Four Individual Crowns Lead Concordia To Men's Team Title
Concordia's total of 114 points was six points better than defending three-time champion Alaska Anchorage. Photo by Loren Orr.
Concordia's total of 114 points was six points better than defending three-time champion Alaska Anchorage. Photo by Loren Orr.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

NAMPA, Idaho – A pair of championships in the sprints by Carlos Ortiz, along with victories by James Phillips in the hurdles and Josh Koch in the shot put, gave Concordia its first men’s conference championship as they won the GNAC Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday at the Jacksons Track.

In its first season as a full NCAA Division II member, the Cavaliers parlayed the four individual titles into a team title as they finished with a score of 114 points to finish six points of three-time champion Alaska Anchorage.

Ortiz led the way with his two titles for the Cavaliers. The senior opened his Saturday with the title in the 60 meters with a time of 6.85 seconds. He later laid claim to the meet record in the 200 meters as he pulled out the close victory over Alaska Anchorage’s Darrion Gray with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time of 21.56 seconds.

Phillips emerged in a very close race in the 60-meter hurdles, winning with a time of 8.30 seconds while Northwest Nazarene freshman Elijah Castro was second with a time of 8.32 seconds. In all, the top-five finishers were divided by nine-thousandths of a second. In addition, Phillips placed second in the heptathlon with a score of 4,981 points. Koch, meanwhile, won his second title in three years in the shot put by just under two feet with a mark of 55 feet, 4.25 inches.

Alaska Anchorage was second with 108 points while Western Oregon placed third with 91 points. The Wolves were followed by Northwest Nazarene (84 points), Western Washington (76.5 points), Central Washington (64.5 points), Simon Fraser (56 points), Montana State Billings (39.5 points), Saint Martin’s (17.5 points) and Seattle Pacific (7 points).

The Wolves’ David Ribich was named the Track Athlete of the Meet after he won both the mile and the 800 meters. The Division II leader in the mile coasted to the victory with a time of 4:11.08. He led a pack of five WOU athletes in the top-eight in the event. Ribich later won the 800 meters in a meet record time of 1:50.83 that was recognized as the Men’s Performance of the Meet.

Alaska Anchorage’s Chris Brake was selected by coaches as the Field Athlete of the Meet after he placed in the top-three in three different events. Brake won the triple jump with a mark of 47 feet, 7.25 inches, was second in the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 7 inches, and third in the long jump with a mark of 22 feet, 9.25 inches.

Brake was one of three UAA champions in the meet. On Friday, Felix Kemboi won the 5,000 meters in a time of 15:12.63 and Liam Lindsay added the 400-meter title on Saturday in a time of 48.50 seconds. In addition, the Seawolves’ 4x400-meter relay team won in a time of 3:16.44.

Northwest Nazarene picked up two individual titles. On Friday, John Van Beuren won the weight throw with a mark of 58 feet, 6.75 inches. Jared Webster, meanwhile, led a top-three sweep for Nighthawks in the pole vault with a clearance of 15 feet, 11 inches. Payton Lewis, the three-time defending champion in the event, also cleared 15-11, but passed at 16-2.75 before failing on all three attempts at 16-6.75.

Simon Fraser also won two titles. Vladislav Tsygankov became a four-time champion in the long jump on Friday with his mark of 23 feet, 11.5 inches. The top qualifier in the 400 meters, Tsygankov was forced to withdraw on Saturday due to illness. Rowan Doherty won the conference title in the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:28.48. The Clan also won the distance medley relay on Friday with a time of 10:08.40.

Western Washington’s Tupre Wickliff won the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 7 inches. Central Washington’s Braydon Meier won the pentathlon with a score of 5.006 points that ranks him No. 6 on the GNAC All-Time List. Teammate Kodiak Landis, the defending champion in the event, withdrew after falling in the 60-meter hurdles.