Vikings Track And Field Named Team Of The Week
Western Washington took first place on the men's side with 137 points to beat George Fox by 26 points.
Western Washington took first place on the men's side with 137 points to beat George Fox by 26 points.

Monday, March 20, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Washington track and field earned this week’s GNAC/Red Lion Team of the Week honors after the men took first place at the L&C Spring Break Open with two NCAA provisional qualifying marks, and the women took second place with three NCAA Championships provisional qualifying marks on Friday and Saturday.

“This was, in a lot of ways, the start to our outdoor season,” head coach Pee Wee Halsell said. “We didn’t have the full team there to compete, but this was the first outdoor meet for a number of the students. To go in and have five provisional marks was neat to see.”

On the men’s side, the Vikings got a big boost from the field events with Brandon Pless winning the shot put and taking fifth place in both the discus throw and the hammer throw. Pless’ mark of 180 feet, 4.75 inches in the hammer throw was a provisional qualifier. Alex Barry also recorded a provisional qualifier in the javelin throw with a distance of 192 feet, 5.75 inches for first place in that event.

Western Washington also took three of the top four positions in the pole vault with Adam Thomas winning the event after clearing 15 feet, 1.5 inches. Gordie Kordas later cleared the same height to take second place in the event, and Jacob Hino claimed fourth place with a height of 14 feet, 1.75 inches.

In the jumps, Kevin Yates recorded a winning mark of 23 feet, 4 inches in the long jump. Somit Chhim led the Vikings in the triple jump with a distance of 45 feet, 6.25 inches for second place overall to go along with a fourth-place finish in the long jump at 22 feet, 1 inch.

“It was a tough meet,” Halsell said. “There was good competition across the board and I think a lot of the athletes were tired after coming off finals week. There was some rain in the beginning, but a lot of young athletes competed well. It was really good to see them hitting their stride.”

For all three of the women that recorded provisional qualifying marks, it was their first outdoor meet of the season. Just a week after competing in the indoor nationals, Anna Paradee recorded the sixth-best height in GNAC history in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 3.5 inches for third place in the meet.

Jasmine McMullin took first place in the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 10.5 inches, and she took third place in the long jump at 17 feet, 6.75 inches. The other provisional qualifying mark came from Brittany Grant in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, taking first place in 11:04.36.

Senior Megan Mortensen earned fourth place in the discus throw with a distance of 141 feet, 3.5 inches. She also took 10th place in the hammer throw with a mark of 131 feet, 1.5 inches.

In the high jump, Miranda Osadchey cleared 5 feet, 2.5 inches to take second place and earn eight points for the Vikings. Every point mattered in the second-place team finish for the Vikings, who edged Division I Seattle University by half a point, 82.5-82. Oregon State took first place overall with 177 points.

The Vikings will next compete in the SPU Doris Heritage Distance Festival on Saturday. The teams will be split the following weekend with the San Francisco State Distance Carnival taking place at the same time as the Stanford Invitational and the UPS Shotwell Invitational.