Track & Field Athletes Head Up Athlete of Week Honorees
Cody Warner (right) won three events Saturday at the Willamette Opener (Photo by Neil Gravatt)
Cody Warner (right) won three events Saturday at the Willamette Opener (Photo by Neil Gravatt)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. –  The GNAC has always been one of the dominate conferences in NCAA Division II in the javelin.  This spring doesn't appear to be any different.

On the opening weekend of the outdoor season Saturday, five GNAC men and two women posted national qualifying marks in the event.  Two of them emerged as national leaders with NCAA automatic qualifying marks – Alaska Anchorage’s  Franz Burghagen (224-10) and Western Washington’s Katie Reichert (159-2).

Meanwhile Western Oregon's Cody Warner had an impressive first outdoor outing, winning three events and posting two GNAC All-Time Top 10 sprints times.  

The three track-and-field athletes all earned GNAC Athlete of the Week honors.  They are among nine athletes honored for their performances for the Week of March 2-8.

Following is a recap of those performances along with a listing of athletes earning honorable mention honors:

Men’s Track and Field:  Track – Cody Warner, Western Oregon (Fr., Springfield, OR – Thurston) had two of the best sprint times in GNAC history in sweeping the 100 and 200 meters at the Willamette Opener.  His time of 10.68 in the 100 equaled the sixth best in GNAC history.  He won the 200 meters in the seventh best time in GNAC history, running 21.51.  He also won the long jump with a leap of 21-0 ¾.  Field – Franz Burghagen, Alaska Anchorage (Sr., Berlin, Germany) grabbed the early NCAA Division II national lead in the javelin with an automatic national qualifying mark of 224-10.  He was one of five GNAC javelin throwers to post national qualifying marks Saturday at various venues.

Honorable Mention: Justin Larson, Western Oregon (Jr., Dayville, OR); Travis Milbrandt, Western Washington (Jr., Longview, WA – Mark Morris).

Women’s Track and Field:  Track – Haley O’Connor, Western Washington (Sr., Sammamish, WA - Eastlake) won the 1500 meters at the UPS Five-Way meet with a meet record time of 4:37.26, the best opening time of the season in the conference.  Field – Katie Reichert, Western Washington (Sr., Longview, WA – Kelso) took the national lead in the javelin with an automatic qualifying mark of 159-2.  Last spring, she finished second in that event at nationals with a throw of 165-2, just one inch back of teammate Bethany Drake, who is redshirting this spring.

Honorable Mention:  Stephanie Stuckey, Western Oregon (Jr., Tacoma, WA - Wilson); Amanda Short, Western Oregon (Jr., Lebanon, OR).

Baseball: Player – Garret Harpole, Western Oregon (3B, 6-1, Sr., Elmira, OR), drove in eight runs, seven on Sunday as the Wolves won three of four games with pre-season conference favorite Central Washington. Harpole went 7-of-14 (.500) on the weekend with two doubles and a triple. In Sunday's doubleheader alone the senior went 5-of-7, scoring four runs and driving in seven. Pitcher – Colben McGuire, Northwest Nazarene (RHP, 6-0, Sr., Idaho Falls, ID), pitched a two-hitter against Saint Martin’s Saturday to pick up his third win of the season. In his nine-innings pitched, McGuire struck out a season-high 11 batters while allowing just one run to cross the plate. Both of the hits the senior allowed were singles.

Honorable Mention - Kasey Bielec, Central Washington (1B-3B, 5-11, Sr., Port Orchard, WA); Zach Johnson, Central Washington (LHP, 6-0, Jr., Kirkland, WA); Brody Miller, Montana State Billings (2B, 5-8, Sr., Missoula, MT); Brady Muller, Montana State Billings (LHP, 6-1, Sr., Billings, MT); Kaleb DeHaas, Northwest Nazarene (C-3B, 6-0, Sr., Coeur d’Alene, ID); Ryan Dorney, Saint Martin’s (RHP, Fr., Bothell, WA); Chandler Tracy, Saint Martin’s (C, Sr., Bellevue, WA); Jesse Pratt, Western Oregon (RHP, 6-5, Sr., Monmouth, OR).

Softball: Player – Amanda Evola, Western Oregon (CF, 5-7, Sr., Beaverton, OR - Westview), had nine hits in 15 at bats, including two doubles and two home runs to lead the Wolves to a four-game sweep against Northwest Nazarene during which it outscored the Crusaders 31-8.  Evola also drove in six runs in raising her career batting average to .399.  That ranks sixth in GNAC history.  Only four players in conference history have finished their careers with a .400 average.  She currently ranks sixth in career hits with 234 and fourth in RBI with 152.  Pitcher – Makinlee Sellevold, Western Washington (5-4, Fr., Everett, WA - Cascade) posted a 4-0 record - improving her record to 8-1 -  as the Vikings began their conference season winning four of six contests.  Among the victories was a 5-0 shutout of Central Washington Sunday.  In 32 1/3 innings, she allowed just eight runs, seven earned. She gave up 30 hits and walked 13, but only 18.6 percent of the runners who reached on a hit or walk ended up scoring.

Honorable Mention – Aubrey Conceicao, MSU Billings (2B, 5-3, Sr., Temecula, CA – Great Oaks); Ashley Pesek, Northwest Nazarene (P, 5-9, So., Redmond, OR); Megan Miller, Saint Martin’s (3B, 5-3, Jr., Everett, WA – Cascade); Sam Munger, Saint Martin’s (P-SS, 5-6, Sr., Everett, WA – Cascade); Alyson Boytz, Western Oregon (P, 5-9, Jr., Noti, OR);  Alicia Fine, Western Washington (SS, 5-6, Sr., Mount Vernon, WA).

Women’s Golf  -  Jennifer Liedes, Saint Martin’s (Jr., Olympia, Wash.) had the top score by a GNAC golfer in the Cal State East Bay Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo, Calif.  Liedes led Saint Martin’s  with a two-round total 156 to finish 19th out of 83 golfers.  She shot a 76 in the first round and 80 in round two. As a team, the Saints finished 11th with a two-round score 657, just three shots back of 10th place Simon Fraser.

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