33 GNAC Athletes Earn Spots in NCAA Track & Field Meet
Simon Fraser's  Lindsey Butterworth (239) and Helen Crofts (247)  are among eight GNAC athletes who will compete in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II national meet (Photo by Tim Miller)
Simon Fraser's Lindsey Butterworth (239) and Helen Crofts (247) are among eight GNAC athletes who will compete in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II national meet (Photo by Tim Miller)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PUEBLO, Colo. - Thirty-three Great Northwest Athletic Conference track and field athletes - including a program-best 11 from the University of Alaska Anchorage - will compete in the NCAA Division II National meet beginning next Thursday (May 23) at the University of Colorado Pueblo.

Seven of the GNAC's nine schools that sponsor track and field will be represented at the meet.

In individual events, 10 GNAC male athletes will compete in 11 events. Northwest Nazerene's Rimar Christie, who earned GNAC Outstanding Performer honors in sweeping the 100 and 200 meter titles at last weekend's conference meet in Monmouth, will double-up in those events.

The GNAC has three of the top four seeds in the men's javelin.  Anchorage's Cody Parker is seeded first with a national-leading mark of 234-4.  Franz Burghagen of UAA is the No. 2 seed with a season-best of 230-7 and Braden Keller of Central Washington is the fourth seed with a school-record toss of 222-5.

The Seawolves' Cody Thomas is the only other GNAC male athlete seeded in the Top 10.  He comes in ranked ninth in the decathlon with a score of 6,781.

Twenty women from GNAC schools will compete in 24 individual events.  Simon Fraser and Seatttle Pacific also qualified in the 4x400 meter relay. Three athletes on those squads did not qualify in an individual event bringing the conference's total participation to 23 females.

Helen Crofts of Simon Fraser is the No. 1 seed in the 800 meters, an event that amazingly will feature eight GNAC athletes including four from the Clan and two each from Alaska Anchorage and Seattle Pacific.

In addition to Crofts, who has a season-best of 2:04.53, the Clan's Lindsey Butterworth (3rd) and Sarah Sawatzky (5th), Ivy O'Guinn of Alaska Anchorage (7th) and McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific (8th) are among the top seeds in the race.

Other pre-meet favorites from the GNAC include UAA's Ruth Keino in the 5,000 meters and Ali Worthen of Seattle Pacific in the heptathlon.  Keino's 5,000 time of 16:20.87 is the nation's best among D-2 athletes, while Worthen's score of 5,492 points in the multi-event also ranks No. 1.  Worthen was the Outstanding Female Performer at the GNAC meet.

Two GNAC athletes are seeded second and two more including Butterworth in the 800 (2:08.07) are seeded third in the women's division and could challenge for national titles.

Susan Tanui of UAA is the No. 2 seed in the steeplechase (10:13.40) and could also score points in the 5,000 where she is seeded sixth with a best of 16:41.55.   Bethany Drake of Western Washington is the No. 2 seed in the javelin with a season-best of 157-4. 

Drake and No. 3 seed Amanda Schumaker of Western Oregon (154-9) are among four GNAC athletes in the women's javelin which historically has been one of the GNAC's best events in the national meet producing two national champions, five national runnerups and 25 All-Amercians.

Three GNAC athletes qualified in the heptathlon. In addition to Worthen, UAA's Karolin Anders is the fifth seed with a season-best total of 5,034 points.  Katy Gross, who also qualified in the javelin, is the No. 6 seed in the heptathlon.

Tanui and Gross are among four athletes who will compete in two individual events.  Ivy O'Guinn of Alaska Anchorage qualified in both the 800 and 1500 meters, while Keino will do a 5K/10K double-double

Simon Fraser's Sawatzky, Michaela Kane and Crofts will all compete in the 4x400 relay in addition to running in the 800.  Joining that trio on the Clan relay team which is seeded fifth is Chantel Desch.  Seattle Pacific's Emily Quatier and McKayla Fricker will also run on the Falcons' seventh-seeded 4x400 relay team in addition to competing in the 800.

BY THE NUMBERS: Alaska Anchorage qualified 11 athletes, 5 men and six women.  Seattle Pacific will send eight athletes (1 male, 7 females) to Pueblo, while Simon Fraser qualified six women.  Central Washington (2 men, 1 woman) and Western Oregon (1 man, two women) qualified three.  Northwest Nazarene (1 man) and Western Washington (1 woman) each qualified one.

NCAA Division II Track & Field Nationals (May 23-25 at Pueblo, Colo.)

GNAC Competitors

Men: 100 – 11. Rimar Christie, NNU, 10.38.   200 – 22.  Rimar Christie, NNU, 21.17. 1500 – 17. Seth Pierson, SPU, 3:50.40; 18. Isaac Kangogo, UAA, 3:50.59. 10,000 – 16. Dylan Anthony, UAA, 29:53.28.  Triple Jump – 17. Bryan Mack, CWU, 15.06 – 49-5.  Javelin – 1. Cody Parker, UAA, 71.43 – 234-4; 2. Franz Burghagen, UAA, 70.29 – 230-7; 4. Braden Keller, CWU, 67.79 – 222-5; 11. Shane Brooks, WOU, 63.35 207-10; 26. Justin Larson, WOU, 61.65 – 202-3.   Decathlon – 9. Cody Thomas, UAA, 6781.

Women:  800 – 1. Helen Crofts, SFU, 2:04.53; 3. Lindsey Butterworth, SFU, 2:08.07; 5. Sarah Sawatzky, SFU, 2:09.13; 7. Ivy O’Guinn, UAA, 2:09.34; 8. McKayla Fricker, SPU, 2:09.42; 11. Michaela Kane, SFU, 2:10.45; 14. Susan Bick, UAA, 2:11.02; 19. Emily Quatier, SPU, 2:11.71. 1500 – 6. Ivy O’Guinn, UAA, 4:26.64; 13. Lynelle Decker, SPU, 4:29.74.  5000 – 1. Ruth Keino, UAA, 16:20.87; 6. Susan Tanui, UAA, 16:41.55. 10,000 – 20. Ruth Keino, UAA, 36:02.00. 400 Hurdles – 11. Haleigh Lloyd, UAA, 1:00.54.  Steeplechase – 2. Susan Tanui, UAA, 10:13.40. 4x400 Relay – 5. Simon Fraser (Chantel Desch, Sarah Sawatzky, Michaela Kane, Helen Crofts) 3:42.53; 7. Seattle Pacific (Kishia Mitchell, Emily Quatier, Jasmine Johnson, McKayla Fricker) 3:43.44. High Jump – 6. Tayler Fettig, CWU, 1.75 – 5-8 3/4.  Discus – 9. Jade Richardson, SFU, 48.68 – 159-8.  Javelin – 2. Bethany Drake, WWU, 47.96 157-4; 3. Amanda Schumaker, WOU, 47.16 – 154-9; 6. Seabre Church, WOU, 46.15 – 151-5; 22. Katy Gross, SPU, 42.53 – 139-6.  Heptathlon – 1. Ali Worthen, SPU, 5492; 5. Karolin Anders, UAA, 5034; 6. Katy Gross, SPU, 4992.