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Wildcats Take Double Sweep In Player Of Week Awards
Central Washington's Kodiak Landis (left) set the CWU record in the decathlon while HarLee Ortega set the school record in the heptathlon. Photos by Loren Orr.
Central Washington's Kodiak Landis (left) set the CWU record in the decathlon while HarLee Ortega set the school record in the heptathlon. Photos by Loren Orr.

Monday, March 26, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – With solid performances on the softball diamond and in the track and field multi-events, Central Washington succeeded in a sweep of two sets of GNAC Player of the Week awards.

The Wildcats took both of the Field Athlete of the Week awards with a pair of school-record efforts at the Sam Adams Classic in Spokane. Senior Kodiak Landis earned the men’s award after winning the decathlon with a school-record score of 7,098 points. The NCAA Championships provisional qualifying score leads Division II this season and ranks him No. 3 on the GNAC All-Time List. Landis won four of the 10 events, including the 400 meters in a GNAC-leading time of 49.29 seconds.

Senior HarLee Ortega earned the women’s award for her victory in the heptathlon with a school-record score of 4,875 points. Also a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships, the score is fourth best in Division II this season. Ortega won two of the discipline’s seven events, which included a GNAC-leading leap of 18 feet, 5.25 inches, in the long jump.

Central Washington swept the softball honors after going 5-1 at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif. Lexie Strasser was named Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week after she went 4-1 with a 0.28 earned run average. In 24.2 innings, Strasser allowed five runs, one earned, on nine hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts. Her week was capped by a complete-game four-hitter that beat No. 13 Sonoma State on Sunday, 1-0. Strasser was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Taelor Griffin earned Softball Player of the Week honors after she led the Wildcats with a .500 batting average, going 7 for 14 with three runs and seven RBIs. She had five of those RBIs in the Wildcats’ 10-1 win over Friday over Cal State Dominguez Hills as she went 2 for 3 with a three-run homer. Griffin also had two-hit performances against Notre Dame de Namur on Saturday and against Sonoma State.

Central Washington also had the Baseball Player of the Week in James Smith III, who batted .529 with nine hits, seven runs and nine RBIs to lead the Wildcats to three wins over Saint Martin’s. He had multi-hit performances in three games, which included going 2 for 4 with five RBIs and a three-run homer in Saturday’s opener. Smith also went 4 for 4 in Saturday’s second game and 3 for 5 in Sunday’s opener.

Western Oregon’s Craig Grubbe was named the Baseball Pitcher of the Week after he went the distance on Sunday to beat Concordia, 2-0. In seven innings, Grubbe allowed just one hit and walked two while striking out seven. He faced just five batters over the minimum.

Concordia’s Carlos Ortiz was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Week after he set a school record in the 100 meters at the Willamette Invitational. His winning time of 10.62 seconds is No. 7 on the GNAC All-Time List and just missed the provisional qualifying mark of 10.59 seconds for the NCAA Championships.

Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Week after she won the 1,500 meters at the Willamette Invitational. Her time of 4:26.16 is the second-fastest time in UAA history and is No. 10 on the GNAC All-Time List. An NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, Kurgat has the second-fastest time in Division II this season.

Simon Fraser swept this week’s golf awards. Chris Crisologo and Scott Kerr shared the Men’s Golf Player of the Week award after both players carded three-round scores of five-over-par 211 to finish in a tie for fifth place at the Lancer Joust. Estee Leung was named the Women’s Golf Player of the Week after she led the conference with a round of 76 in the rain-shortened Otter Invitational.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 30
BASEBALL PLAYER
James Smith III
(Central Washington, OF, 6-1, Sr., Riverside, Calif. – Fullerton JC): Smith led the Wildcats to a 3-1 weekend over Saint Martin’s with a .529 batting average with nine hits, seven runs, nine RBIs, one double and a home run. He went 2 for 4 and had five RBIs in the season-opener on Saturday, which included a two-RBI single to right and a three-run homer. Smith then went 4 for 4 and scored two runs in the nightcap, a 10-4 victory. He then opened Sunday’s twinbill by going 3 for 5 with three RBIs and a double in an 11-1 victory. Also Nominated: Matt Dillon (Montana State Billings), Jacob Martinez (Western Oregon).

BASEBALL PITCHER
Craig Grubbe
(Western Oregon, P, 6-1, Sr., San Diego, Calif. – Grossmont JC): Grubbe threw a complete-game one-hitter to earn his second win of the season, a 2-0 shutout of Concordia in Portland. He walked two and struck out seven in the seven-inning tilt and faced just five batters over the minimum. Also Nominated: Mackenzie Gaul (Central Washington), Isaac Mitchum (Concordia), Adam Cox (Concordia).

