Friday, May 9, 2014

Western Washington men race to day 1 lead at GNAC championships, thanks to four wins...

MONMOUTH, Oregon--Western Washington University ended day 1 of the two day Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship meet with a solid 103-44 lead after seven events over Alaska-Anchorage thanks to four wins in the men's competition.

Central Washington is in fourth with 26 points.

The Vikings were led by shot putter Frank Catelli (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University), whose victory with a mark of 59-7 (18.16m) set a meet record, and an all time conference best, which he held at 58-7 1/2 (17.87m).

Western also got win in the high jump from Brett Watson (6-8.25/2.04m), Kevin Yates in the long jump (23-1.25/7.04m), and Ryan Macdonald in the discus (159-11/48.74m).

In the women's meet, the Vikings got two wins from Katelyn Steen in the 3000 steeplechase (10:34.40) and Tanya Bjornsson in the long jump (18-11.75/5.78m).

Northwest Nazarene leads at the end of the first day with 69 points, with Central Washington in second at 47 points.  Western Washington stands third with 45, while Seattle Pacific is fifth at 32 points, and Saint Martin's sixth with 12 points.

Alaska Anchorage may have taken a big hit to its title hopes in the men's competition as ace distance runner Micah Chelimo suffered a partially torn Achilles tendon in the steeple.   He was the #1 seed in both the 5000 and 10000.

In Seattle, University of Washington redshirt freshman Colby Gilbert won the mens 10000 at the Ken Shannon Invitational in a hand time of 30:35.4 to easily eclipse the IAAF qualifying standard for the world junior championships in Eugene this summer.

Gilbert, a freshman from Vancouver's Skyview HS (the same high school that American record holder and two time US Olympian in the javelin Kara Patterson attended), led for the first four laps before ceding to fellow Husky redshirt frosh AJ Yarnall from Saugus, California and redshirt sophomore Jacob Smith from Wenatchee, a transfer to the UW from the University of Portland.

Gilbert, who competed unattached in order to be redshirted this spring, took command of the race at the end of the fourth mile, and picked it up to take the victory over Yarnall (30:47.2), with Smith third at 31:41.1.

Central Washington's Paul Young was fourth at 34:37.0.

Dylan Burnett of Seattle University won the men's javelin at 214-9 (65.45m), while Canadian prep Teagan Rasche won the women's javelin at 142-0 (43.29m).

The Ken Shannon Invitational resumes Saturday at the Husky Track complex on the campus of the University of Washington.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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