It’s championship week for Washington’s four Division II schools, as Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Saint Martin’s, and Central Washington head to Nampa, Idaho to compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title meet at Jackson’s Indoor Center beginning on Friday, and concluding Saturday.
On the women’s side, the two schools who have won the conference title—Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage—are the heavy favorites to win it, as they are the #5 and #23 ranked teams in NCAA Division II.
The Falcons will be led into Idaho by defending 5000m champ Anna Patti (left/photo by Paul Merca), who will drop down to the 3000. SPU will have in their arsenal conference leaders Jahzelle Ambus (400m), Lynelle Decker (800), and Michaella Kahns (pole vault).
Western Washington will be led by co-conference leader in the pole vault Anna Paradee, and defending triple jump champ Jasmine McMullin.
Saint Martin’s best hope lies with distance runner Shannon Porter, who has set school records this year in both the 3000 (9:51.99) and the 5000 (16:57.09).
Central Washington’s hopes lie with Dani Eggleston in the 3000, Mariah Vongsaveng in the 60 hurdles, and McKenna Emmert in the pole vault.
The Alaska Anchorage men’s squad, ranked #10 in the USTFCCCA national poll are clearly the team to beat this weekend, with a bevy of top talent in the distances, and multi-events.
Western Washington is led by defending 60 hurdles champ Travis Milbrandt, along with 5000m runner Isaac Derline, and thrower Brandon Pless.
Central Washington will have to depend on points from two-time defending triple jump champion Luke Plummer, and short sprinter Kent McKinney, who leads the conference in the 60 meter dash going into this weekend.
Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s is the current conference leader in the high jump at 6-10.75 (2.10m), while Latrelle Swayne is ranked #2 in the 60 dash.
It may be a long meet for Seattle Pacific, with hurdler/long jumper Peyton Harris and distance runner Turner Wiley the best shots for a podium finish.
NOTE: The Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.