Alaska Anchorage Jumps Out To First Day Indoor Meet Lead
Rosie Smith provided eight points for Alaska Anchorage in the pentathlon and is the top qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles. Photo by Loren Orr.
Rosie Smith provided eight points for Alaska Anchorage in the pentathlon and is the top qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles. Photo by Loren Orr.

Friday, February 19, 2016

NAMPA, Idaho – Karolin Anders repeated as champion in the pentathlon and long jump while Joyce Chelimo and Caroline Kurgat put together a one-two finish in the 5,000 meters to lead Alaska Anchorage to the day one lead at the 2016 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, held Friday at the Jacksons Track at the Ford Idaho Center.

Anders became a three-time champion in the pentathlon, pulling away in the final three events to score a total of 3,711 points. After competing in the 60 meters and the high jump, where she placed fourth, Anders earned her second indoor crown in the long jump with a mark of 18 fewet, 5.75 inches.

Anders’ teammate Rosie Smith led the pentathlon through the first two meets, but Anders took over with wins in the high jump (5-3.75), shot put  (38-4) and the long jump, where she broke her own heptathlon record with her mark of 18 feet, 7.75 inches. Smith earned eight additional team points for the Seawolves with her second place score of 3,468 points, improving her No. 5 mark on the GNAC all-time list. Central Washington’s Ali Anderson won the final event, the 800 meters, in a GNAC pentathlon record of 2:22.15.

Chelimo and Kurgat spent much of their time drafting off of Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter in the 5,000 meters before overtaking her in the final two laps. Chelimo, the 2014 champion in the event, cruised to a winning time of 17:05.05. Kurgat was second in 17:06.20 while Porter was a respectable third in 17:15.87.

Seattle Pacific is second in the team competition with 50 points. Western Washington sits in third place with 39.5 points and Concordia is in fourth place with 29 points.

The defending champion Falcons finished with one champion on the opening day in Michaella Kahns, who took the pole vault with her mark of 11 feet, 6.25 inches. Central Washington’s McKenna Emmert also cleared 11-6.25 and was awarded second place based on more misses.

Concordia’s McKenzie Warren won the weight throw title by over five feet with her mark of 56 feet, 11.25 inches. Freshman Tori Johnson was an unexpected champion in the high jump, emerging from a three-way tie with Seattle Pacific’s Geneva Lehnert and Western Washington’s Miranda Osdachey at 5 feet, 7.25 inches, taking the title on fewest misses. Osdachey was awarded second place while Lehnert earned third. All three are tied for seventh on the GNAC all-time list.

Simon Fraser’s first day title came in a dominant performance by the distance medley relay team of Addy Townsend, Chantel Desch, Alana Mussatto and Rebecca Bassett. The Clan took a 10-second victory over Central Washington with a winning time of 11:58.28.

In the preliminary rounds, Seattle Pacific’s Jahzelle Ambus took a step towards defending her 400-meter with a conference meet record performance. Her time of 55.56 seconds bettered the mark of 55.90 set by Simon Fraser’s Helen Crofts in 2011 and moves her to No. 2 on the GNAC all-time list.

Jamie Ashcraft of Alaska Anchorage was the top qualifier in the 60 meters, finishing just off of her GNAC record in the event with a time of 7.65 seconds. In addition to her third place pentathlon finish, Smith emerged as the top qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.79 seconds.

The second day of competition commences at 10:30 a.m. with the finals of the triple jump. Running events begin at 11:45 a.m. with the mile.

TEAM SCORES: Alaska Anchorage 64, Seattle Pacific 50, Western Washington 39.5, Concordia 29, Central Washington 25, Simon Fraser 18.5, Saint Martin’s 17, Northwest Nazarene 15, Montana State Billings 10, Western Oregon 8.