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Cavs Win Indoor Title For Team Of The Week Honors
The Cavaliers collected some much-needed points late in the meet to fend off three-time defending champion Seattle Pacific.
The Cavaliers collected some much-needed points late in the meet to fend off three-time defending champion Seattle Pacific.
Paige Johnson picked up individual wins in the 60 meters, 60-meter hurdles and high jump.
Paige Johnson picked up individual wins in the 60 meters, 60-meter hurdles and high jump.

Monday, February 24, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Concordia women’s track and field team claimed its first-ever team title in the Cavaliers’ final appearance at the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Northwest Nazarene at the Jackson’s Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho. For their performance, the Cavs were selected as the GNAC Team of the Week.

Concordia claimed the title with 128.33 points, edging out three-time defending champion Seattle Pacific (121 points). In doing so, the Cavs set two meet records and a conference record while also earning the Performance of the Meet award.

“It is pretty cool, the way this team has rallied around each other the last couple of weeks,” head coach Jerret Mantalas said. “They have started to fight for the idea of competing as a team and it is really fun to see that come to fruition. This group has battled through a lot over the last little bit of time.”

Junior Paige Johnson racked up 35 points for Concordia, winning the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.55 seconds before winning the 60 meters in 7.52 seconds, eclipsing both the meet and the conference records previously set by Alaska Anchorage’s Jamie Ashcroft in 2017. Johnson’s record-breaking performance earned her the Women’s Performance of the Meet award.

Johnson also won the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 5.75 inches and ran the third leg in the Cavs’ 4x400-meter relay squad that finished in fourth place and sealed the team victory for the Cavs. Her 35 points are the second most earned in meet history.

“That was unbelievable. What she did at this conference championships is nothing short of remarkable,” Mantalas said. “She’s an incredible talent and we have seen that throughout the season.”

Senior Kori Sprague defended her title in the weight throw with a personal-best mark of 61 feet, 3 inches, surpassing the previous meet record of 60 feet, 0.25 inches, set by the Cavs’ Christina MacDonald in 2018. The second-place mark in the weight throw was 56 feet, 6 inches.

“Kori getting the win and breaking the meet record is awesome and that helped set us up for a good meet,” Mantalas said.

The Cavs placed four athletes in the top-eight in the weight throw. Freshman Montse Montanes placed fourth with a mark of 53-2.25 while sophomore Sasha Korolenko finished in fifth at 52-9.25. Sophomore Sarah Fajer placed seventh at 49-7.75 to round out the Cavs’ 21 points in the event.

Senior Katrina Linenko gave Concordia some much-needed points toward the end of the meet as she won the shot put with a mark of 46 feet, 2.75 inches. Her individual victory couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as it put the Cavs ahead of Seattle Pacific in the team race going into the 4x400-meter relay.

Senior Amelia Maguin collected 12 points for the Cavs, placing second in the 400 meters with a time of 57.12 seconds while also anchoring the 4x400-meter relay. Her time of 57.43 seconds was the top qualifying time in Friday’s prelims.

The Concordia men also had a well-earned sendoff at the meet, finishing in second place behind Western Washington with 87 points.

“We talked about the idea that we are bringing two teams that can compete at the top end of this conference and not many schools can do that” Mantalas said. “That is a testament to this group. Combined, we were the best program in the conference, and to do that with everything they’ve been through is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Concordia awaits the selections for the NCAA Division II National Championships, hosted at the Birmingham Crossplex in Alabama on March 13-14. Up next for the Cavs is the Seattle Pacific Final Qualifier on Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor Center in Seattle.

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