SOFTBALL PLAYER
Taelor Griffin
(Central Washington, IF, 5-7, Sr., Ellensburg, Wash. - Ellensburg): Griffin batted .500 for the Wildcats at the Tournament of Champions, going 7 for 14 with three runs and seven RBIs. She went 2 for 3 with two runs and five RBIs, three of which came on a three-run homer, in the Wildcats’ 10-1 win over Cal State Dominguez Hills. Griffin went 2 for 4 and had an RBI single in Saturday’s 9-1 win over Notre Dame de Namur and went 2 for 2 for in Sunday’s 1-0 win over No. 13 Sonoma State. Also Nominated: Jordan Smith-Ines (Concordia), Heather Tracy (Montana State Billings), Lindsay Miller (Saint Martin’s), Ryanne Huffman (Western Oregon), Sam Silver (Western Washington).

SOFTBALL PITCHER
Lexie Strasser
(Central Washington, P, 6-2, Fr., Chehalis, Wash. – W.F. West): Strasser earns the award for the second straight week after she went 4-1 and amassed a 0.28 earned run average in five appearances at the Tournament of Champions. She allowed five runs, one earned, on nine hits and one walk while striking out 11 and limited opposing batters to a .102 average. Strasser threw a complete-game four-hitter on Sunday to beat No. 13 Sonoma State 1-0. She allowed one hit in Saturday’s 9-1 rout of Notre Dame de Namur and carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning of the Wildcats’ lone loss, a 2-0 defeat to Concordia-Irvine. Also Nominated: Mckenzie Smith (Concordia), Lauren Maley (Saint Martin’s), Lizzet Dominguez (Western Oregon), Kira Doan (Western Washington).

MEN’S TRACK
Carlos Ortiz
(Concordia, Sr., Salem, Ore. – North Salem): Ortiz won the 100 meters at the Willamette Invitational in a school-record and GNAC-leading time of 10.62 seconds. The performance just missed the provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships (10.59 seconds) and ranks No. 7 on the GNAC All-Time List. Also Nominated: Jackson Hand (Saint Martin’s), Parker Marson (Western Oregon).

MEN’S FIELD
Kodiak Landis
(Central Washington, Sr., Snohomish, Wash. – Everett CC): Landis won the decathlon at the Sam Adams Classic with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying and Division II leading score of 7,098 points. The performance broke the CWU school record and is No. 3 on the GNAC All-Time List. Landis won four of the 10 events, the shot put (41-8), the long jump (22-0.25), the pole vault (15-5.75) and the 400 meters. His time of 49.29 seconds in the 400 leads the GNAC this season. Also Nominated: Brandon Nicholson (Alaska Anchorage), Jacob Slate (Concordia), Kauanoe Vanderpoel (Saint Martin’s), Chris Steffey (Western Oregon), Tupre Wickliff (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Caroline Kurgat
(Alaska Anchorage, Sr., Eldoret, Kenya – Kapkenda) Making her first appearance on the track this season, indoor or outdoors, Kurgat won the 1,500 meters at the Willamette Invitational with a time of 4:26.16. The performance is the second-fastest in UAA history and moves her into No. 10 on the GNAC All-Time List. An NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, Kurgat’s performance is the second-best in Division II this season. Also Nominated: Ariya Kendrick (Saint Martin’s), Renick Meyer (Seattle Pacific), Grayson Burke (Western Oregon), Sophia Galvez (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S FIELD
HarLee Ortega
(Central Washington, Sr., Payette, Idaho - Payette) Ortega won the heptathlon at the Sam Adams Classic with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying score of 4,875 points. The performance is a school record and ranks fourth in Division II this season. Ortega won the long jump with a GNAC-best mark of 18 feet, 5.25 inches, and the high jump at 5 feet, 2.25 inches. Also Nominated: Christina MacDonald (Concordia), Ashleigh Fraser (Saint Martin’s), Darian Wilson (Western Oregon), Anna Paradee (Western Washington).

MEN’S GOLF
Chris Crisologo
(Simon Fraser, Sr., Richmond, B.C. – Vancouver Coll.) and Scott Kerr (Simon Fraser, So., Vancouver, B.C. – Kitsilano): The two Simon Fraser golfers tied for fifth place at the Lancer Joust (The Battle At Goose Creek) with three-round scores of one-over-par 211. The duo led the Clan to a third-place team finish. Crisologo carded a low round of 1-under-par 69 in the second round while Kerr carded his round of 69 in the final round.

WOMEN’S GOLF
Estee Leung
(Simon Fraser, Fr., Richmond, B.C. – South Island School): Leung had the GNAC’s lowest round at the rain-shortened Otter Invitational, carding a score of five-over-par 76 to finish in a time for 24th place. Also Nominated: Bailee Dexter (Montana State Billings).

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