Friday, October 7, 2016

Big test awaits for Washington's four Division II schools in Bellingham at WWU Invite...

Seattle Pacific's women's team heads to the WWU
Invitational ranked #18 in the USTFCCCA
Division II coaches' poll (Paul Merca photo)
Washington’s four NCAA Division II schools take center stage Saturday at East Lake Padden Park in Bellingham as Western Washington hosts its own invitational meet, and give teams a preview of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship course that will take place two weeks later.

Scheduled to join the host Vikings at the meet is Alaska, Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Concordia, Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser. Over 200 men and 180 women are expected to compete. The men will compete at the regional and national championship distance of 10,000 meters while the women will compete at 6,000 meters.

Other teams entered in the field include Canadian schools University of Victoria, Trinity Western and University of British Columbia, as well as teams from Brooks, Club Northwest, and Oiselle.

The host Vikings go into the meet with their women’s squad ranked #15, and the men’s squad ranked #22 in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll, released Wednesday.  The Vikings last competed at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota on September 24th, with the men placing fifth and the women sixth.

Seattle Pacific’s women’s squad goes into the WWU Invite ranked #18 nationally after a strong showing at the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Lacey two weeks ago, where they placed six runners in the top nine to win with a low score of 22 points.

One of the hottest runners in the conference so far this season is Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter, who won the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Oregon last weekend, after winning the Saint Martin’s Invite the week before.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Western Washington, and the GNAC contributed to this report.

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