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Of Four-Minute Milers And Multi-Eventers
Sophomore Scout Cai opened her indoor season with the second-best point total in Division II in the pentathlon this season. Photo by Loren Orr.
Sophomore Scout Cai opened her indoor season with the second-best point total in Division II in the pentathlon this season. Photo by Loren Orr.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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

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
Senior • Snohomish, Wash.

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 Anchorage), Jakob Chamberlin (Concordia), Nels Flanagan (Montana State Billings), Josh Shultz (Saint Martin’s), Eric Hamel (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Olivia Woods, Western Oregon
Junior • Troutdale, Ore.

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
Sophomore • Colfax, Wash.

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).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• NCAA Championships provisional qualifiers for sophomore David Sramek in the heptathlon and the women’s distance medley relay led Alaska Anchorage at the UW Invitational.

• Sramek finished sixth in the heptathlon with a score of 4,692 points. His best individual finish came in the pole vault where he was fifth with a clearance of 14 feet, 5.25 inches. Sramek’s point total is tied for 34th in Division II this season.

• The women’s DMR team of Danielle McCormick, Vanessa Aniteye, Tamara Perez and Emmah Chelimo finished ninth with a time of 11:54.45. The Seawolves were third among Division II teams and ranks as the eighth best time in Division II this season.

• The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Nicholas Taylor, Darrion Gray, Daniel Remington and Liam Lindsay placed fourth, and first among Division II teams in the meet, with a time of 3:18.41.

• Gray was the Seawolves’ top track performer. He ran 7.16 seconds in the qualifying heats of the men’s 60 meters and placed 12th in the 200 meters with a GNAC best time of 22.40 seconds. Lindsay just missed an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier as he placed 10th in the 400 meters in 49.06 seconds.

• The Seawolves are off this week and return to competition on Feb. 9 at the Husky Classic.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• An NCAA Championships automatic qualifying mark for senior Kodiak Landis led Central Washington’s efforts at the UW Invitational.

• Landis was named the GNAC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after he won the heptathlon with a score of 5,407 points. The performance is third best on the GNAC All-Time List and is fourth in Division II this season. He won three of the disciplines seven events, the shot put (43-1), the long jump (22-7.25) and the 60 meters (7.05), and tied for first in the pole vault (15-5).

• Senior Ali Anderson improved her NCAA Championships provisional qualifier in the women’s 400 meters, placing 10th in a time of 56.08 seconds. The GNAC-leading mark is No. 8 on the GNAC All-Time List and is sixth best in Division II this season.

• Senior Armando Tafoya earned an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark in the men’s weight throw. His eighth-place mark of 58 feet, 5.25 inches, is currently 36th in Division II and is the third-best mark in the GNAC this season.

• Freshman Bobby Widmar ran the GNAC’s top time at the UW Invitational in the 60 meters, running 7.02 seconds in the men’s 60 meters. The time ranks seventh in the GNAC this season.

• Central Washington returns to competition this weekend, competing at the Cougar Indoor in Pullman, Wash.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia saw nine athletes pick up or improved NCAA Championships provisional marks at the UW Invitational. For its solid team all-around effort, the Cavaliers earned the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week award.

• Senior Melissa Ausman moved up to No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time Lists in both the women’s shot put and weight throw. She placed third in the shot put with a mark of 49 feet, 11 inches, a mark which is fifth in Division II this season. Ausman also placed ninth in the weight throw at 58 feet, 4 inches, which is 18th in Division II this season.

• Junior Tori Johnson hit the provisional qualifying mark in the women’s high jump, placing second with a clearance of 5 feet, 7 inches. Her mark is tied for seventh in Division II this season and leads the GNAC.

• Senior Emma Hill improved her provisional qualifying mark in the women’s triple jump, placing ninth with a mark of 38 feet, 7 inches, The mark is No. 7 on the GNAC All-Time List and is 17th in Division II this season.

• Sophomore Jakob Chamberlin improved his provisional qualifying mark in the men’s weight throw. His mark of 60 feet, 6 inches, is No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List and ranks 19th in Division II this season. Junior Josh Koch, meanwhile, improved his GNAC leading mark in the men’s shot put as he placed 12th at 55 feet, 3 inches. That is tied for 24th in Division II.

• Junior James Phillips provisionally qualified for nationals in the heptathlon, placing second with a score of 4,968 points. The performance ranks No. 6 on the GNAC All-Time List and is 17th in Division II this season.

