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Historic Run For Ribich Lands GNAC Weekly Honors
David Ribich's time of 3:58.88 in the mile at Saturday's UW Invitational is the fourth fastest mile in Division II history and is among the top-five times in the U.S. this season.
David Ribich's time of 3:58.88 in the mile at Saturday's UW Invitational is the fourth fastest mile in Division II history and is among the top-five times in the U.S. this season.

Monday, January 29, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The breaking of one of the most hallowed barriers in all of sport by Western Oregon’s David Ribich put the senior on top of this week’s GNAC Athlete of the Week selections.

Ribich was selected as the conference’s Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after he ran a sub-four minute mile at the UW Invitational. Competing in the elite heat of the event at the UW Invitational on Saturday, Ribich finished third with a time of 3:58.88. He became the 501st athlete in U.S. history to run under four minutes and is the fourth fastest time in the event in Division II history. The GNAC record performance also automatically qualifies Ribich for the NCAA Championships in March.

In addition to his historic mile, Ribich ran the anchor leg on the Wolves’ distance medley relay, which won with a time of 9:47.56 that automatically qualified the team for the NCAA Championships.

Western Oregon swept the track awards. Olivia Woods was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week as she ran an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time in the 800 meters at the UW Invitational. Her 11th place time of 2:10.62 was the best by a Division II athlete in the meet, leads the GNAC and is sixth best in Division II this season.

The Field Athlete of the Week honors went to a pair of multi-event specialists. Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis earned the men’s award after he won the heptathlon at the UW Invitational with a score of 5,407 points. The total automatically qualifies Landis for the NCAA Championships, ranks as the fourth-best mark in Division II this season and improved his No. 3 mark on the GNAC All-Time List. Landis won four of the discipline’s seven events: the shot put, pole vault, long jump and the 60 meters.

Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai earned the women’s field award after placing third in the pentathlon at the UW Invitational. Competing for the first time this season, Cai finished with 3,709 points to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships. The mark is No. 2 in Division II this season and No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List. Cai set personal bests in four of the five individual events and her mark of 18 feet, 3 inches, in the long jump is the GNAC’s leading mark.

Saint Martin’s earned a sweep of the basketball weekly awards. Guard Luke Chavez earned the Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award for the second consecutive week after he averaged 21.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game as the Saints won two road games and handed Western Washington its first GNAC loss of the season. Chavez led all scorers with 23 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in Thursday’s 94-82 win over the Vikings, which snapped WWU’s 10-game win streak. Chavez added 20 points in Saturday’s 85-63 win at Simon Fraser. On the week, Chavez shot 56.7 percent from the field and 42.8 percent from three-point range.

Women’s guard Makenna Schultz was named the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for a pair of outstanding scoring performances for the Saints off the bench. She scored a SMU season-high 33 points in 34 minutes on Tuesday against Seattle Pacific, making 9 of 12 from the field, 6 of 7 from three-point range and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. Schultz then led the Saints with 19 points against Montana State Billings on Thursday. Schultz, who entered the week averaging 11.1 points per game, shot 66.7 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from three-point range.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 22
MEN’S BASKETBALL
Luke Chavez
(Saint Martin’s, G, 6-4, Jr., Woodacre, Calif. – South Puget Sound CC): Chavez led the Saints in a pair of road wins by averaging 21.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 42.8 percent from three-point range. He led all scorers with 23 points on 9 of 18 from the field to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals as the Saints’ snapped Western Washington’s 10-game win streak with a 94-82 win in Bellingham on Thursday. Chavez also led all scorers with 20 points on 8 of 12 from the field on Saturday’s 85-63 win at Simon Fraser. Also Nominated: Khalil Shabazz (Central Washington), Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Kobe Terashima (Montana State Billings), Tanner Omlid (Western Oregon), Trey Drechsel (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Makenna Schultz
(Saint Martin’s, G, 5-2, So., Lacey, Wash. – River Ridge): Schultz came off the bench to put together a pair of big scoring performances for the Saints, averaging 26 points per game in the two games while shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from three-point range. Against Seattle Pacific on Tuesday, Schultz led all scorers with a SMU season-high 33 points in 34 minutes, making 9 of 12 from the field, 6 of 7 from three-point range and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. She then finished with 19 points at Montana State Billings on Thursday, hitting 7 of 12 from the field and 3 of 6 from the arc. Schultz came into week averaging 11.1 points per game and has played in all 20 of the team’s games. Also Nominated: Jasmin Edwards (Central Washington), Bailey Cartwright (Concordia), Alisha Breen (Montana State Billings), Sophie Swant (Simon Fraser), Savannah Heugly (Western Oregon), Hannah Stipanovich (Western Washington).

MEN’S TRACK
David Ribich
(Western Oregon, Sr., Enterprise, Ore. – Enterprise) The senior became the 501st person in U.S. history to break the four-minute mile, placing third in the elite heat of the mile at the UW Invitational in a time of 3:58.88. He finished less than two seconds behind winner Yomif Kejelcha of the Nike Oregon Project (3:56.95) and a second ahead of 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong. The mark, a GNAC record, and NCAA Championships automatic qualifier, is the fourth fastest in the mile in Division II history and is the third fastest mile run in the U.S. this year. Ribich also ran the anchor leg on Western Oregon’s winning distance medley relay team, which automatically qualified for nationals with a time of 9:47.56. Also Nominated: Noah Wallace (Concordia), Mason Schram (Montana State Billings), Jackson Hand (Saint Martin’s), Oliver Jorgensen (Simon Fraser), Tupre Wickliff (Western Washington).

MEN’S FIELD
Kodiak Landis
(Central Washington, Sr., Snohomish, Wash. – Everett CC) Landis outlasted the Division I competition to win the heptathlon at the UW Invitational. His score of 5,407 points is an NCAA Championships automatic qualifier, is the fourth best mark in Division II this season and improved his No. 3 mark on the GNAC All-Time List. Landis won four of the heptathlon’s seven events, capturing the shot put (43-1), pole vault (15-5), long jump (22-7.25) and the 60 meters (7.05). Also Nominated: David Sramek (Alaska Anchorafge), Jakob Chamberlin (Concordia), Nels Flanagan (Montana State Billings), Josh Shultz (Saint Martin’s), Eric Hamel (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Olivia Woods
(Western Oregon, Jr., Troutdale, Ore. – Reynolds) Woods ran the top time in the GNAC this season and notched an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time in the 800 meters at the UW Invitational, placing 11th in a time of 2:10.62. Woods was the top Division II finisher in the event and the time is sixth best in Division II this season. Woods also ran the third leg on the Wolves’ distance medley relay team that hit an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark. Also Nominated: Danielle McCormick (Alaska Anchorage), Alexa Shindruk (Central Washington), Michaela Johnson (Montana State Billings), Artresa Nichelson (Saint Martin’s), Reta Dobie (Simon Fraser), Jasmine McMullin (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S FIELD
Scout Cai
(Seattle Pacific, So., Colfax, Wash. – Colfax) In her first competition of the season, Cai notched an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier in the pentathlon, placing third with 3,709 points at the UW Invitational. The mark is No. 2 in Division II this season and moved her to No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List. Cai set personal bests in four of the event’s five disciplines and her third-place mark of 18 feet, 3 inches, in the long jump leads the GNAC. Cai also placed second in the high jump (5-5) and the 800 meters (2:21.37). Also Nominated: Tori Johnson (Concordia), Kassadee Kuoha (Montana State Billings), Ashleigh Fraser (Saint Martin’s), Savannah Smith (Western Washington).

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