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Simon Fraser Leads Stellar GNAC Showing At Sundodger
Simon Fraser's Julia Howley finished third at the Sundodger Invitational, her second top-three finish of the season.
Simon Fraser's Julia Howley finished third at the Sundodger Invitational, her second top-three finish of the season.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

MAPLE LEAF RAG: The Sundodger Invitational was the first meet of the season that saw a majority of GNAC schools compete and Simon Fraser proved that they will be a contender at next month’s GNAC Championships.

A week after posting a perfect score at the Ash Creek Invitational, the Simon Fraser women placed all five scoring runners in the top-14 to win the women’s open team competition in Seattle. The Clan scored 42 points, 13 points ahead of second place Point Loma. The outstanding performance earned the team selection as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

The Clan had a gap of just 35 seconds between the top-five runners. Julia Howley was named the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the second straight week as she placed third with a time of 21:22.86. The remaining four runners all finished within 13 seconds of each other.

Simon Fraser’s men also turned in a strong second place finish with a score of 70 points, 24 points behind champion Trinity Western. Junior Rowan Doherty earned GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors for his sixth place finish in a time of 24:45.72. The Clan placed all five scoring runners in the top-35.

ADD SUNDODGER: As a whole, the GNAC showed well as a conference at Sundodger. In the women’s open race, three GNAC squads placed in the top-five and four placed in the top-10 of the 20-team field. The men also saw three GNAC teams finish in the top-five and saw all seven teams place in the top-10 of the 19-team field.

IN THE RANKINGS: Simon Fraser’s women climbed to its highest ranking ever in the USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll, jumping two spots to No. 5. The Clan is the only GNAC team in the women’s top-25. Alaska Anchorage dropped out after being listed at No. 11 last week, but was the top team among those receiving votes.

In the men’s national poll, Alaska Anchorage maintained its position at No. 11 while Simon Fraser moved up four spots to a tie at No. 13 with Bellarmine.

BREAKING THE TAPE: Seven GNAC athletes, including five women, picked up victories in races over the first two weeks of the season. Here is the complete list...

MEN
• Felix Kemboi (UAA): Ash Creek Invitational, Sept. 8 (18:42.8, 6,200 meters)
• Judd Lewis (CU): Linfield Harrier Classic, Sept. 1 (19:58.36, 6,000 meters)

WOMEN
• Alyssa Foote (SPU): Dual vs. Northwest (Wash.), Sept. 1 (17:20.95, 4,800 meters)
• Julia Howley (SFU): Ash Creek Invitational, Sept. 8 (16:24.6, 4,600 meters)
• Larissa Kolasinski (SMU): Puget Sound Invitational, Sept. 2 (23:51.00, 6,000 meters)
• Kennedy Rufener (WOU): Linfield Harrier Classic, Sept. 1 (15:21.41, 4,000 meters)
• Alexa Shindruk (CWU): SMU Tri-Meet, Sept. 9 (14:40, 4,000 meters)

THIS WEEK'S GNAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
MEN
Rowan Doherty, Simon Fraser
Junior • West Vancouver, B.C.

Doherty was the top Division II placer in the men’s race at the Sundodger Invitational, placing sixth with a time of 24:45.72 for 8,000 meters (4:59 per mile pace). He helped lead the Clan to a second place finish out of 19 teams with 70 points.

Also Nominated: Josh Boston (Central Washington), Judd Lewis (Concordia), Ben Halladay (Seattle Pacific).

WOMEN
Julia Howley, Simon Fraser
Senior • St. John’s, N.L.

Howley is honored for the second week in a row after she placed third at the Sundodger Invitational, covering the 6,000-meter course in 21:22.86 (5:44 per mile pace). She led five SFU runners to finish in the top-14 as the Clan won the meet with a score of 42 points.

Also Nominated: Alexa Shindruk (Central Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 8th of 19, 248 pts. Women - 12th of 20, 310 pts.
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23: at Saint Martin’s Invitational, Lacey, Wash.

• Alaska put together a pair of solid team performances in the team’s first official meet of the season, the Sundodger Invitational.

• The Nanook men’s eighth place finish was fifth out of the seven GNAC teams competing in the meet. Senior Seiji Takagi was the team’s No. 1 runner with a 54th place finish, covering the 8,000-meter course of 25:59.90. Sophomore Lukash Platil placed 57th in 26:04.46 while senior Lyon Kopsack was 59th in 26:05.36.

• Junior Alexandra Bergholtz was the top Alaska women’s runner, placing 37th as she covered the 6,000-meter course in 22:45.56. Senior Kim Fitzgerald placed 53rd in a time of 23:15.02 and junior Morgan Siebka was 56th in 23:20.50. The women’s 12th place finish was fifth out of the seven GNAC teams competing.

