Multi-Trophies In Multi-Events Pace GNAC At Track Nationals
Kodiak Landis (left) and HarLee Ortega both placed fifth in their respective combined events for All-American honors. Landis photo by Loren Orr. Ortega photo by Joe Reinsch.
Kodiak Landis (left) and HarLee Ortega both placed fifth in their respective combined events for All-American honors. Landis photo by Loren Orr. Ortega photo by Joe Reinsch.

Friday, May 25, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A trio of All-American performances in the combined events, led by fifth-place finishes for Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis and HarLee Ortega, led another solid day for GNAC athletes at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Friday at the Irwin Belk Complex.

Landis closed out his collegiate outdoor career with a fifth-place finish in the decathlon, closing with a lifetime best of 7,207 points. The total improves his position at No. 3 on the GNAC All-Time List. Sitting in second after the first five events on Thursday, Landis sewed up his trophy with a second-place finish in the pole vault, clearing 15 feet, 3 inches, and a fourth-place finish in the final event, the 1,500 meters, in a time of 4:35.44.

Ortega posted a lifetime-best score of 5,026 points in the heptathlon to also finish in fifth place. The performance moves her up to No. 7 on the GNAC All-Time List and makes her the third conference athletes to score more than 5,000 points this season. Ortega moved up from seventh to fifth thanks to a sixth-place finish in the javelin, throwing 105 feet, 11 inches, and a second-place finish in the 800 meters in 2:19.17.

While the graduate led the way, the future in GNAC combined events were not far behind. A day after earning All-American honors in the women’s long jump, Seattle Pacific freshman Renick Meyer earned her second trophy with a seventh-place finish in the heptathlon with 4,992 points. Meyer’s best second-day event was the long jump, placing second with a mark of 19 feet, 5.5 inches.

Falcons’ sophomore Scout Cai finished ninth with a score of 4,929 points. She was buoyed by a third-place finish in the 800 meters in 2:19.25. Concordia’s Chelsea Bone finished 10th with 4,860 points, highlighted by her second-place mark of 121 feet, 9 inches, in the javelin.

Simon Fraser’s Reta Dobie earned an All-American trophy in the women’s steeplechase, placing eighth in a time of 10:27.35. The performance moves Dobie up to No. 5 on the GNAC All-Time List. In the men’s steeplechase, Montana State Billings’ Jorey Egeland finished 11th in the final with a time of 9:13.92.

Western Oregon’s women’s 4x400-meter relay team ran a GNAC record to qualify for Saturday’s final. The team of Grayson Burke, Megan Rose, Suzie Van De Grift and Olivia Woods finished third in the opening heat and had the seventh-fastest time of the preliminaries of 3:41.80. That bettered the former record of 3:41.93 set by Alaska Anchorage last year.

Alaska Anchorage’s relay team was 11th in 3:43.47, which ranks No. 7 on the GNAC All-Time List, and Simon Fraser finished 12th with a time of 3:43.92, eighth all-time.

The conference advanced two athletes to tomorrow’s final in the women’s 800 meters. Both Alaska Anchorage’s Danielle McCormick and Western Oregon’s Woods finished second in their respective heats to automatically advance. Woods ran 2:05.91, the fourth-fastest time of the prelims and a performance that ranks her No. 6 on the GNAC All-Time List. McCormick finished with a time of 2:07.28.

Rose was the first woman out of the finals, placing ninth in 2:08.08. Alaska Anchorage’s Yemi Knight finished 10th in a time of 2:08.36 while Simon Fraser’s Sophie Dodd was 13th in 2:09.53.

Central Washington’s Mariyah Vongsaveng finished her season with an 11th place finish in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 14.01 seconds.

In the only field event final involving the GNAC, Concordia sophomore Jakob Chamberlin completed his first nationals experience with an 11th-place finish in the men’s discus, throwing 168 feet, 1 inch on his first throw of the competition.

The final day of competition begins at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern) with the men’s javelin. Running events commence at 3:25 p.m. (Eastern).

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