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For The Second Straight Week, A Perfect Race
Western Washington's men had a gap of just 34 seconds between the top-five finishers in winning the CWU Apple Ridge Run.
Western Washington's men had a gap of just 34 seconds between the top-five finishers in winning the CWU Apple Ridge Run.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

ANOTHER PERFECT WEEK: For the second week in a row, a GNAC team opened the 2022 season by posting a perfect team score. And it was almost three.

Western Washington opened the year by posting 15 points in the men’s team competition at the CWU Apple Ridge Run in Yakima on Saturday. The Vikings, as usual, grouped well with all five scoring runners crossing the line within 34 seconds of each other.

Sophomore Jaret Gillingham was solid in his season debut, earning GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors for his victory. Gillingham covered the 6,000-meter course in a time of 18:50.9.

The WWU women were one place away from a perfect score, sweeping the top three and earning a fifth-place finish to win with a score of 18 points. The Vikings placed eight runners in the top 10, broken up only by two Seattle Pacific runners.

Sophomore Sophie Wright provided the Vikings a clean sweep of the weekly awards, taking the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week award after she won with a time of 15:23.2 over 4,000 meters.

The perfect score for the WWU men came a week after the Seattle Pacific women pulled off a perfect 15 at the Puget Sound Invitational on Sept. 3.

ANOTHER ASE: For the second year in a row, Montana State Billings senior Ase Ackerman opened the season as a winner.

Ackerman won the season-opening Gage McSpadden Memorial for the second year in a row, covering the 6,000-meter course in a time of 18:52.2. He was a winner by five seconds over Black Hills State’s Matt Parker.

Ackerman led Montana State Billings to a fourth-place team finish with a score of 76 points.

MORE SEASON OPENERS: The three remaining GNAC teams to start the 2022 cross country season will take to the course for the first time this weekend.

After seeing the CSI Invite scrubbed over Labor Day Weekend due to extreme heat, Northwest Nazarene opens the season on Friday at the Eastern Oregon Invite in Island City, near La Grande. Saint Martin’s and Simon Fraser open the season on Friday at the Ash Creek Collegiate in Monmouth, Oregon.

2022 GNAC RACE WINNERS
MEN
Coleman Nash, UAA (UAF Blue/Gold Race, Aug. 27, 27;17, 8,000m)
Coleman Nash, UAA (Seawolf Throwdown, Sept. 3, 25:22, 8,000m)
Jeret Gillingham, WWU (CWU Apple Ridge Run, Sept. 10, 18:50.9, 6,000m)
Ase Ackerman, MSUB (Gage McSpadden Memorial, Sept. 10, 18:52.2, 6,000m)

WOMEN
Kendall Kramer, UAF (UAF Blue/Gold Race, Aug. 27, 18:28, 5,000m)
Riley Smith, WOU (Linfield Harrier Classic, Sept. 2, 15:10.5, 4,000m)
Kendall Kramer, UAF (Seawolf Throwdown, Sept. 3, 22:17, 6,000m)
Libby Michael, SPU (Puget Sound Invitational, Sept. 3, 18:58, 5,000m)
Sophie Wright, WWU (CWU Apple Ridge, Sept. 10, 15:23.2, 4,000m)

THIS WEEK'S GNAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
MEN
Jeret Gillingham, Western Washington
Sophomore • Sandy, Ore.

Gillingham was a winner in his season debut, capturing the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Saturday with a time of 18:50.9 over 6,000-plus meters. He was three seconds ahead of teammate Andrew Oslin for the victory and helped lead the Vikings to the team title with a perfect score of 15 points.

Also Nominated: Ase Ackerman (Montana State Billings).

WOMEN
Sophie Wright, Western Washington
Sophomore • Palmer, Alaska

Wright was the winner of the women’s 4,000-meter race at the CWU Apple Ridge Run, posting a time of 15:23.2 for her first collegiate race victory. She was 17 seconds ahead of teammate Meara Shannon as the Vikings won the team title with a score of 18 points.

Also Nominated: Kailee Stoppel (Montana State Billings).

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.

• Dueling Alaska Anchorage for the second week in a row, 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 UAA. 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 does not race again until the Bill Roe Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24, 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 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 Saturday 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.

• Central Washington does not race again until Saturday, Sept. 24, taking part in the Bill Roe Classic in Ferndale, Washington.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings opened the season with a third-place women’s finish and a fourth-place men’s finish at the Gage McSpadden Memorial on Saturday in Spearfish, South Dakota.

• Senior Ase Ackerman won the meet for the second year in a row, covering the men’s 6,000-meter course in a time of 18:52.2. It was Ackerman’s second all-time victory at MSUB.

• Senior Logan Straus followed up with an 11th-place finish in a time of 19:43.1. Freshman Wyatt May was in the top 20 in his MSUB debut, placing 15th in a time of 20:06.

• The MSUB women was a solid third with 66 points. Senior Kailee Stoppel led the way, placing fourth as she covered the 4,000-meter course in 20:12.2.

• The Yellowjackets placed all five women’s runners in the top 20. Senior Ally Whitmer placed 11th in 21:14.6 while freshman Kaylee Dalling was 14th in a time of 21:27.5.

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

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene’s scheduled opening meet for the 2022 season, the CSI Invite in Twin Falls, Idaho last Friday, was canceled due to extreme heat.

• With the cancellation, the Nighthawks will open 2022 on Friday at the Eastern Oregon Invite in Island City, Oregon.

• Both the Nighthawks’ men and women are picked eighth in the GNAC Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s opens its 2022 season on Friday at the Ash Creek Invitational in Monmouth, Oregon.

• The Saints’ women are picked to finish sixth in the GNAC Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll. The men are picked to finish seventh.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific posted a second-place women’s finish and a third-place men’s finish at the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Saturday 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.

• Rounding out the score five was senior Vanessa Aniteye in 11th in 16:26, sophomore Nicki Yorges in 13th in 16:35.3 and freshman Katelyn Frolo in 14th in 16:36.6.

• 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.

• The Falcons will race for the third time in as many weeks on Saturday at the PLU Invitational in Tacoma.

SIMON FRASER
• The defending GNAC men’s and women’s champions, Simon Fraser starts the season on Friday at the Ash Creek Collegiate in Monmouth, Oregon.

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

• Both the Simon Fraser men and women are picked to repeat as champions in the GNAC Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon did not race last week. The Wolves will host the Ash Creek Collegiate on Friday in Monmouth, the first full race for the men’s and women’s squads.

• A limited lineup of freshman women made their mark on Sept. 2 as Western Oregon opened the season at the Linfield Harrier Classic in McMinnville, Oregon.

Riley White led the top-three sweep, covering the 4,000-meter course in a time of 15:10.5. Holly Hutton was second in 15:13.9 while Ali Clifton was third in 15:49.4.

• The three WOU runners finished 13 seconds ahead of fourth-place Jennifer Torres-Bermudez of Linfield.

• The WOU men are ranked ninth in the USTFCCCA West Region Preseason Coaches Poll.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington’s men were perfect and the women were close to perfect as both teams won the CWU Apple Ridge Run on Saturday in Yakima.

• The WWU men won with a perfect score of 15 points. Sophomore Jeret Gillingham was named the GNAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week after he won 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 was named the GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week for her 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 this week’s USTFCCCA Division II Coaches Poll. The women remain ranked at No. 20.

• Western Washington does not race again until Saturday, Sept., 24, when it hosts the Bill Roe Classic in Ferndale, Washington.

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