Vikings Take First Day Men's Lead With Big Distance Efforts
Jeret Gillingham defended his championship in the steeplechase, winning in a time of 9:04.20. Photo by Amanda Loman.
Jeret Gillingham defended his championship in the steeplechase, winning in a time of 9:04.20. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Friday, May 12, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ore. – On the hottest day of the year so far this spring, Western Washington turned in some equally hot distance performances on Friday to take the first day lead in the GNAC Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Western Oregon University’s McArthur Field.

The Vikings earned 43 points in the two distance finals to open up a first-day score of 73.5 points as they look to win their fourth title in as many meets. Twenty-two of those points came in the steeplechase where sophomore Jeret Gillingham defend his conference final with a time of 9:04.20. Sophomore Jalen Javurek was fourth in 9:20.79 and senior Kaleb Korta was fifth in 9:25.92.

Western Washington added 21 more points in the 10,000 meters behind a gutsy effort by Andrew Oslin. The junior led the race from start to finish to clinch his first conference title in a time of 30:36.34.

The Vikings also had the top qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles in freshman Maurice Woodring, who ran a time of 53.91 seconds.

Western Oregon sits in second place with 46 points with Central Washington third with 42 points and Northwest Nazarene fourth with 38 points.

A week after winning his second decathlon title, Northwest Nazarene sophomore Steven Schmidt added the pole vault to his medal collection, winning with a mark of 15 feet, 1.75 inches. Central Washington sophomore Drew Klein also cleared 15-1.75 with Schmidt being awarded the title on fewer misses.

In addition to the pole vault, Schmidt advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles as he placed fifth in the preliminary heats with a time of 15.05 seconds. He is also scheduled to compete Saturday in the high jump and javelin.

The Nighthawks added a championship in the throws as senior Dylan Hendry claimed the school’s second straight title in the hammer, winning on his final attempt with a mark of 181 feet, 1 inch. The effort was a season-best by nearly 10 feet.

Western Oregon senior Dayne Gordien added the outdoor shot put title to his indoor crown, winning the event with a mark of 54 feet, 3.25 inches.

The favorite to win the triple jump on Saturday, Seattle Pacific senior David Njeri notched a huge lifetime best to win the long jump. His winning leap of 23 feet, 7.5 inches improved his best by eight inches.

The top performance in Friday’s running-event preliminaries belonged to Alaska Anchorage senior Enrique Campbell, whose time of 10.46 seconds in the 100 meters was not only an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier but also put him at No. 6 on the GNAC all-time list. His Seawolves’ teammate, junior Joshua Wagner, took a step towards defending his title in the 110-meter hurdles, running the fastest preliminaries time with a season-best of 14.67 seconds.

Simon Fraser sophomore Jesaiah Penson-McCoy leads the field in the 200 meters with a time of 21.55 seconds. Red Leafs junior Charlie Dannatt ran the top time in the 800 meters in 1:50.41. Western Oregon sophomore Amari Hendrix was the top qualifier in the 400 meters in a time of 48.07 seconds.

The final day of the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships commences on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with the javelin. Running events begin at 1:40 p.m. with the 4x100-meter relay.