Six GNAC Athletes Earn Outdoor Nationals Invites
Beau Ackerman (left) has the No. 3 mark in the men's javelin while Cai is the GNAC record-holder in the women's pole vault. Photos by Gary Breedlove.
Beau Ackerman (left) has the No. 3 mark in the men's javelin while Cai is the GNAC record-holder in the women's pole vault. Photos by Gary Breedlove.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – It will be a small but mighty presence for the GNAC at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships as six conference athletes have been accepted into the championships field, which was announced on Tuesday.

The national meet will take place May 27-29 at the Grand Valley State University Track & Field Stadium in Allendale, Michigan.

The six-athlete GNAC contingent is led by Montana State Billings senior Beau Ackerman, who enters the meet with the No. 3 mark in the men’s javelin. Ackerman won the GNAC championship and was earned the GNAC Championships Men’s Performance of the Meet award for his lifetime-best mark of 233 feet, 7 inches.

Seattle Pacific senior Scout Cai made the field with the No. 16 mark in the pole vault. The two-time GNAC champion in the event, Cai set the conference record with her lifetime best of 13 feet, 3 inches. Cai won the GNAC title over the weekend with a clearance of 12 feet, 3.5 inches.

The Falcons will also be represented by senior Dania Holmberg in the women’s 1,500 meters. Entering the meet with the No. 16 time in the field, Holmberg secured her spot in the national meet by winning the metric mile at the GNAC Championship with her time of 4:27.31. She was named the GNAC Championships Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet after winning both the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters.

Western Washington will send three athletes to Michigan. Senior Hannah Nienaber has the No. 7 mark in the women’s javelin field with a season-best of 155 feet, 11 inches at the John Knight Twilight on April 9. She placed fourth at the GNAC Championships with a mark of 141 feet, 4 inches, and has thrown over 150 feet in two meets this season.

Sophomore Aliyah Dawkins enters with the No. 13 mark in the women’s high jump after leaping a lifetime-best 5 feet, 8 inches to win the event at the GNAC Championships. Dawkins has cleared bars of 5 feet, 6 inches or better twice this season.

Vikings senior Calahan Warren is entered in the men’s 1,500 meters. Warren enters with No. 9 time in the field at 3:44.82, which he ran at the WWU Invitational on April 3. Warren outdueled Western Oregon’s Justin Crosswhite to win the event at the GNAC Championships in a time of 3:57.44.

Cai will be the only GNAC athlete to compete in the two days of the meet with the women’s pole vault scheduled for Thursday, May 27. The remaining five athletes will compete on Saturday, May 29.

Schedule Of Events For GNAC Athletes – All Times Eastern Daylight
Thursday, May 27
Women’s Pole Vault, 5:45 p.m. (Scout Cai, SPU)

Saturday, May 29
Men’s Javelin, 9:30 a.m. (Beau Ackerman, MSUB)
Women’s Javelin, 11:45 a.m. (Hannah Nienaber, WWU)
Men’s 1,500, 1:20 p.m. (Calahan Warren, WWU)
Women’s High Jump, 5:15 p.m. (Aliyah Dawkins, WWU)
Women’s 1,500, 5:45 p.m. (Dania Holmberg, SPU)