• The Nanooks return to the lower 48 this weekend, competing in the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Lacey, Wash.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
LAST WEEK: No Meet
THIS WEEK: No Meet
• Alaska Anchorage will not compete again until Sat., Oct. 7, when they take part in the Division II Conference Crossover in Romeoville, Ill. It is the Seawolves’ last scheduled meet before the GNAC Championships.

• The Seawolves’ men remained ranked No. 11 in the latest USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll. They are also ranked No. 4 in the West Region Rankings.

• The women fell out of the top 25 for the first time since Oct. 5, 2016, but is at the top of the list of teams receiving votes with 16. The Seawolves are No. 7 in the West Region Rankings.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 9th of 19, 264 pts. Women - 7th of 20, 200 pts.
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23 at Saint Martin’s Invitational, Lacey, Wash.

• A pair of good team performances at the Sundodger Invitational was led by an exceptional effort by the Central Washington women. The Wildcats’ seventh place finish was fourth out of the seven competing GNAC teams.

• Junior Alexa Shindruk had her second top-10 finish of the season, covering the 6,000 meters in 21:52.47 to place 10th. Sophomore Delaney Clem was the Wildcats’ No. 2 runner, placing 50th in 23:11.77 and sophomore Miranda Nelson was 52nd in 23:14.68. The team’s No. 2 and No. 5 runners finished with a gap of just 17 seconds.

• The CWU men’s scoring five all finished within 19 places and 24 seconds of each other. Junior Josh Boston led the way with his 61st place finish in 26:07.35. Junior Tyler Humphries was just behind in 63rd in 26:09.26. Junior Hanson Lee led the next group of three runners who finished within five seconds of each other, placing 73rd in 26:18.39.

• The Wildcats will run its third meet in as many weeks this Saturday, competing at the Saint Martin’s Invitational.

CONCORDIA
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 7th of 19, 218 pts. Women -  13th of 20, 315 pts.
THIS WEEK: No Meet

• The seventh place finish by the men’s team highlighted Concordia’s performance at the Sundodger Invitational. The Cavaliers were fourth among the seven competing GNAC teams.

• Senior Judd Lewis led the way with his third top-20 finish of the season, placing 17th in a time of 25:27.29. He was the sixth GNAC runner to cross the finsh line. Junior Jose Macias finished 26th with a time of 25:41.84 and junior Josh Moats was 46th in 25:52.76.

• Senior Sara Harrington led the Cocordina women, placing 60th with a time of 23:26.73 over 6,000 meters. Junior Nicole Pederson led the group of No. 2 through No. 5 runners that finished within 18 seconds of each other with a time of 23:33.55.

• After racing in each of the first three weekends of the season, the Cavaliers will take a weekend off from racing. Concordia is back in action on Sat., Sept. 30, at the Willamette Charles Bowles Invitational.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at MSU-Boseman Running Co. Invitational
Men - 1st of 3, 23 pts. Women - Incomplete
THIS WEEK: No Meet

• The Montana State Billings’ men were the top scoring non-Division I team at the MSU-Bozeman Running Co. Invitational, scoring a total of 23 points.

• Junior Tyus Mendoza led the way in the non-Division I five-mile competition, placing fifth in a time of 26:45.59. He was the top collegiate finisher in the race. Junior Ivan Colmanero placed ninth in 27:37.98 and sophomore Ronald Venema placed 10th in 27:57.35.

• The Yellowjackets fielded just four runners in the women’s three-mile competition. Sophomore Nikki Aiken placed third with a time of 18:59.01. Senior Bailey Bomar was the team’s other top-10 finisher, placing eighth in 20:02.10.

• After racing each of the last two weekends, MSUB is off this weekend. The Yellowjackets return to competition on Sat., Sept. 30, at the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder, Colo.

• Like last season, Montana State Billings will not race against GNAC competition until the GNAC Championships on Oct. 21.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 5th of 19, 188 pts. Women - 14th of 20, 341 pts.
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23 at Roy Griak Invitational, St. Paul, Minn.

• The Northwest Nazarene men made an impressive showing in its first meet of the season, the Sundodger Invitational. The Crusaders placed fifth with 188 points, third out of seven GNAC teams.

• Senior Isaac Mitchell was the fourth GNAC athlete to finish the 8,000-meter men’s race, placing 14th in 25:15.81. Sophomore Godfrey Kemboi followed in 27th place with a time of 25:42.49.

• Junior Sierra Manzer was the top NNU finisher in the women’s 6,000-meter race, placing 40th in a time of 22:52.63. Sophomore Bethany Danner was the No. 2 runner for the Crusaders, placing 70th in 23:34.63.

• Northwest Nazarene will test itself against high-level competition this weekend, joining two other GNAC squads at the University of Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn.

