Records Fall As Vikings Win First Women's Outdoor Title
Western Washington's 183 points was 23 better than second-place Western Oregon. Photo by Amanda Loman.
Western Washington's 183 points was 23 better than second-place Western Oregon. Photo by Amanda Loman.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Records came down as the GNAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded on Saturday at McArthur Field, but not from the athlete you have come to expect.

Simon Fraser sophomore Marie-Éloïse Leclair was named the Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet after she repeated as the 100-meter and 200-meter champion. In neither race, though, did she set a record.

After resetting her own records in the 100 meters on Friday, Leclair cruised to the championship with a time of 11.47 seconds. She later added a second title in the 200 meters going away with a time of 24.12 seconds.

The record performance, however, belonged to Northwest Nazarene’s Kinsey Yenor. The sophomore set the meet record in the pole vault with her winning clearance of 13 feet, 1.75 inches. The mark bettered the previous record of 12 feet., 10 inches set by Scout Cai of Seattle Pacific in 2019. It was a personal best and NNU record for Yenor, who is now tied for No. 2 on the GNAC all-time list and earned her selection for the Women’s Performance of the Meet.

Western Washington, meanwhile, scored its first-ever GNAC women’s outdoor track and field championship with a score of 183 points, 23 points ahead of defending champion Western Oregon. The Vikings were bolstered by sophomore Ila Davis, who defended her championship in the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:12.34. Davis also defended her title in the steeplechase on Friday.

Junior Marian Ledesma won a strategic race in the 800 meters, pulling away from the pack with an impressive 62.9-second final lap to win in a time of 2:14.50. Sophomore Katie Potts earned her first conference title in the discus, winning by 13 feet with a throw of 143 feet, 7 inches.

Western Oregon senior Jenelle Hurley repeated as the Field Athlete of the Meet. Hurley scored 27 points in the meet with her victory in the heptathlon, her second-place finish in the high jump and her third-place finish in the long jump on Friday. She placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles on Saturday in a time of 1:04.52.

Simon Fraser claimed six individual event championships on the day, the most of any conference team in the event, men or women. In addition to Leclair’s two titles, sophomore Claire Bosma won the 400 meters with a time of 57.20 seconds that is not only second in the GNAC but an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark. Sophomore Erica Binder added the title in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.75.

The Red Leafs won both relays. The 4x100-meter relay team of Diana Voloshin, Leclair, Emma Cannan and Jaeland Cummings ran the top time in the GNAC this season, finishing in 46.41 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay team of Cannan, Bosma, Binder and Leclair claimed a four-second victory in a time of 3:48.45.

Western Oregon’s top performance came in the javelin where the Wolves swept the top three places. Senior Kaylee Wright repeated as champion, hitting her beat mark on the final attempt in the finals with a mark of 141 feet, 10 inches. Senior Kaylee McLauchlin was second at 131 feet, 10 inches and freshman Abigail Sanders was third with a throw of 127 feet, 1 inch.

Saint Martin’s claimed two titles on the day. Freshman Alyssa Duncan picked up the triple jump title on the final attempt of the competition. Her winning mark of 39 feet, 6 inches ranks No. 10 on the GNAC all-time list. Sophomore Cassidy Walchak-Sloan coasted to a 30-meter victory in the 1,500 meters, winning her first conference title in a time of 4:28.45.

Senior Lauryn Chandler provided Central Washington with its only championship of the meet, adding the 100-meter hurdles to her indoor title in the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 13.97 seconds. Chandler ran a time of 13.90 seconds in Friday’s preliminaries, a time that is No. 3 on the GNAC all-time list.

Conference athletes will now await the announcement of the fields for the 2023 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The selections will be announced on on Tuesday.