Leclair, Wolves Lead Women In Day One Of Outdoors
Marie-Éloïse Leclair's time of 11.44 seconds in the 100-meter prelims reset her own conference and GNAC Championships records. Photo by Amanda Loman.
Marie-Éloïse Leclair's time of 11.44 seconds in the 100-meter prelims reset her own conference and GNAC Championships records. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Friday, May 12, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Simon Fraser sophomore Marie-Éloïse Leclair continued to set records while Western Oregon used the home-field advantage to go into the lead on the first day of the GNAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Western Oregon University’s McArthur Field.

Leclair kept up her record-setting trend, eclipsing her meet and conference records in the preliminaries of the 100 meters. Her time of 11.44 seconds surpassed her meet record of 11.66 seconds that she set last year and her conference record of 11.45 seconds set at the Stanford Invitational in March. In a rarity, Leclair did not set a record in the preliminaries of the 200 meters but still had the top time of 23.95 seconds.

Western Oregon, meanwhile, received solid points in the field events to set the base for its title defense, taking the team lead with 80 points. The Wolves received 22 points in the long jump behind junior Ujunwa Nwokoma’s winning leap of 18 feet, 7.75 inches. Senior Jenelle Hurley placed third with a mark of 18 feet, 3.75 inches. Hurley also led a 22-point WOU effort in the high jump, equaling her second-place finish with a clearance of 5 feet, 5.25 inches.

Western Washington sits just four points behind WOU with 76 points. The Vikings earned 38 of their points in both distance finals. Sophomore Ila Davis defended her title in the women’s steeplechase, running a time of 10:41.34. The Vikings scored 25 points in the event, which included freshman Ashley Reeck placing second in 10:54.82. In the 10,000 meters, freshman Meaera Shannon ran to the title in a time of 36:51.65.

Sophomore Raine Westfall added a third title on Friday for WWU, defending her championship in the hammer with a winning mark of 172 feet, 1 inch.

Simon Fraser junior Sydney Kania dethroned Hurley as the high jump champion. Both athletes cleared 5 feet, 5.25 inches, but Kania had fewer misses at previous heights to earn the title.

While Kania had the Red Leafs’ only victory of the day, they had four of the top six qualifiers in the running-event preliminaries. In addition to Leclair’s performances in the sprints, sophomore Claire Bosma led the way in the 400 meters in 57.80 while sophomore Erika Binder led the field in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.24.

Western Washington was bolstered by two individual event winners

Northwest Nazarene junior Destany Herbert was the other field-event champion in the shot put, winning by nearly five feet with a mark of 46 feet. 9.5 inches.

Central Washington senior Lauryn Chandler ran a great race to earn the top qualifying spot in the 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 13.90 seconds improved Chandler to No. 3 on the GNAC all-time list and No. 20 in Division II this season.

The final day of the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships begins on Saturday with the discus at noon. Running events commence at 1:50 p.m. with the 4x100-meter relay.