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Indoor Championship Trio Shares Weekly Team Accolade
The Concordia men earned its first GNAC Indoor Track and Field title while the Seattle Pacific and Central Washington shared the women's title with 136 points each.
The Concordia men earned its first GNAC Indoor Track and Field title while the Seattle Pacific and Central Washington shared the women's title with 136 points each.

Monday, February 19, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. –  After an exciting finish to the 2018 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Red Lion/GNAC co-Team of the Week award is shared by all three team champions; Concordia, Central Washington and Seattle Pacific.

A pair of individual championships in the sprints by Concordia’s Carlos Ortiz, along with victories by James Phillips in the hurdles and Josh Koch in the shot put, gave the Cavaliers their first men’s conference championship Saturday afternoon at Jacksons Track in Nampa, Idaho. In their first season as a full NCAA Division II member, the Cavaliers parlayed the four individual titles into a team title as they finished with a score of 114 points to finish six points ahead of three-time champion Alaska Anchorage.

Thanks to an impressive victory in the women’s final event, the 4x400-meter relay, Central Washington and Seattle Pacific both claimed a share of the women’s team title. The Wildcats overtook Alaska Anchorage midway through the relay and held off a surge in the final 200 meters by Simon Fraser to win the event and pull into the tie with the Falcons. The team of Sydney Trinidad, Katie Collins, Erykah Weems and Ali Anderson won in a time of 3:50.24, just ahead of Simon Fraser’s 3:50.68.

"It was a crazy finish here at the GNAC Championships," said Central Washington head coach Kevin Adkisson. "There were a lot of point lead changes on the women's side. We had a bunch of different people putting out big performances and big efforts. Overall, it was a wild meet that was a ton of fun."

With both scoring 136 points, Seattle Pacific claimed its 12th women’s indoor title while Central Washington became the first team other than SPU and Alaska Anchorage to win a GNAC women’s indoor track team title.

Ortiz led the way with his two titles for the Cavaliers. The senior opened Saturday with the title in the 60 meters with a time of 6.85 seconds. He later laid claim to the meet record in the 200 meters with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time of 21.56 seconds.

Phillips emerged in a very close race in the 60-meter hurdles, winning with a time of 8.30 seconds. In addition, Phillips placed second in the heptathlon with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying score of 4,981 points. Koch, meanwhile, won his second title in three years in the shot put by just under two feet with a mark of 55 feet, 4.25 inches.

"What an incredible day," said Concordia head coach Jarrett Mantalas.  "The men competed so hard all weekend and it paid off in winning the first ever GNAC conference title in Concordia history.  I am so proud of this team, we had so many people step up in so many events to help us get this accomplished!"

Anderson was selected by coaches as the Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet for her victories in the 200 meters and 400 meters as well as her efforts in the 4x400-meter relay. Anderson won the 200 in a time of 25.00 seconds and claimed the 400-meter title with a time of 55.68 seconds. Her performance in the 400 meters is 12th in Division II this year and is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier.

Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai scored 28 points for the Falcons on Friday with her second consecutive championship in the pentathlon (3,610 points), her first title in the pole vault (12-4.75) while also finishing second in the high jump (5-5). Cai’s mark in the pole vault is 12th in Division II this year and is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark. In addition to Cai’s two victories, freshman Renick Meyer won the 60 meters with a time of 7.71 seconds.

"The hard part of track is to create that kind of intensity every single opportunity you get," said Seattle Pacific head coach Karl Lerum. "I thought overall, we did a really good job of taking advantage of the opportunities we had. When you're in a tie, there are no key moments.”

Both Central Washington and Seattle Pacific will partake in the SPU Final Qualifier on Feb., 24 at Dempsey Indoor in Seattle. The Cavaliers will have a couple weeks of rest before the NCAA Division II Championships on Mar.9 in Pittsburg, Kan.

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