Friday, February 20, 2015

Falcons and Vikings in prime position after day 1 of GNAC championships...

NAMPA, Idaho—Seattle Pacific may have put themselves in a solid position to win their tenth women’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor track and field title Friday with two victories after day one of the two-day conference championship meet at Jacksons Track at the Idaho Center.

The Falcons got a projected victory in the 5000 meters from junior Anna Patti (left/photo by Paul Merca), as the junior from Renton’s Lindbergh HS scored a personal best time of 17:14.01, to beat Alaska Anchorage’s Amy Johnston by over seven seconds.

Patti let Johnston do most of the leading for the first 4000, then made a decisive move with four laps to go around the 200 meter oval.

The Falcons got an unexpected win in the high jump, as freshman Naphtali Ward from Gig Harbor scored a personal best of 5-6.5 (1.69m) to upset defending champ and conference leader Tayler Fettig of Central Washington, who finished second with a clearance of 5-4.5 (1.64m), the same height cleared by Ward’s teammate Louisa McInnis.

It was a long day for Fettig, who has battled injuries throughout the indoor season in her right leg, and  hoped to place high in both the high jump, long jump, and pentathlon.  Fettig finished fourth in the long jump at 17-7.5 (5.37m) behind winner Karolin Anders of Alaska Anchorage (18-6.5/5.65m) and SPU’s Kyra Brannan (18-5.75/5.63m) and Tasia Baldwin (18-1/5.51m).  

Anders also won the pentathlon with 3761 points to lead a 1-2 Alaska Anchorage finish, with SPU’s Maliea Luquin third at 3372,and Fettig fourth with 3350.

Becky Duhamel of Central Washington won the weight throw with a toss of 57-10.25 (17.63m), and in the other final of the first day, Simon Fraser won the distance medley relay in 11:59.08.

After 6 of 17 events, the Falcons have a two point lead with 57 over defending champ Alaska Anchorage, while Central Washington stands third at 47.  Western Washington is sixth with 12, while Saint Martin’s is seventh with 9 points.

On the men’s side, Western Washington holds an eight point lead (50-42) over Alaska Anchorage after five events as the Vikings look to win their third straight conference crown. Central Washington stands fifth with 22, while Saint Martin’s is one spot behind with 11.

In a minor upset, Simon Fraser’s Vladislav Tsygankov won the long jump over conference leader Nate van Tuinen of the Vikings, jumping 23-6.75 (7.18m) in round 3 to put pressure on van Tuinen.  The Viking junior from Yakima came up one agonizing centimeter short in the final round, jumping 23-6.25 (7.17m).

The Vikings got a second place finish in the shot put, as Brandon Pless threw 50-2.5 (15.30m) to finish behind Central Washington’ s Kevin Stanley, who won with a toss of 51-10 (15.80m), with Ryan Macdonald of the Vikings third at 49-10.5 (15.20m).

In the 200 prelims, the Vikings’ Alex Donigian set a meet record of 21.76, eclipsing his own meet record of 21.79 from last year.  60 meter hurdler Travis Milbrandt broke the 2014 meet record of 8.24 set by fellow Viking Peter Maguire by running 8.15 in qualifying.

Matt DeHan of Saint Martin’s finished second in the pole vault with a leap of 15-7.25 (4.76m) to highlight the Saints’ first day action.

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