• Also earning NCAA Championships provisional qualifying marks was freshman Noah Wallace in the men’s 800 meters (1:53.19, 20th), sophomore Caleb Bridge in the men’s shot put (52-6.75, 43rd) and sophomore Tasha Willing in the women’s shot put (45-0.25, 31st).

• Concordia will not compete again until the weekend of Feb. 9, returning to Seattle for the Husky Classic and UW Indoor Open.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Two individual event victories and seven top-10 placers paced Montana State Billings at the Colorado Mines DII Invite & Multis.

• Senior Nels Flanagan improved his MSUB record in winning the men’s weight throw. His mark of 58 feet, 8 inches, is No. 9 on the GNAC All-Time List and is tied for the 34th best mark in Division II this season.

• Sophomore Michaela Johnson won the women’s 60-meter hurdles with her time of 9.10 seconds. She was two-hundredths of a second ahead of Alexis Carrol of UC-Colorado Springs. The season-best time is fifth best in the GNAC this season.

• Freshman Lamont Frisby made the finals in the men’s 60 meters yet again, placing fifth with a time of 6.98 seconds. He ranks third in the GNAC this season as Yellowjackets own three of the event’s top-five times. Senior Sam Zook leads the GNAC with his NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time of 6.80 seconds.

• Sophomore Isaiah Girard placed fifth in the men’s high jump, clearing 6 feet, 7.5 inches. The performance is second best in the GNAC this season. Junior Brady Ostermiller was sixth in the men’s shot put with a mark of 48 feet, 7.5 inches.

• Montana State Billings returns to action this weekend in Bozeman, Mont., taking part in the Bobcat Invitational.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene was the only GNAC team not to compete last weekend. The Nighthawks return to the track on Friday and Saturday at the Jacksons NB Invitational.

• Senior Payton Lewis has already notched a NCAA Championships provisional qualifier in the men’s pole vault. His best of 16 feet, 4.75 inches, at the Jan. 12 Ed Jacoby Invitational, is tied for eighth best in Division II this season.

• Freshman Elijah Castro placed second with a mark of GNAC best 23 feet, 8.75 inches, at the Jan. 20 Bronco Invite. The performance was an NNU school record, an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, is tied for 17th in Division II this season and is No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List.

• Senior John Van Beuren is one of four GNAC athletes provisionally qualified for nationals in the men’s weight throw. His season-best mark of 57 feet, 9 inches, is 39th in Division II this season.

• Senior Rachel Bartlow and junior Katie Conklin are tied for the fifth-best mark in the GNAC this season in the women’s high jump with a season bests of 5 feet, 3.25 inches.

• Junior Nice Loufoua has the conference’s fifth-best mark in the women’s long jump, having posted a mark of 17 feet, 6.25 inches, at the Bronco Invite on Jan. 20.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Efforts by the team’s top jumpers led efforts for Saint Martin’s at the UW Invitational.

• Sophomore Josh Schultz placed seventh in the men’s long jump with a mark of 23 feet. He was the top GNAC finisher in the event and ranks him second in the GNAC this season.

• Sophomore Ashleigh Fraser was the top GNAC finisher in the women’s long jump, placing 21st with a mark of 17 feet. The performance ranks 11th in the GNAC this season.

• Junior Jackson Hand finished short of his season best in the men’s 200 meters, placing 15th with a time of 22.56 seconds. Hand has the second-best time in the GNAC this season with a time of 22.01 seconds at December’s Jacksons Open.

• Sophomore Artresa Nickelson improved her season best in the women’s 200 meters with a time of 27.22 seconds.

• The Saints return to action this weekend at the Cougar Indoor in Pullman, Wash.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Sophomore Scout Cai’s season-opening performance in the women’s pentathlon paced Seattle Pacific’s output at the UW Invitational.

• Cai placed third in the pentathlon with a score of 3,709 points, earning her selection as the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. The NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark moves her to No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List and ranks second in Division II this season. Cai notched three second-place finishes in the high jump (5-5) and the 800 meters (2:21.37) and was third in the long jump (18-3).

• Freshman Renick Meyer picked up an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier in the women’s 60-meter hurdles during the pentathlon. Her time of 8.76 seconds is tied for 18th in Division II this season and puts her at No. 9 on the GNAC All-Time List. Meyer was 17th in her first pentathlon with a score of 3,192 points.

• Freshman Julia Steppner ran the top times by a GNAC athlete in both the women’s 60 meters and 200 meters. Steppner ran 8.10 seconds in the qualifying heats of the 60 meters. She has the GNAC’s top time in the event this season, having run 7.80 seconds at the Jan. 13 UW Preview. Steppner ran a GNAC-best 25.99 seconds in the 200 meters at the UW Invitational. Sophomore Grace Bley was close behind with a time of 26.01 seconds.

