GNAC Insider Looked Back At Track & Field Championships

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – After leading Seattle Pacific women’s track and field to the conference title, assistant coaches Audra Smith and Chris Reed joined GNAC Insider on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to talk about what was an emotional weekend for the team. Alaska Anchorage sprinter Jamie Ashcroft and Saint Martin’s men’s basketball guard Cole Preston also joined the show.

With head coach Karl Lerum unable to attend the 2017 edition of the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, assistant coaches Smith and Reed took over the women’s track and field program for the weekend. Under their leadership, the Falcons claimed their 11th conference title as a team despite coming into the meet as slight underdogs. Seattle Pacific edged Simon Fraser by three and a half points by taking third place in the final race of the meet, the 4x400 relay. For their efforts, the Falcons were also named Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

Ashcroft had another record-setting performance in Boise, Idaho over the weekend. The senior became just the second female athlete in GNAC history to take home the conference title in a single event all four years, doing so in the 60-meter dash. She also broke her own conference and meet records in not only the 60-meter dash, but also the 200-meter dash. She finished the 60-meter dash in 7.54 seconds, which ranks among the best times in Division II this season. In the 200-meter dash, she needed just 24.09 seconds to finish for her second conference title in the meet. She was later a part of the Alaska Anchorage 4x400 team that took first place in the event by a hundredth of a second with a time of 3:46.99.

Preston has helped put the Saints in good position to compete in the GNAC Championships next week, which will be hosted by Saint Martin’s. Going into the final week of the season, the Saints need to win their final two games to guarantee their spot in the conference tournament. No player has spent more time on the court for SMU this season than Preston, who averages 34.5 minutes per game. The senior from Escondido, Calif. also has a team-best 150 assists this season. On Thursday, the Saints will travel to Canada to face Simon Fraser before potentially playing to keep their season alive at Western Washington on Saturday.