GNACSports.com
Harriers Prepare To Square Off At Sundodger Invite
Seattle Pacific's Mary Charleson (left) and Sarah Macdonald finished first and third at the Humboldt Invitational and received some the best top finishers' shirts in the world.
Seattle Pacific's Mary Charleson (left) and Sarah Macdonald finished first and third at the Humboldt Invitational and received some the best top finishers' shirts in the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

BATTLING THE WEST REGION TOUGH: Seattle Pacific had the first test of the season for a GNAC team against West Region competition and the Falcons’ women fared quite well. Seattle Pacific placed second as a team in the women’s 6,000-meter race, scoring 57 points and finished just 17 points behind regional power Chico State. There was a gap of 1 minute, 3 seconds between the Falcons’ five scoring runners.

Senior Mary Charleson earned her first collegiate race victory, finishing in a time of 21:08.21 to beat second place Analicia Garcia of Sonoma State by three seconds. The performance earned Charleson selection as the GNAC Female Athlete of the Week.

BREAKING THE TAPE: Charleson was one of five GNAC athletes to win last weekend, bringing the total of individual winners this season to 10. Western Oregon’s David Ribich won his second race of the season, winning the 6,300-meter Ash Creek Invitational #1 in a time of 18:53.8. The effort earned Ribich selection as the GNAC Male Athlete of the Week for the second straight week.

Western Washington’s Andrew Wise picked up his first collegiate win, capturing the 6,000-meter Central Washington Invitational in 20:19.

Simon Fraser’s Rebecca Bassett won at Ash Creek for the third time in her career, winning the 4,600-meter race in a time of 16:52.8. Central Washington’s Elena Gomez was also a first time collegiate winner, capturing the CWU Invitational in 15:11 over 4,000 meters.

IN THE RANKINGS: Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington lead the way for the GNAC in the first regular season USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll. The Seawolves’ men are ranked fifth in the national poll while the women are at No. 6. Both teams are ranked No. 2 in the West Region.

Western Washington is tied for 10th in the women’s national poll with Minnestoa Duluth while the men are tied for 15th with Lock Haven. Simon Fraser’s women are ranked No. 21 nationally this week while Seattle Pacific’s women are at No. 24.

In the men’s regional rankings, Alaska Anchorage is followed by Western Washington at No. 4, Western Oregon at No. 8 and Simon Fraser at No. 9. In the women’s regional rankings, Alaska Anchorage is followed by Western Washington at No. 3, Simon Fraser at No. 5 and Seattle Pacific at No. 6.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
MEN
David Ribich, Western Oregon
Junior • Enterprise, Ore.

Ribich was a race winner for the second week in a row, this time on the home course as he took the 6.3-kilometer race at the Ash Creek Invitational #1 in a time of 18:53.8 (4:49 per mile pace). He had a 13-second cushion on second place Ray Schireman of Southern Oregon.

Also Nominated: Jorey Egeland (Montana State Billings), Josh Boston (Central Washington), Andrew Wise (Western Washington), Jared Seckel (Concordia).

WOMEN
Mary Charleson, Seattle Pacific
Junior • Mill Creek, Wash.

Charleson won the 6,000-meter women’s race at the Humboldt Invitational against the top Division II squads in the region. She ran a personal best of 21:08.21 (5:40 per mile pace) and was a three-second winner over Analicia Garcia of Sonoma State. Charleson led SPU to a second place team finish.

Also Nominated: Nikki Aiken (Montana State Billings), Elena Gomez (Central Washington), Lillianna Sterling (Western Washington), Nicole Maurmann (Western Oregon), Nicole Pederson (Concordia).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska opened the 2016 season with an intrasquad battle, hosting its own Moda Health Blue & Gold Race in Fairbanks on Saturday.

• Junior Alex Eckert won the men’s 5,000-meter race in a time of 15:57.2. Freshman Luk Platil finished second in 16:15.8 while junior Carl Wahlin was third in 16:22.2.

• In the women’s 5,000-meter race, senior Dorothy O’Donnell won in a time of 19:20.2. Senior Nichole Bathe was second in 19:38.4 and senior Kali Striker placed third in 19:45.1.

• The 2016 racing season opens in earnest for the Nanooks on Saturday, joining six other GNAC teams at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage did not race last weekend. The Seawolves return to competition on Saturday at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle.

• In their season opener, the Sept. 3 Notre Dame de Namur Argo Invite, the Seawolves’ men finished with a score of 15 points, marking the third time in the last two seasons they have compiled a perfect score. Junior Edwin Kangogo led the way with his winning time of 21:19.9 over the 6.75-kilometer course. In all, there were just 25 seconds between UAA’s scoring runners.