SAINT MARTIN’S
LAST WEEK: No Meet
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23, Hosting Saint Martin’s Invitational, Lacey, Wash.

• After two consecutive weeks of competition, Saint Martin’s did not complete last weekend. The Saints will host its second meet in three weeks this Saturday, hosting the Saint Martin’s Invitational on the SMU campus.

• Saint Martin’s will finish the month of September without having to travel more than 45 minutes to race. The longest road trip of the month, to the CWU Apple Ridge Invitational, was cancelled due to air quality and replaced by a meet on the Saint Martin’s campus.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 10th of 19, 279 pts. Women - 3rd of 20, 132 pts.
THIS WEEK: No Meet

• A third place women’s finish and a 10th place men’s finish highlighted a great performance for Seattle Pacific at the Sundodger Invitational.

• With 132 points, the SPU women trailed only Simon Fraser in GNAC teams in the meet. The performance saw the five scoring runners finish with a gap of 36 seconds. Freshman Dania Holmberg led the way, placing 23rd in 22:23.63. Sophomore Katherine Walter placed 27th in 22:33.78 and sophomore Kate Lilly was 28th in 22:35.83.

• Senior Ben Halladay posted an impressive performance, placing 12th in the 8,000-meter race in a time of 25:15.11. He was the No. 3 GNAC runner to cross the finish line. Freshman Elius Graff was the No. 2 runner, placing 68th in 26:15.23.

• The Seattle Pacific women are ranked No. 8 in this week’s USTFCCCA West Region Rankings, dropping from No. 7.

• The Falcons take this weekend off and return to competition on Sat., Sept. 30, at the Willamette Charles Bowles Invitational.

SIMON FRASER
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 2nd of 19, 70 pts. Women - 1st of 20, 42 pts.
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23 at Roy Griak Invitational, St. Paul, Minn.

• It could not have been a better week for Simon Fraser. The SFU women won the non-Division I race at the Sundodger Invitational with a score of 42 points. The Clan men placed second with a score of 70 points.

• After placing all five runners in the top-14 and within 35 seconds of each other, the SFU women were selected as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

• Senior Julia Howley was named the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the second week in a row after she placed third in the 6,000-meter race with a time of 21:22.86. She trailed champion Ruby Roberts by 12 seconds.

• Freshman Olivia Willett placed ninth in 21:44.46. Junior Addy Townsend was 12th in 21:56.65 with senior Miryam Bassett in 13th in 21:56.85. Junior Chelsea Ribiero was 14th in 21:57.38.  

• Junior Rowan Doherty was named the GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week after he led all GNAC finishers in the men’s race with his sixth place finish of 24:45.72. He trailed race winner Brad Hodkinson of Pacific Lutheran by 21 seconds.

• All five Simon Fraser men’s runners placed in the top-40. Junior Sean Miller placed 10th in a time of 25:04.18 while senior Mateo de Dalmases was 16th in 25:26.83.

• The victory allowed the Simon Fraser women to move up to No. 5 in the USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in program history. The Clan is also the top ranked team in the West Region Rankings. The SFU men are tied for 13th in the national poll and fifth in the West Region Rankings.

• Simon Fraser will continue to compete against top-level competition this weekend, racing at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn.

WESTERN OREGON
LAST WEEK: No Meet
THIS WEEK: Sept. 22 at SF State Invitational, San Francisco, Calif.

• Western Oregon took last weekend off of competition. The Wolves travel to San Francisco this week, competing Friday afternoon at the SF State Invitational.

• Western Oregon’s men are No. 10 in the USTFCCCA West Region Rankings for the second consecutive week.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
LAST WEEK: Sept. 16 at Sundodger Invitational
Men - 4th of 19, 125 pts. Women - 5th of 20, 166 pts.
THIS WEEK: Sept. 23 at Roy Griak Invitational, St. Paul, Minn., & at Saint Martin’s Invitational, Lacey, Wash.

• Western Washington posted a pair of solid team performances at the Sundodger Invitational. The men were second out of seven GNAC programs while the women were third among GNAC programs.

• The WWU men placed two runners in the top-30. Senior Andrew Wise led the way with a 19th place finish, covering the 8,000 meters in 25:29.62. Sophomore Liam Cossette finished 22nd with a time of 25:35.89.

• Freshman Jane Barr led the way for the WWU women, placing 24th in a time of 22:24.19 for 6,000 meters. Sophomore Tracy Melville was two places behind in 26th place with a time of 22:29.18.

• Western Washington held its positions in both USTFCCCA West Region Rankings. The men remained at No. 8 and the women remained at No. 9.

• Western Washington will race with a split squad this weekend with athletes competing at both the Roy Griak Invitational on St. Paul, Minn., and the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Lacey, Wash.

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