Leclair Breaks Records, Western Oregon Wins Women's Title
Western Oregon scored 155 points to win its first women's outdoor team championship since 2008. Photo by Caleb Dunlop.
Western Oregon scored 155 points to win its first women's outdoor team championship since 2008. Photo by Caleb Dunlop.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

ELLENSBURG, Wash. –Simon Fraser freshman Marie-Éloïse Leclair provided for a record-setting day in the sprints while Western Oregon captured the team title at the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which concluded on Saturday at the Central Washington Recreation Sports Complex.

Leclair was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet after posting record-setting performances in both the 100 and 200 meters on a day that saw four meet records and two conference records broken. She opened the day by breaking the meet record in the 100 meters she set the day before in a time of 11.66 seconds. She missed the conference record by just two-thousandths of a second.

She earned the conference record later in the 200 meters, winning in a time of 23.88 to better the mark of 23,99 seconds set by NyEna Sims of Seattle Pacific in 2007 as well as her own meet record set the day before.

Western Oregon, meanwhile, used a solid showing in the field events to win its first championship since 2008 with a score of 155 points. Western Washington finished second with 130 points and Simon Fraser placed third with 129 points.

The Wolves received field-event victories on Friday from freshman Jenelle Hurley in the long jump, freshman Kaylee Wright in the javelin and senior Moana Gianotti in the shot put. The Wolves added a victory from sophomore Ana Popchock in the triple jump on Saturday on her first attempt with a mark of 38 feet, 11.75 inches.

Hurley was named the Female Field Athlete of the Meet. In addition to the win in the long jump, Hurley placed second in the heptathlon and fifth in the triple jump. On the track, Hurley placed fifth in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.

The Seattle Pacific 4x100-meter relay team of senior Peace Igbonagwam, senior Vanessa Aniteye, sophomore Aniya Green and senior Jenna Bouyer earned the Performance of the Meet award after winning in a conference-record time of 45.88 seconds. The Falcons broke the GNAC record of 46.19 seconds set by Simon Fraser in 2017 and the meet record of 46.39 seconds set by SPU in 2019.

Aniteye became a four-time champion in the 400 meters. Having won three titles between 2017 and 2019 for Alaska Anchorage, Aniteye led from start to finish to claim her fourth gold medal in a time of 54.62 seconds.

Simon Fraser junior Alison Andrews-Paul won the GNAC title in the 1,500 meters, pulling away over the final 400 meters to claim the title in a time of 4:31.94 and led a 17-point SFU performance in the event. Andrews-Paul ran alone to secure the title in the 800 meters, winning by nearly seven seconds in a time of 2:07.63.

Andrews-Paul then teamed with Erika Binder, Leclair and Emily Lindsay to win the 4x400-meter relay in a meet record time of 3:43.50. The effort eclipsed the previous record of 3:44.11 set by Seattle Pacific in 2013.

Simon Fraser also received a title from sophomore Diana Voloshin, who pulled away in the final 400 meters of the 100-meter hurdles to win in a time of 14.28 seconds.

Western Washington freshman Ila Davis added the 5,000-meter title to her steeplechase title from Friday, pulling past Seattle Pacific sophomore Annika Esvelt in the final 200 meters to win in a time of 17:13.18. In the field events, freshman Raine Westfall won the hammer with a throw of 170 feet, 1 inch, and freshman Jessica Neal emerged from a group of four athletes to clear 5 feet, 4.5 inches in the high jump, earning the title based on fewest misses in the competition.

Junior McCall DeChenne added a championship for Central Washington, winning the 400-meter hurdles on her home track in a time of 1:01.59.