Friday, October 19, 2012

State's four NCAA D2 schools head to Monmouth for GNAC championships...

MONMOUTH, Oregon--It's conference championship week, as the state's four Great Northwest Athletic Conference members--Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, and St. Martin's--head to Monmouth's Ash Creek Preserve for Saturday's championship meet and the first step to the national championships.

The men’s 8k race will begin at 10 a.m, followed by the women’s 6k race at 11.

All four schools are taking dead aim at Alaska-Anchorage, the defending GNAC men's and women's team champions.

On the men's side, all eyes are on UAA's Micah Chelimo, the defending individual champ, with Western Washington's Tyler Cannon and Dak Riek (left/photo courtesy Western Washington) attempting to replicate their top ten finishes from 2011.

In the women's race, unbeaten Susan Tanui of UAA leads the Seawolves into Monmouth, with teammate Miriam Kipng'eno expected to be nipping at her heels Saturday.

Others from Washington expected to finish high, according to the release from the GNAC , include Erika Crock of Saint Martin’s, Robyn Zeidler of Seattle Pacific and Taylor Guenther of Western Washington, each of whom have won races this fall.

Alaska Anchorage, which has won three consecutive West Regional titles, is one of four GNAC teams that are nationally ranked.  The Seawolves are ranked fifth.  Simon Fraser, Seattle Pacific and Western Washington are ranked ninth,  24th and 31st, respectively.

NOTE:  The GNAC contributed to this report.

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