Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vikings and Falcons win Great Northwest Athletic Conference team titles...

MONMOUTH, Oregon—The Western Washington men’s squad (above/photo courtesy GNAC), and the Seattle Pacific women’s team both entered the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship meet as underdogs to Alaska-Anchorage, based on the pre-meet form charts.

Both the Vikings and the Falcons ended the GNAC meet as champions, with Western Washington squeezing out a 176-174 verdict over the Seawolves to garner their fourth straight conference crown, while Seattle Pacific won the women’s title with a convincing 183-154 margin over Alaska-Anchorage.

Junior Alex Donigian led the charge Saturday for Western Washington, winning the 100 and 200 in 10.44 and 21.56.  He also ran the second leg on the Vikings’ victorious 4 x 100m relay that ran 41.79.

Teammate Brett Watson, the long and high jump winner Friday, ran the third leg on WWU’s 4 x 100 relay and a leg on the 4 x 400 relay that finished fourth in a season best 3:16.31.  Watson scored 23.75 points and was named the outstanding men’s athlete of the meet.

In comments to the media afterwards, Western coach Pee Wee Halsell said, "This team is made of heart and it showed with an amazing swing of 47-1/2 points. And for Watson to get that award was very fitting. He's been the glue for this team."

Travis Milbrandt was the Vikings’ other winner Saturday, taking the 110 hurdles in 14.38.

Luke Plummer (48-2.5/14.69m) of Central Washington easily won the triple jump, while teammate Kevin Stanley won his second title of the meet, taking the hammer with a toss of 194-1 (59.17m) to go with the shot put title Friday.

Their efforts helped Central Washington finish third with 109 points in the men’s competition.  Saint Martin’s was seventh with 54.5, and Seattle Pacific eighth with 21.

In the women’s meet, Seattle Pacific’s 4 x 100 relay set the tone, as the team of Becca Houk, Jahzelle Ambus, Kyra Brannan and Tasia Baldwin were victorious in 46.82.

Ambus, a transfer from Eugene’s Lane CC, came back to win the 400 in a personal best 55.91.

Junior Lynelle Decker pulled a minor upset, winning the 1500 in 4:29.60, nosing out Western Washington’s Haley O’Connor, who ran 4:29.74.

SPU head coach Karl Lerum said, "Going into this and knowing where we were and to win this convincingly was pretty special.”  

"They came in ready to go on Friday and never let up for two days, and all the way through that last relay."

In yet another upset, Saint Martin’s Kathryn Walker won the javelin with a toss of 148-3 (45.19m) to defeat NCAA All-American and conference leader Katie Reichert of Western Washington, who threw 145-9 (44.43m).

The Wildcats of Central Washington finished third with 90 points, followed by Western Washington with 88, while Saint Martin’s was eighth with 59 points.


In Kingston, Jamaica, University of Washington alum and American record holder Brad Walker won the pole vault competition at the Jamaica Invitational Saturday night, clearing a best of 18-4.5 (5.60m).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, and Saint Martin’s University contributed to this report.

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