Distance Dominance Leads Vikings To Runaway Men's Title
Western Washington's 209.5 team points was 85 points better than second-place Western Oregon. Photo by Amanda Loman.
Western Washington's 209.5 team points was 85 points better than second-place Western Oregon. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ore. -Western Washington made it four in a row and, in typical Vikings fashion, it wasn’t even close.

Thanks in great part to a wealth of points in the distance events, Western Washington scored 209.5 points to finish 85 points ahead of Western Oregon to win the GNAC Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at McArthur Field.

The Vikings completed a sweep of the long-distance races with sophomore Kevin McDermott’s victory in the 5,00 meters in a time of 14:42.03 under hot conditions. Western Washington scored 21 points in the events to match the 21 points earned in the 10,00 meters along with the 20 points in the steeplechase the day before.

Western Washington also swept the relays. The 4x100-meter relay of Ryan Greenwalt, Ethan Johnson, Maurice Woodring and Noah Johnson won in a time of 41.76 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay team of Woodring, Jalen Edwards, Lucas Brenek and Brian Le surged to the lead over the final 200 meters to win in a time of 3:15.71.

Woodring earned an individual championship in the 400-meter hurdles, winning in a time of 52.90 seconds. The Vikings also received a victory from junior Jaydon Tryon in the javelin, winning on his final attempt in the finals with a mark of 202 feet, 7 inches. It is the first time this season that a GNAC athlete has thrown over 200 feet in the events.

Johnson was a very close second in the 100 meters, finishing in 10.52 behind Alaska Anchorage senior Enrique Campbell’s fast winning time of 10.51 seconds. Campbell’s time ties him for No. 6 on the GNAC all-time list while Johnson’s time ranks No. 7.

Host Western Oregon finished second in the team competition with 124 points. Northwest Nazarene was third with 112 points.

Northwest Nazarene sophomore Steven Schmidt earned his second Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet award after an outstanding meet that saw him set a meet record with 37 individual points scored. The conference decathlon champion won the pole vault on Friday and added the high jump title on Saturday with a clearance of 6 feet, 10.75 inches. He also placed fifth in the javelin with a throw of 179 feet, 8 inches and sixth in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 15.46 seconds.

Simon Fraser sophomore Jesaiah Penson-McCoy was named the Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet award after he won the 200 meters in a time of 21.55 seconds and placed third in 100 meters in 10.68 seconds.

Alaska Anchorage junior Kevin Angarita received the Men’s Performance of the Meet award for his near-meet-record effort in the 400 meters. Angarita edged out Western Oregon sophomore Amari Hendrix in a time of 47.59 seconds that was four-hundredths off of the meet record and ranks him No. 3 on the GNAC all-time list.

Campbell and Angarita were among three Alaska Anchorage winners on the day. Junior Joshua Wagner successfully defended his 110-meter hurdles title with a wind-aided time of 14.58 seconds.

Also defending his championship was Seattle Pacific senior David Njeri, who swept the horizontal jumps with a repeat win in the triple jump with a mark of 48 feet, 4.5 inches. Western Washington senior Seren Dances matched Njeri at the distance but Njeri was awarded first place based on having the nest-best mark in the competition.

Junior Charlie Dannatt picked up a second title for Simon Fraser, pulling away from the field over the final 200 meters to win the 800 meters in a time of 1:49.88.

Western Oregon provided two victories for the home crowd on Saturday. Sophomore Keeton Sanchez was the winner in a gutsy 1,500 meters, laying down a 54.52-second final lap to edge past Western Washington’s Drew Weber in a time of 3:54.20. Senior Dayne Gordien picked up his second title of the meet, capturing the discus with a mark of 160 feet.

Conference athletes will now wait to see if they are selected for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The announcement will take place via a press release posted to NCAA.com on Tuesday.