• The Alaska Anchorage women won with a score of 31 points, four points better than runner-up Stanislaus State. Junior Caroline Kurgat was the individual winner, clocking a time of 18:52.9 for 5 kilometers. The Seawolves placed all five scoring runners in the top-12 with a gap of 1 minute, 30 seconds.

• Alaska Anchorage retained high positions in the first USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Polls of the season. The Seawolves’ men slipped one spot from its preseason ranking to No. 5 while the UAA women remained at No. 6. Both teams are currently ranked No. 2 in the West Region.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington opened its season on Saturday, hosting the CWU Invitational. Both the Wildcats’ men and women placed second in team competitions to Western Washington.

• Central Washington’s men scored 29 points to finish two points behind the Vikings. Junior Josh Boston led the way with his third place time of 20:24 on the 6,000-meter course. Senior Kaleb Javier was fourth in 20:31 and senior Nick Spencer placed fifth in 20:33.

• Senior Elena Gomez won her first collegiate race for the Central Washington women, covering the 4,000-meter course in 15:11. Sophomore Alexa Shindruk placed fourth in 15:47. She became the seventh CWU women’s runner to take home top honors in a home meet in the Wildcats’ GNAC history.

• Central Washington will joins six other GNAC teams in Seattle for the Sundodger Invitational on Saturday in Seattle.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia placed fourth in the men’s competition at Friday’s Ash Creek Invitational #1, scoring 112 points. The Cavaliers’ women placed sixth with a score of 145 points.

• Senior Jared Seckel captured a top-10 finish in the men’s 6,300-meter race, placing ninth with a time of 19:38.6. Junior Judd Lewis placed 12th in a time of 19:41.7.

• Sophomore Nicole Pederson won the top Concordia finisher in the women’s 4,600-meter race, placing 23rd in 18:44.6. Freshman Bailey Fjelstul finished 27th in a time of 18:52.2.

• The Ash Creek Invitational was the last race for Concordia in September. The Cavaliers do not compete again until Sat., Oct., 1, at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational.

• Concordia is in the third year of a three-year transition process to NCAA Division II membership. This is its second year competing in full Division II and GNAC schedules. While the Cavaliers are eligible to win the GNAC championship, they are not eligible for regional & national competition.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings picked up a pair of second place team finishes at the Gage McSpadden Memorial Invitational on Friday in Spearfish, S.D. The Yellowjackets’ men scored 42 points and the women finished with 54 points.

• Junior Jorey Egeland was the Yellowjackets’ top men’s finisher for the second straight week, placing third as he covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:29.3. Senior Garrett Love finished fifth in a time of 20:43.5.

• Freshman Nikki Aiken led the MSUB women, placing sixth in the 4,000-meter race in a time of 16:58. Junior Bailey Bomar placed 12th in a time of 17:34.3.

• Montana State Billings returns to competition on Saturday at the MSU-Bozeman Running Company Invitational.

• The Yellowjackets will be a relative unknown to other conference teams at the GNAC Championships. Only one other GNAC team, Northwest Nazarene, will see MSUB before the conference meet when they compete at the Yellowjacket Invitational on Sept. 23.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene did not compete last weekend and will not compete again until the Yellowjacket Invitational on Fri., Sept. 23, in Billings, Mont.

• The Crusaders opened the season competing against Division I competition at the Idaho State Invitational in Pocatello, Idaho, on Sept. 2. Northwest Nazarene finished third in both team races, scoring 53 points in the women’s race and 74 points in the men’s competition.

• Sophomore Sierra Manzer opened the season with a bang, winning the women’s 3-kilometer race in a time of 10:45.19. She finished five seconds ahead of runner-up Jenica Dodge of Idaho State. Sierra’s sister, junior Alysia Manzer, placed eighth in 11:17.47.

• Freshman Godfrey Kemboi led the NNU men as he tied for fifth in the men’s 6,000-meter race in a time of 19:27. Kemboi finished 23 seconds behind race winner Liam Kennell of Southern Utah. Junior Isaac Mitchell, the Crusaders’ top returning male runner, placed 14th in 19:53.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s did not compete last weekend. They return to the course on Saturday at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle.

• The Saints had an impressive start ot the 2016 season, winning both the men’s and women’s team competitions at the Puget Sound Invitational on Sept. 3. The Saint Martin’s men finished with 26 points, 19 points ahead of second place Puget Sound. The Saints’ women scored 29 points, six points better than the host Loggers.

• Senior Shannon Porter won her first collegiate cross country race at the Logger Invitational, covering the 6,000-meter course in 20:35.17, averaging 5 minutes, 31 seconds per mile. She finished 58 seconds ahead of runner-up Shailee Woodard of Pacific Lutheran.

