Saturday, February 18, 2017

It came down to the wire, but Falcons win another women's GNAC indoor title...

NAMPA, Idaho—Thanks to a victory by Geneva Lehnert in the high jump, some major points in the pole vault, and a third place finish in the climactic 4 x 400 relay, the Seattle Pacific Falcons (above/photo courtesy GNAC) reclaimed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s indoor track & field championship Saturday at Jacksons Track at the Ford Idaho Center.

In what was the closest team race in conference history, the Falcons, who were projected to finish either second or third behind defending champion Alaska Anchorage and Simon Fraser, scored 124 points to Simon Fraser’s 120.5 and Alaska Anchorage’s 113 to take yet another team title.

Central Washington was fourth with 84 points, with Western Washington sixth at 51.5 points, and Saint Martin’s was eighth with 35 points.

The Falcons finished atop the team pile for the 11th time since the conference began sponsoring indoor track in 2004. They won the first nine (2004-12), and prevailed again in 2015. Anchorage, which came into the weekend as the defending champion, had won the other three.

Lehnert cleared 5-5.25 (1.66m) on her third attempt to stave off the challenge of Western Washington’s Miranda Osadchey, who cleared 5-3.25 (1.61m), but had identical clearances with Lehnert until 5-5.25.

Though Western’s Anna Paradee (12-6.75/3.83m) and Central Washington’s McKenna Emmert (12-0.5/3.67m) went 1-2 in the pole vault, the Falcons went 3-4-t5, as Michaella Kahns and pentathlon winner Scout Cai cleared identical heights of 12-0.5/3.67m, and Emma Lambert (10-10.75/3.32m) tied with Rachael Roberts of Western Washington for fifth, giving Seattle Pacific 14.5 points.

Brooke Benner was second in the triple jump with a mark of 38-4.75 (11.70m), and Mary Charleson (5:07.11) was third in the mile.

Other top-3 finishes by Washington athletes at the GNAC included Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter, who won the 3000 (10.01.86) and was second in the mile (4:53.29).

In the men’s competition, Alaska Anchorage successfully defended its team title, winning convincingly with a score of 154 over second place Western Oregon’s 82.

Central Washington was sixth with 65, followed by Western Washington at 64 in seventh.  Saint Martin’s was eighth wit 36 points, and Seattle Pacific tenth with 11 points.

The Wildcats’ Kodiak Landis won the heptathlon with a final score of 5269 points. Teammate Luke Plummer became the first 4-time winner of the triple jump in conference history, bounding 49-5 (15.06m), while Western Washington’s Somit Chhim was second at 46-7.5 (14.21m).

Western Washington’s Brandon Pless was second in the shot put at 51-4.5 (15.66m).  

Other top 3 finishes from Washington based athletes included a second place finish by Kyler Ooley of Central Washington in the 60 (6.94); and a third place finish by Peyton Harris of Seattle Pacific in the 60 hurdles (8.42).


In Birmingham, England, Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts won the men’s 800 at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix meet Saturday in a indoor personal best and world leading time of 1:46.13.

Washington alum Katie Mackey set an indoor personal best in the 3000 as she finished 13th in the 3000. Mackey ran 8:59.53 as Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won in a world leading time of 8:29.41.

Brooks Beasts teammate Garrett Heath finished seventh in the 1500, running 3:39.72 in a race won by Nike Oregon TC Elite’s Ben Blankenship in 3:36.42.

In Montreal, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson finished second in the women’s 1600 pursuit race at the Grand Prix d'Athletisme Montreal Saturday.

Efraimson ran 4:40.46 behind winner Sasha Gollish of Canada’s 4:40.19.

Baylee Mires of the Brooks Beasts was fifth in 4:51.12, while Beasts teammate Claudia Saunders was sixth in 4:52.83.

In the mens’ 1200 pursuit race, Drew Windle of the Beasts was third in 3:12.78, as Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutou win in 2:52.08.

In New York City’s Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island Saturday, French Olympian Justine Fedronic, who trains with the Beasts TC, finished second in the women’s mile at the Ocean Breeze Grand Prix meet, running 4:44.59, as Rolanda Bell won in 4:44.40.

Shaq Walker of the Beasts won the men’s 600 in 1:16.11, while teammate Brannon Kidder was third in 1:18.10.

Former Brooks Beast Megan Malasarte, who moved back to Atlanta and now competes for the Atlanta TC, won the women’s 600 in 1:29.91.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Athletics Canada, and the Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex contributed to this report.

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