Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National D2 heptathlon leader Ali Worthen wins third GNAC conference title...

MONMOUTH, Oregon--Ali Worthen of Seattle Pacific (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific) broke her own meet record in winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference heptathlon title Tuesday at McArthur Stadium with a total of 5,390 points.

It was the third straight heptathlon title for Worthen who scored 4,904 points in winning the 2011 event and 5,199 in winning the 2012 heptathlon.  Worthen, a graduate of Coos Bay, Oregon's Marshfield HS,  is the current national leader with a season-best score of 5,492 points.  

Alaska Anchorage freshman Karolin Anders was second with 5,034, and SPU senior won the javelin in piling up a career-high 4,992 points to take third.

Worthen, Anders and Gross now rank 1-4-5 in NCAA Division II. Worthen has the national-leading score of 5,492 from the MONDO Mid-Major Challenge in Sacramento three weeks ago. While her score from the past two days didn't quite match that, it was hardly cause for concern.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Worthen said. “I came into the meet just trying to have a strong performance, but not really trying to push it. I feel like I improved on the shot put and the 800 from Sacramento State (those were her two PRs), and that's really what I wanted to focus on the past couple weeks. Every time I'm running the 800, I'm running it a little bit better.”

Worthen started with a long jump victory on Tuesday, going 18 feet, 6 ½ (5.65m). Her other win came in the meet-opening 100-meter hurdles on Monday. Worthen's time of 14.17 was just .01 shy of the 14.16 PR she set in Sacramento.

Worthen also won the final event, the 800, running 2:17.77.

Central Washington's Tayler Fettig finished fifth with 4436 points, followed by Maliea Luquin of Seattle Pacific at 4324 points in sixth.

Emily Strasler of Western Washington was seventh at 4017 points.  Hannah Scholter of Saint Martin's finished 12th at 3573, and Julian Joy of Central Washington was 13th at 3246.

Cody Thomas won the decathlon with a final score of 6392 points.  Andrew Venema from Central Washington was third at 5876, while Dylan Gordon of Western Washington was sixth at 4314 points.

NOTE: The sports information office of Seattle Pacific and the GNAC office contributed to this report.

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