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Harriers Perform Well In First Look At Conference Course
In his season debut on his home course, Hunter Hutton won the 6,000-meter race at the Ash Creek Collegiate in 17:51.2.
In his season debut on his home course, Hunter Hutton won the 6,000-meter race at the Ash Creek Collegiate in 17:51.2.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

KICKING THE ASH CREEK COURSE: In the first of two regular-season meets that will be held on the GNAC Championships course, conference athletes performed well in Friday’s Ash Creek Invitational.

Making the most of his season debut on his home course, Western Oregon junior Hunter Hutton came through as a winner. Hutton covered the 6,000-meter course in a time of 17:51.2, placing eight seconds ahead of second-place Justin Hazell of Division I Portland. The victory earned Hutton selection as the GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week.

Running in the team’s first meet of the season, Simon Fraser outdueled Portland for the team title by one point, scoring 37 points. The Red Leafs prevailed by placing all five scoring runners in the top 11 with a gap of just 19 seconds between the scoring five.

In the women’s 4,000-meter race, Saint Martin’s Cassidy Walchak-Sloan was not intimidated by the Division I competitors at the front of the field. The sophomore placed fourth in a time of 17:58.9 and was bettered only by three Oregon State harriers. She was just nine seconds behind winner Teaghan Knox.

Thanks to the strong showing, Walchak-Sloan was named the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week.

The Simon Fraser women were the top GNAC team, placing second with a score of 61 points. Saint Martin’s was close behind in third place with 70 points.

There will be one more opportunity to preview the conference course before the November 5 GNAC Championships. That will be on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Mike Johnson Classic. Montana State Billings and host Western Oregon are scheduled to compete.

BILL ROE AWAITS: Five conference teams will be in action this week. Four of those will be in Ferndale, Washington as Western Washington hosts the Bill Roe Classic.

Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington and Simon Fraser will join the field in the meet that honors the memory of the longtime WWU assistant coach and former president of USA Track and Field who passed away unexpectedly in 2020.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
MEN
Hunter Hutton, Western Oregon
Junior • Bandon, Ore.

Making his season debut on his home course, Hutton was the winner at Friday’s Ash Creek Invitational. He covered the 6,000-meter course in a time of 17:51.2, finishing eight seconds ahead of Justin Hazell of Portland. Hutton led the Wolves to a third-place team finish.

Also Nominated: Ase Ackerman (Montana State Billings), Sebastian Brinkman (Simon Fraser).

WOMEN
Cassidy Walchak-Sloan, Saint Martin’s
Sophomore • Olympia, Wash.

Walchak-Sloan was the top non-Division I finisher at the Ash Creek Invitational on Friday, placing fourth in a time of 17:58.9 over 5,000 meters. She helped lead the Saints to a third-place team finish with a score of 70 points.

Also Nominated: Kailee Stoppel (Montana State Billings), Megan Roxby (Simon Fraser).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska will not race again until taking part in the Yellowjacket/Battlin’ Bears Open on Friday, Oct. 7, in Billings, Montana.

• Alaska captured the women’s race and took second in the men’s race at the Seawolf Throwdown on Sept. 3 in Anchorage. The UAF women won with a score of 23 points, nine points ahead of Alaska Anchorage. The Nanooks had the top three finishers in the race.

• Sophomore Kendall Kramer won her second race in as many weeks, covering the 6,000-meter course in a time of 22:17. She averaged 5 minutes, 59 seconds per mile. Sophomore Rosie Fordham was second for the straight week with a time of 22:19.

• Sophomore Naomi Bailey rounded out the UAF top three in her first race of the season, placing third in a time of 22:23.

• The Alaska men lost to Alaska Anchorage, finishing with a total of 23 points. Sophomore Koen Ross was the Nanooks’ top finisher, placing sixth in a time of 28:26 over 8,000 meters.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage returns to action at the Bill Roe Classicon Saturday in Ferndale, Washington.

• For the second straight week, Alaska Anchorage captured its dual meet with Alaska on the men’s side at the Seawolf Throwdown on Sept. 3 at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park.