• Junior Skyler Larson led three Saint Martin’s runners to place in the top-five in the men’s 8,000-meter race. Larson placed second in a time of 26:58, 15 seconds behind winner Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski of Puget Sound. There was a total gap of 58 seconds between the Saints’ top-five runners.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific turned in a pair of solid performances against some of the region’s top teams at the Humboldt Invitational in Trinidad, Calif. The Falcon’s women placed second with 57 points while the men placed sixth with 197 points.

• Junior Mary Charleson was named the GNAC Female Athlete of the Week after she collected her first collegiate race win, taking top honors in the 6,000-meter race in a time of 21:08.21. She was a three seconds better than second place Analicia Garcia of Sonoma State.

• Senior Sarah Macdonald placed third in a time of 21:14.88 while senior Hannah Calvert was 11th in 21:42.54. There was a gap of 1 minute, 2 seconds betwen the Falcons’ top-five runners.

• Junior Ben Halladay was Seattle Pacific’s top finisher in the men’s 8,000-meter race, placing 19th in a time of 25:34.74.

• Seattle Pacific’s women dropped one spot in the first USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll of the regular season to No. 24. The Falcons are ranked sexith in the West Region.

• The Falcons return to competition in their hometown on Saturday, competing in the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser opened the season on Friday at the Ash Creek Invitational No. 1. The Clan women won the team competition with 30 points while the men placed third with 59 points.

• Senior Rebecca Bassett picked up the third straight victory at the Ash Creek Invitational, covering the 4,600-meter course in 16:52.8. All three of her collegiate wins have come in Monmouth.

• Junior Julia Howley followed in third at 17:09.8 while junior Miryam Bassett placed fifth in 17:41.3. The Clan had a gap of just 1:26 between its top five scoring runners.

• Sophomore Sean Miller was Simon Fraser’s top runner, placing seventh in 19:22.1 in the 6,300-meter race. Senior Phillipe Gravel was 10th in 19:39.4 while junior Braeden Charlton was 11th in 19:40.8. The SFU men raced without their top two returning runners.

• The Clan women slipped one spot in the first USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll of the regular season to No. 21. They are ranked No. 5 in the West Region.

• While not in the USTFCCCA Top-25, the Simon Fraser men are ranked ninth in the West Region, slipping from fourth in the preseason rankings.

• Simon Fraser will run a split squad this weekend. The team’s top runners will head to Seattle on Saturday to race in the Sundodger Invitational. The remainder will go to nearby Coquitlam, B.C., for the annual Pinetree Classic cross country races.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon proved there is no place like home, picking up a pair of second place team finishes at their own Ash Creek Invitational #1 on Friday. The men finished with 55 points while the women scored 57 points.

• Junior David Ribich earned GNAC Male Athlete of the Week honors for the second straight week. Ribich won the 6,300-meter race on his home course in a time of 18:53.8, 13 seconds ahead of second place Ray Schireman of Southern Oregon.

• Sophomore Dustin Nading placed eighth in 19:34.3, while freshman Justin Crosswhite was 15th in 19:51.7.

• Senior Nicole Maurmann was WOU’s top women’s finisher, placing fourth in a time of 17:33.0 on the 4,600-meter course. Junior Kennedy Ruferner was sixth in 17:42.3 and sophomore Grace Knapp was seventh in 17:56.5.

• The Ash Creek Invitational is one of two home meets for the Wolves in 2016. Western Oregon will host the Ash Creek Invitational #2 on Fri., Oct. 7.

• Western Oregon will join six other GNAC teams competing at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington captured both team titles at the Central Washington Invitational on Saturday. The Vikings’ men scored 27 points while the WWU women finished with 23 points.

• Junior Andrew Wise collected his first collegiate race victory, covering Rotary Park’s 6,000-meter course in 20:19. Senior Matthew Lutz was second in 20:23 and junior Isaac Derline was sixth in 20:39.

• Senior Lillianna Stelling was WWU’s top women’s finisher, placing second in the 4,000-meter race in a time of 15:34. Junior Shawna Troupe placed third in 15:43 while junior Sara Taferre placed sixth in 16:01.

• Both the Western Washington men and women continue to be ranked in the USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Polls. The WWU women are tied for 10th with Minnesota Duluth and is ranked No. 3 in the West Region. The WWU men are tied for 15th in the national poll with Lock Haven and is No. 4 in the West Region.

• The Vikings travel south to Seattle for their next competition, the Sundodger Invitational on Saturday.

Copyright ©2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved. GNACSports.com