Twice As Nice: Vikings Repeat As Men's Indoor Champions
Western Washington's 137 points was 50 points better than second-place Concordia. Photo by Loren Orr.
Western Washington's 137 points was 50 points better than second-place Concordia. Photo by Loren Orr.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

NAMPA, Idaho – It was Western Washington in a repeat and it wasn’t close.

Picking up three individual event victories and a slurry of back-points in a number of disciplines, the Vikings pulled off a dominating 50-point victory to claim the team championship at the GNAC Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at the Jackson’s Indoor Center.

Western Washington compiled a total of 137 points to finish well ahead of second-place Concordia’s 87 points. Simon Fraser was a close third with 85 points and Alaska Anchorage placed fourth with 83 points.

Sophomore Ethan Sterkel captured the long jump on Friday with a leap of 23 feet, 8.75 inches, while senior Cordell Cummings won his second consecutive 60-meter hurdles championship in 8.31 seconds as the Vikings scored 18 points in the event. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Bryant Welch, Mark Daniels, Jon Oglesby and Myles Smith closed the meet with the win in a time of 3:17.76.

Northwest Nazarene senior Logan Blake was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet after he won the 400 meters in a time of 48.52 seconds and third in the 200 meters in 22.20 seconds. Saint Martin’s sophomore Tyler Cronk was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet. He won his second consecutive crown in the high jump with a mark of 7 feet, 1 inch and followed with a second-place finish in the long jump (22-11.75) and a fourth-place finish in the triple jump (46-3.5).

Central Washington senior Aidan Cain earned the Performance of the Meet award for winning Friday’s weight throw with a meet-record mark of 61 feet, 2 inches.

Senior Dakota Tidwell joined Blake on the podium for NNU, winning the pentathlon with a score of 4,914 points. Tidwell was the winner of the event’s 60-meter hurdles in 8.82 seconds and outlasted Alaska Anchorage senior David Sramek in the 1,000 meters for the 119-point victory. Sramek had the top mark in the pole vault at 15 feet, 2.75 inches while Western Oregon junior Deshaun Stevens won the 1,000 meters in 2:43.67.

Central Washington senior Zach Whittaker closed out his indoor career as a two-time champion, winning the triple jump with a leap of 48 feet, 4.5 inches. Sophomore Tyren Campbell joined him on top of the podium as he won the pole vault with a clearance of 15 feet, 7 inches.

Western Oregon’s two dynamic sprinters claimed their first titles. Junior Derek Holdsworth cruised to victory in the 800 meters by over a second, clocking a time of 1 minute, 54.20 seconds. Freshman Dominique Loggins collected the win in the 60 meters with a time of 6.86 seconds.

Simon Fraser freshman Jeremiah Lauzon, the GNAC record holder in the 200 meters, edged out Concordia’s Adam Brown for the championship in a time of 21.71 seconds. Fellow Clan freshman Charlie Dannatt shook out injuries that limited him most of the season to take the mile title in a time of 4:13.42.

Senior Caleb Bridge provided Concordia with its third consecutive championship in the shot put, winning with a mark of 54 feet, 7.25 inches. Alaska Anchorage junior Felix Kemboi edged out Western Washington junior Ed Kiolbasa in the 3,000 meters, winning in a time of 8:31.50. Kiolbasa was second in 8:31.80.

The team title was the sixth all-time for Western Washington in indoor competition. The Vikings also won the 2019 cross country championship, giving them two-thirds of the GNAC’s team title triple crown. It is also Western Washington’s sixth GNAC team championship this season having won the men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball championships in the fall.