Andrews-Paul, Dannatt & Aniteye Lead Final Day Of Nationals
Charlie Dannatt (left) ran 3:47.24 in the men's 1,500 while Vanessa Aniteye ran 53.64 seconds in the women's 400. Photos by TAMUC Athletics and Chris Reed.
Charlie Dannatt (left) ran 3:47.24 in the men's 1,500 while Vanessa Aniteye ran 53.64 seconds in the women's 400. Photos by TAMUC Athletics and Chris Reed.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

ALLENDALE, Mich. – Simon Fraser junior Alison Andrews-Paul earned her trophy in her specialty event Saturday, leading eight All-Americans for the GNAC as the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded on Saturday at the GVSU South Complex.

While Andrews-Paul won her trophy in the women’s 800 meters, though, it was silver and not the gold that she expected. The Division II record-holder in the event led after 400 meters of what ended up being a slow, strategic race. Over the final 200 meters, the race played into the hands of Kelly-Ann Beckford of Lincoln (Mo.), who scored the upset and the title in a time of 2:05.88. Andrews-Paul crossed the finish line in 2:06.47.

Andrews-Paul closed the meet by putting her name in the record books again. This time she teamed with freshman Erika Binder, freshman Marie-Éloïse Leclair and sophomore Emily Lindsay to place eighth in the 4x400-meter relay, earning All-American honors with a GNAC record time of 3:41.17. The time eclipsed the previous record of 3:41.80 run by Western Oregon in 2018.

The two women’s performances led four All-American trophies for Simon Fraser on the day. Freshman Charlie Dannatt was one of two GNAC All-Americans in the men’s 1,500 meters, moving up from seventh in the middle of a close pack over the final 400 meters to finish third in a time of 3:47.24.

Western Washington senior Calahan Warren closed his career by winning his second All-American trophy in the 1,5000, placing eighth in a time of 3:49.26.

Simon Fraser junior Aaron Ahl was near the front of the pack in the 1,500 with 400 meters to go but was involved in a collision and fell. He recovered to finish 10th in a time of 3:51.51. A little over an hour later, it appeared as if Ahl had earned a sixth-place finish in the men’s 800 meters but was disqualified after the race was completed.

Seattle Pacific senior Vanessa Aniteye picked up her first All-American trophy in her fourth trip to the outdoor national meet, but her first for the Falcons. Aniteye placed sixth in the women’s 400 meters in a time of 53.64 seconds that just missed the conference record of 53.56 seconds (Mary Pearce, Alaska Anchorage, 2007) and moved her to No. 2 on the GNAC All-Time List.

In the men’s 5,000 meters, Alaska Anchorage freshman Coleman Nash earned his first outdoor All-American trophy. Nash consistently stayed at the back of the lead pack to secure an eighth-place finish in 14:05.62. In the women’s 5,000, Seattle Pacific freshman Annika Esvelt just missed her second trophy of the meet, placing 10th in a time of 16:40.70.

Alaska Anchorage sophomore Joshua Wagner placed ninth in an unusual men’s 110-meter hurdles final that was split into two heats after two athletes were added to the finals after a protest. After running a conference 14.00 seconds on Friday, Wagner finished on Saturday in a time of 14.38 seconds.

Both of the conference’s All-America trophies in the field events on Saturday came in the javelin. In the men’s, Simon Fraser freshman Jarrett Chong went over 200 feet in three of his four fair attempts and placed seventh with a best of 212 feet, 9 inches. Northwest Nazarene freshman Laurenz Waldbauer placed 13th with a best of 207 feet, 3 inches on his first attempt.

Western Washington senior Amanda Short placed eighth in the women’s javelin with her first attempt of the competition, a mark of 149 feet. Western Oregon freshman Kaylee Wright placed 13th with a throw of 138 feet, 10 inches on her third attempt in the preliminary flights.

In his first trip to nationals, Seattle Pacific sophomore David Njeri placed 18th in the men’s triple jump, clearing 46 feet, 4 inches on his second attempt of the competition.

Simon Fraser was the top-scoring men’s team for the conference, tying for 29th place with eight points. They also led the women, finishing in a tie for 28th place with nine points.