Dannatt, Bailey Claim West Region XC Individual Titles
Dannatt (left) outdueled Alaska Anchorage's Coleman Nash for the men's title while Naomi Bailey was a five-second winner over teammate Kendall Kramer in the women's race. Photos by Shi Robison.
Dannatt (left) outdueled Alaska Anchorage's Coleman Nash for the men's title while Naomi Bailey was a five-second winner over teammate Kendall Kramer in the women's race. Photos by Shi Robison.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

BILLINGS, Mont. – It was a cold morning for racing, but it did not stop the conference’s runners from blazing a red-hot trail as two GNAC runners earned the individual titles at the NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships at Amend Park.

Simon Fraser sophomore Charlie Dannatt outdueled Alaska Anchorage sophomore and GNAC champion Coleman Nash for the men’s title. The two runners never lost contact with each other over the 10,000-meter course before Dannatt pulled ahead over the final kilometer to win in a time of 30:07.49. Nash was second in a time of 30:10.54.

Alaska sophomore Naomi Bailey added another trophy to the impressive renaissance of the Nanooks’ program, coming clear of the field over the final third of the 6,000-meter women’s race to win the individual title in a time of 20:53.08.

Based on their finishes, Dannatt, Nash and Bailey have all earned invitations to the Division II Cross Country Championships, which will take place on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Chambers Creek Golf Course in University Place, Washington.

Bailey will be joined by her two sophomore Alaska teammates who also earned automatic championships invitations. Kendall Kramer, the 2022 GNAC champion, placed second in a time of 20:58.47 while Rosie Fordham placed fourth in a time of 21:06.17.

Dannatt becomes the ninth men’s runner in GNAC runner to win the West Region championship and the first from Simon Fraser. The conference’s last individual champion was Western Oregon’s David Ribich in 2018.

Bailey is the 14th women’s individual champion in GNAC history and the first ever for Alaska. The conference’s last individual champ was Alaska Anchorage’s Emmah Chelimo in 2019.

The Western Washington men’s team also earned an automatic invitation to the championship meet with a second-place finish, compiling a score of 82 points. In typical fashion, the Vikings grouped well with all five scoring runners finishing with a gap of 36 seconds and just six seconds behind the top four runners.

The second-place finish is the best for Western Washington since 2009 and is the program’s sixth top-three finish in the GNAC era.

Sophomore Jeret Gillingham led the Vikings, finishing 11th in a time of 30:33.49. Junior Andrew Oslin placed 14th in 30:36.88 with sophomore Ryan Clough finishing 16th in 30:38.28 and sophomore George Karamitsos placing 18th in 30:39.90. All four athletes earned All-West Region honors based on their top-25 finishes.

The Vikings also had the top-placing GNAC women’s team, finishing sixth with a score of 220 points. Alaska placed seventh with 221 points while Simon Fraser was ninth with 241 points and Saint Martin’s 10th with 248 points.

Saint Martin’s freshman Alauna Carstens added a top-10 finish for the GNAC in the women’s race, placing seventh in a time of 21:25.46. The No. 4 finisher in the race that was not part of a top-three team, behind the three UAF runners, Carstens will wait until Monday to see if she is among the at-large selections to the national meet.

Four other GNAC women earned All-West Region honors. Western Oregon senior Caitlin Heldt placed 12th in 21:33.92 while Simon Fraser junior Grace Chalk placed 13th in 21:37.88. Saint Martin’s sophomore Cassidy Walchak-Sloan finished 15th in 21:40.12 and Western Washington sophomore Mia Crocker placed 22nd in 21:46.67.

Simon Fraser placed fourth in the men’s team standings with 126 points. Alaska Anchorage was eighth with a score of 235 points.

Eight GNAC men earned All-West Region distinction. Alaska Anchorage junior Michael Zapherson finished seventh in 30:31.12 and Simon Fraser junior Sebastian Brinkman placed 12th in 30:35.69.

Chico State claimed the men’s team title with 48 points while Azusa Pacific placed third with 111 points. Stanislaus State won the women’s team championship with 91 points. Chico State was second with 93 points and Biola placed third with 114 points. The top three teams in each race earned automatic qualifying berths to the Division II Championships along with the top two individuals who are not part of a qualifying team and all individuals in the top five who are not part of a qualifying team.

at Amend Park, Billings, Montana
Men’s Team Scores:
Chico State 48, Western Washington 82, Azusa Pacific 111, Simon Fraser 126, Cal Poly Pomona 127, Biola 147, Alaska Anchorage 235, Fresno Pacific 236, Cal State San Marcos 295, Concordia 298, San Francisco St. 345, Cal Poly Humboldt 347, Western Oregon 371, Stanislaus State 374, Saint Martin’s 396, Montana State Billings 396 (SMU wins tiebreaker 3-2), Cal State East Bay 397, Cal St. Monterey Bay 449, Central Washington 529, Academy of Art 561, Seattle Pacific 576. Incomplete: Alaska, Dominican (Calif.), Hawaii Pacific, Holy Names, Northwest Nazarene.

Top 5 Finishers: 1, Charlie Dannatt, SFU, 30:07.49. 2, Coleman Nash, UAA, 30:10.34. 3, Rory Abberton, Chico State, 30:14.63. 4, Benjamin White, BU, 30:20.69. 5, Bryan Banuelos, FPU, 30:26.89.

Other Top 25 GNAC Finishers (All-West Region): 7, Michael Zapherson, UAA, 30:31.12. 11, Jeret Gillingham, WWU, 30:33.49. 12, Sebastian Brinkman, SFU, 30:35.69. 14, Andrew Oslin, WWU, 30:36.88. 16, Ryan Clough, WWU, 30:38.29. 18, George Karamitsos, WWU, 30:39.9.

Women’s Team Scores:  Stanislaus State 91, Chico State 93, Biola 114, Cal Poly Pomona 191, Azusa Pacific 198, Western Washington 220, Alaska 221, Cal St. East Bay 231, Simon Fraser 241, Saint Martin’s 248, Concordia 283, Fresno Pacific 309, Cal St. San Marcos 369, Cal Poly Humboldt 425, Academy of Art 436, Cal St. Monterey Bay 439, Point Loma 463, Sonoma State 466, Seattle Pacific 494, Cal St. San Bernardino 498, Alaska Anchorage 566, Montana State Billings 600, San Francisco St. 646, Central Washington 755. Incomplete: Northwest Nazarene.

Top 5 Finishers: 1, Naomi Bailey, UAF, 20:53.08. 2, Kendall Kramer, UAF, 20:58.47. 3, Marissa D’Atri, CSUC, 21:05.36. 4, Rosie Fordham, UAF, 21:06.17. 5, Kaela Dishion, CSUS, 21:13.81.

Other Top 25 GNAC Finishers (All-West Region): 7, Alauna Carstens, SMU, 21:25.46. 12, Caitlin Heldt, WOU, 21:33.92. 13, Grace Chalk, SFU, 21:37.88. 15, Cassidy Walchak-Sloan, SMU, 21:40.12. 22, Mia Crocker, WWU, 21:46.67.