• Sophomore Coleman Nash was a winner for the second straight week, covering the 8,000-meter course in a time of 25:22. It was the fifth victory of his collegiate career.

• Junior Michael Zapherson placed second in a time of 26:04 while freshman Stephen Zukowski completed the 1-2-3 sweep for the Seawolves in a time of 27:44. Both were running in their first meets for UAA while Zukowski was in his first collegiate meet.

• The Alaska Anchorage women placed second to UAF with a score of 32 points. Senior Alfin Nyamasyo led the Seawolves, finishing fourth in a time of 24:41. Freshman Jordan Strausbaugh was fifth in 25:12 while sophomore Sofija Spaic was sixth in 25:33.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington did not race last week. The Wildcats return to action on Saturday at the Bill Roe Classic in Ferndale, Washington.

• Central Washington opened the 2022 season with a second-place men’s finish and a third-place women’s finish at the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Sept. 10 in Yakima.

• The CWU men finished with a score of 72 points. Sophomore Ty Savely led the Wildcats, covering the 6,000-meter course in a time of 19:47.3.

• Junior Zach Sundt finished 17th in a time of 20:15.6 while sophomore Shawn Clough rounded out the CWU runners in the top 20, placing 19th in a time of 20:21.5.

• The Wildcats women posted a score of 73 points. Freshman Rosie Melville led the way, placing 12th in a time of 16:29.8 over 4,000 meters.

• Junior Zoie Mastin was the other CWU runner in the top 20, placing 18th in a time of 16:58.2.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings snared a pair of seventh-place team finishes at the MSU Cross Country Open on Saturday in Bozeman.

• The MSUB men finished with a total of 185 points, 20 points behind sixth-place Montana Tech. Senior Ase Ackerman led the way, placing 14th in a time of 25:36.1 over 8,000 meters.

• The MSUB scored a total of 197 points, 19 points behind sixth-place Montana Tech. Senior Kailee Stoppel was the Yellowjackets’ top finisher, placing 31st in a time of 18:43 over 5,000 meters.

• Montana State Billings is back in action on Saturday, competing in the MSU Cross Country Classic in Bozeman.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene opened the 2022 season against NAIA competition at the Eastern Oregon Invite on Friday in La Grande.

• The Nighthawks women placed third with a score of 86 points, placing three runners in the top 20. Freshman Morgan Erler led the way, placing 14th with a time of 15:24.96 over 4,000 meters.

• Freshman Keelin Stewart placed 17th in a time of 15:58.27 while sophomore Olivia Klein finished 19th in 16:00.78.

• The NNU men ran four athletes in the meet, finishing with an incomplete team score. Freshman Brody Kemble led the Nighthawks, placing 22nd in a time of 19:50.44 over 6,000 meters.

• Northwest Nazarene returns to action this weekend, competing in the Idaho State Open on Friday in Pocatello.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s opened the 2022 season with a pair of solid performances at the Ash Creek Collegiate on Friday in Monmouth, Oregon.

• The Saints women placed third with a score of 70 points, just nine points behind defending GNAC champion Simon Fraser.

• Sophomore Cassidy Walchak-Sloan was named the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week after she placed fourth in a time of 17:58.9 over 5,000 meters. She was outleaned by Oregon State’s Emily Van Valkenburg for third place (she also finished in 17:58.9) and was the top non-Division I placer in the race.

• Freshman Alauna Carstens opened her career by placing fifth in a time of 18:05.3. Sophomore Sara Sabra placed 11th in a time of 18:24.5.

• The SMU men placed fourth with a score of 115 points. Sophomore Kainalu Pagente led the way, placing 14th in a time of 18:26.7 over 6,000 meters. Junior Isaac Cortes finished 21st in a time of 18:39.

• Saint Martin’s will not compete again until Saturday, Oct. 1, at the John Payne Curtis Invitational in University Place, Washington.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific did not compete last week. The Falcons return to the course on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon.

• Seattle Pacific posted a second-place women’s finish and a third-place men’s finish at the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Sept. 10 in Yakima.