• Sophomore Alyssa Foote hit an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time in the women’s 5,000 meters. She placed 24th in the event with a time of 17:09.71, which leads the GNAC and 13th in Division II this season.

• Seattle Pacific will not compete again until the weekend of Feb. 9, competing in both the Husky Classic and the UW Indoor Open.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser finished with 10 new or improved NCAA Championships provisional qualifiers at the UW Invitational.

• The women’s distance medley relay team of Paige Nock, Renate Bluschke, Alana Mussatto and Julia Howley took fourth with a time of 11:36.85. That provisional qualifying time is ninth on the GNAC All-Time List and is the second-best mark in Division II this season.

• Howley also picked up a provisional qualifier in the women’s mile, placing 16th in 4:50.46. The performance is No. 8 on the GNAC All-Time List and is fifth in Division II this season. Senior Miryam Bassett ran 4:55.83, a provisional qualifier and 14th best in Division II.

• Senior Reta Dobie provisionally qualified for nationals in the women’s 3,000 meters, placing 24th in 9:47.15. The time leads the GNAC and is fourth in Division II this season. In all, SFU has provisionally qualified three athletes in the 3,000 meters.

• Mussatto also earned a provisional qualifying mark in the women’s 800 meters. Her time of 2:11.19 is 10th best in Division II this season.

• The men’s DMR team of Rowan Doherty, Vladislav Tsygankov, Carlos Vargas and Oliver Jorgensen earned an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, placing fifth in 9:55.59. The time is No. 9 on the GNAC All-Time List and is seventh in Division II this season.

• Tsygankov provisionally qualified in the men’s 400 meters. His third-place time of 48.72 seconds is tied for 20th in Division II this season. Doherty posted a provisional qualifying mark in the mile in 4:09.50, 18th best in Division II, while Jorgensen hit a qualifier in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:11.36, ninth in Division II.

• Simon Fraser heads east this weekend, taking part in the Hillsdale Wide Track Invitational in Hillsdale, Mich.

WESTERN OREGON
• Senior David Ribich’s historic performance in the men’s mile paced Western Oregon at the UW Invitational.

• Ribich became the 501st athlete in U.S. history to run a mile in under four minutes, placing third in the event in a time of 3:58.88. It is the fourth fastest time in NCAA Division II history, an NCAA Championships automatic qualifier, a GNAC record and earned the senior GNAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week and USTFCCCA Division II Male Athlete of the Week awards. The time is the third-best run by a U.S. athlete and 20th in the world this season.

• Ribich also teamed with Dustin Nading, Aaron Whitaker and AJ Holmberg to win the men’s distance medley relay with a time of 9:47.57. The NCAA Championships automatic qualifier leads Division II this season and is the third best time in GNAC history.

• Junior Olivia Woods was named GNAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week after earned an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier in the 800 meters. She placed 11th in 2:10.62. The time leads the GNAC and is sixth in Division II this season.

• Joining Ribich in the mile was Nading, who placed 16th with a time of 4:04.50. The second best time in GNAC history, the mark is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier and is third in Division II this season.

• Senior Suzie Van De Grift earned a provisional qualifying mark in the women’s 800 meters (2:11.80, 12th) while senior Kennedy Rufener also hit a provisional mark in the women’s 3,000 meters (9:56.05, 12th).

• Western Oregon is off this weekend, competing again on the weekend of Feb. 9 at the Husky Classic and UW Indoor Open.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington saw three athletes put up the top GNAC marks in their respective events at the UW Invitational.

• Junior Tupre Wickliff finished 14th in the men’s high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 6.75 inches. The mark moved Wickliff up to No. 4 on the WWU All-Time List and is the third-best mark in the GNAC this season.

• Junior J.T. Konrad was the top conference performer in the men’s pole vault, finishing 14th with his clearance of 14 feet, 8.25 inches. A season best, the mark is seventh best in the league this season.

• Sophomore Cordell Cummings was 15th in the qualifying heats for the men’s 60-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 8.68 seconds. The top GNAC performer in the event, Cummings’ season best of 8.61 seconds is tied for sixth best in the GNAC this season.

• Senior Jasmine McMullin placed 11th in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 38 feet, 3.5 inches. The GNAC leader in the event, McMullin’s season-best of 39 feet, 4.5 inches, set at the UW Preview, is currently eighth in Division II this season.

• The Vikings will not compete this week and will return to Seattle on Feb. 9 to compete in the Husky Classic and the UW Indoor Open.

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