939 points.

Worthen then cleared 5-6½ in the high jump for 842 points and fourth place. She was ninth in the shot put at 33-9¼ (548 points), then placed third overall in the 200 in 25.43 seconds.

The senior finished sixth in last year's nationals with a score of 5044.

Meanwhile, Western Washington's Alex Harrison is 11th after day 1 of the decathlon, with a score of 3329 points.

The two-time GNAC champ opened the competition by tying his season best time of 11.54 seconds in the 100 meters. He posted marks of 19-11 (6.07) in the long jump, 43-9 (13.33) in the shot put and 5-8 1/2 (1.74) in the high jump before finishing with a 52.14 clocking in the 400. The high jump mark and 400 time were both season bests.

Three-time GNAC hammer champ Michael Hoffman finished 15th in his specialty, throwing 192-6 (58.67m).

Friday, Western's Karis Anderson and Central's Kati Davis compete in the pole vault, while Nate Seely of the Falcons goes in the 800. Western's Emily Warman will compete for a national title in the triple jump.

The NCAA will provide a live webcast of the meet via

Complete day 1 results are available here.

NOTE: The NCAA, Seattle Pacific University, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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