• The Falcons women scored a total of 45 points, placing two runners in the top 10. A week after her win at the Puget Sound Invitational, senior Libby Michael finished fourth to break up a potential top-five sweep for Western Washington. Michael covered the 4,000-meter course in a time of 15:46.2. Freshman Matise Mulch placed sixth in a time of 16:09.8.

• The SPU men placed fourth with a score of 94 points. Sophomore Jon Owen led the Falcons, placing 22nd in a time of 20:32.8 over 6,000 meters. Junior Brennan LeBlanc finished 25th in a time of 20:54.7.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser opened the 2022 season with a men’s team victory and a second-place women’s finish at the Ash Creek Collegiate on Friday in Monmouth, Oregon.

• The Red Leafs men placed all five scoring runners in the top 11 to win with a score of 37 points. Simon Fraser finished one point ahead of Division I Portland.

• Junior Sebastian Brinkman led SFU, placing third in a time of 18:00.5 over 6,000 meters. Sophomore Scott Arndt placed sixth in 18:06.4. Sophomore Henry Ruckman-Uttig was seventh in 18:10.9 while sophomore Aiden Good rounded out the top 10 with his 10th-place finish in 18:16.6.

• The Simon Fraser women placed second with a score of 61 points, 33 points behind Division I Oregon State and nine points ahead of third-place Saint Martin’s.

• All five scoring runners placed in the top 20. Senior Megan Roxby led SFU with her seventh-place finish in a time of 18:18.6 over 5,000 meters. Junior Grace Chalk placed eighth in a time of 18:18.6. Senior Emily Chilton placed 15th in a time of 18:51.7.

• The SFU women retained their No. 9 preseason ranking in the latest USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll released on Sept. 14.

• Simon Fraser returns to action on Saturday, competing in the Bill Roe Classic in Ferndale, Washington.

WESTERN OREGON
• Running on its home course, Western Oregon placed third in the men’s competition and fourth in the women’s competition at Friday’s Ash Creek Collegiate.

• The men placed three runners in the top 20 to finish with a score of 63 points, 52 points ahead of fourth-place Saint Martin’s.

• Junior Hunter Hutton was named the GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week in his season debut, winning the 6,000-meter race in a time of 17:51.2. He was eight seconds ahead of second-place Justin Hazell of Division I Portland and averaged 4:47 per mile.

• Sophomore Emmett Klus finished 17th in a time of 18:33.5 while freshman Logan Parker placed 20th in a time of 18:37.7.

• The WOU women compiled a score of 92 points, 22 points behind third-place Saint Martin’s and 40 points ahead of fifth-place Lewis & Clark.

• Freshman Holly Hutton led the Wolves with a ninth-place finish, covering the 5,000-meter course in a time of 18:21.6. Freshman Riley Smith placed 12th in a time of 18:40.2 and freshman Ali Clifton placed 19th in a time of 19:05.5.

• Western Oregon will not compete again until Friday, Sept. 30 when it hosts the Mike Johnson Classic at the Ash Creek Preserve.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington did not compete last week. The Vikings welcome teams to Ferndale, Washington on Saturday for the Bill Roe Classic.

• Western Washington’s men were perfect and the women were close to perfect as both teams won to open the season at the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Sept. 10 in Yakima.

• The WWU men won with a perfect score of 15 points. Sophomore Jeret Gillingham was the individual winner in a time of 18:50.9 over 6,000 meters.

• Junior Andrew Oslin was second in a time of 18:53.1. Sophomore Kevin McDermott placed third in 19:00, sophomore Jalen Javurek was fourth in 19:14.6 and freshman Jared Alderfer rounded out the top five with a time of 19:24.2.

• The Vikings women just missed a perfect score with four runners in the top five for a winning score of 18 points. Sophomore Sophie Wright earned the victory, covering the 4,000-meter course in 15:23.2.

• Sophomore Meaera Shannon placed second in 15:40.1. Sophomore Mia Crocker placed third in 15:44.2 and freshman Ashley Reeck was fifth in a time of 16:06.8. In all, WWU placed eight runners in the top 10.

• With the win, the WWU men climbed one spot to No. 29 in the latest USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll released on Sept. 14. The women remain ranked at No. 20.

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