It's A Scout Jamboree As Cai Leads Falcons To Day 1 Lead
Cai won her second consecutive title in the pentathlon with 3,610 points and provided SPU with 29 of the team's 59 points. Photo by Loren Orr.
Cai won her second consecutive title in the pentathlon with 3,610 points and provided SPU with 29 of the team's 59 points. Photo by Loren Orr.

Friday, February 16, 2018
by Craig Craker

NAMPA, Idaho – Seattle Pacific sophomore Scout Cai stole the show Friday, winning two events and taking second in a third to lead the way on the first day of the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Jacksons Track.

Cai won her second consecutive pentathlon title, outlasting Central Washington’s HarLee Ortega for the victory. Cai finished with 3,610 points, while Ortega had 3,584 points. It marks the fifth time an SPU athlete has won the pentathlon since the GNAC added the event in 2011. In the process, Cai won the shot put with a throw of 33 feet, 8.5 inches.

Cai wasn’t done there, though, winning the pole vault by clearing 12 feet, 4.75 inches. After that, Cai proceeded to take second in the high jump as she cleared 5 feet, 5 inches.

Her efforts gave the Falcons the lead in the team standings with 59 points. Central Washington is second with 58 and Concordia third with 47. Western Washington is fourth with 41 points, Alaska Anchorage is fifth with 24, Western Oregon sixth at 21, Simon Fraser seventh with 10, Saint Martin’s eighth with nine and Northwest Nazarene ninth with three points.

The meet continues Saturday with the heptathlon kicking off at 9:30 a.m. MST, field events starting at 10 a.m. and running finals at 11:25 a.m.

Central Washington’s Ortega won the 60-meter hurdles (9.1) and the long jump (18-3.75) in the pentathlon to keep pace with Cai, but came up short of the title. Central Washington’s Shaddia Meadows won the pentathlon high jump clearing 5-4.25 and Alaska Anchorage’s Yvonne Jeschke won the 800 in 2:20.35.

Simon Fraser’s distance medley relay team of Paige Nock, Renate Bluschke, Alana Mussatto and Julia Howley just missed the GNAC record winning in a time of 11:37.88 to give the Clan their fourth straight title in the event. 

Other winners on Friday were Western Oregon’s Kennedy Rufener in the 5,000 meters in 17:18.64, Concordia’s Tori Johnson in the high jump at 5-7.25 and Christina MacDonald in the weight throw at 60-0.25, and Western Washington’s Jasmine McMullin in the long jump at 18-9.75. The victory for Johnson was her second, with the first coming in 2016, while MacDonald gave Concordia its third consecutive championship in the weight throw.

Three athletes placed in the top 10 times in GNAC history Friday. Central Washington’s Ali Anderson is now sixth after running a 55.82 in the 400 preliminaries, Seattle Pacific’s Grace Bley is eighth after running 25.07 in the 200 prelims and Alaska Anchorage’s Tamara Perez is ninth after running a 2:08.65 in the 800 prelims.

Seattle Pacific freshman Renick Meyer edged out Simon Fraser’s Meyer Quaynor in the 60-meter preliminaries. Meyer finished in 7.71 seconds, while Quaynor crossed in 7.72.

Central Washington’s Mariyah Vongsaveng had a season-best time in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.60 seconds to finish with the top mark in the prelims.