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Nading, McCormick Claim Indoor Track National Titles
Dustin Nading (left) won the men's mile in 4:13.30 while Danielle McCormick won the women's mile in 2:07.79.
Dustin Nading (left) won the men's mile in 4:13.30 while Danielle McCormick won the women's mile in 2:07.79.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The biggest beneficiary of David Ribich not running the mile at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships? His teammate, Dustin Nading.

The junior gave Western Oregon its second national title of the meet in the men’s mile while Alaska Anchorage’s Danielle McCormick won the women’s 800 meters to lead the GNAC’s performances in the national meet, which concluded Saturday at the Plaster Center.

Nading benefitted from a strategically-run in the final, pulling away over the final lap to win with a time of 4:13.30. He just edged out Brett Meyer for Fort Hays State, who crossed second in 4:13.66, and George Kelly of Adams State, who was third in 4:13.71.

McCormick, meanwhile, held strong in a talented field in the women’s 800 meters to win her first national title as she won in a time of 2:07.79. She also pulled away over the final 300 meters to put almost a half-second on Rachael Walters of Grand Valley State, who finished in 2:08.13.

The two national title performances capped a day that saw 11 GNAC athletes earn First Team All-American trophies. Nading’s performance, coupled with Friday’s title defense in the distance medley relay and Ribich’s third-place finish in the 3,000 meters, allowed Western Oregon to tie for sixth in the team competition with Grand Valley State with a total of 26 points to lead all GNAC teams. Alaska Anchorage was the top scoring women’s team, tying for 17th with 10 points.

Ribich, the Division II record-holder in the event, ran much of the race behind Tiffin’s James Ngandu, who tried the win the race by running up front wire-to-wire. Ribich made his move with 300 meters to go, taking the chase pack with him. In the end, Adams State’s Sydney Gidabuday edged ahead at the finish to win in 8:01.26. Harding’s Nehemia Too was second in 8:01.34 while Ribich crossed third in 8:01.55.

The multi-events yielded three All-America trophies for the conference. Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis finished third in the heptathlon with a score of 5,508 points that ties him for No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time List.

Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai finished fifth in the pentathlon with a score of 3,790 points, moving her to No. 3 on the GNAC All-Time List. Central Washington’s HarLee Ortega placed eighth with a score of 3,702 points which improved her to No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time List. The Wildcats’ Ali Anderson finished 11th with a score of 3,610 points.

Western Washington’s Jasmine McMullin earned an All-American trophy with her fourth-place finish in the women’s triple jump, going 41 feet, 1.5 inches on her final jump of the competition. Concordia’s Christina MacDonald, meanwhile, earned her second trophy as she finished seventh in the women’s shot put with a mark of 49 feet, 10 inches.

McCormick was joined on the podium in the women’s 800 by Western Oregon’s Olivia Woods, who placed sixth with a time of 2:11.24. The Wolves’ Suzie Van De Grift finished seventh in the women’s mile in 4:50.75 while Anderson placed eighth in the women’s 400 meters in 56.02 seconds.

In the women’s 3,000 meters, Simon Fraser’s Reta Dobie placed 10th in 9:41.24. Western Oregon’s Kennedy Rufener placed 11th in 9:41.54 and the Clan’s Julia Howley was 12th in 9:42.12.

Concordia’s Josh Koch added to Concordia’s first Division II indoor championship as he placed 11th in the men’s shot put with a mark of 57 feet, 2 inches.

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