Woodring, Holdsworth Shine At USATF Championships
Maurice Woodring of Western Washington, the current the GNAC men's 400-meter hurdles champion, placed 11th in a time of 53.28 seconds. Photo by Eric Becker.
Maurice Woodring of Western Washington, the current the GNAC men's 400-meter hurdles champion, placed 11th in a time of 53.28 seconds. Photo by Eric Becker.

Monday, July 10, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Reigning GNAC men’s 400-meter hurdles champion Maurice Woodring of Western Washington and former Western Oregon indoor 800-meter champion Derek Holdsworth led a quartet of current and former GNAC athletes that participated in the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, held Thursday through Sunday at Hayward Field.

Woodring, who was named the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Male Freshman of the Year after winning the conference title in the 400-meter hurdles, participated in the event at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships held in conjunction with the national championship.

Racing in Saturday’s preliminary heats, Woodring fell just short of a place in the final, placing 11th in a time of 53.28 seconds. Woodring was fifth in his heat but just missed on the final time qualifying spot, which went to Boston College’s Damon Frabotta in a time of 52.62 seconds. Gage Gose went on to win the title on Sunday in a time of 51.67 seconds.

Holdsworth, meanwhile, earned a place in the finals of the 800 meters of the USATF Championships, marking the latest step in a professional career that started with his abbreviated 2019-20 season at Western Oregon. After earning the final spot in the finals, Holdsworth succeeded in placing sixth in Sunday’s final in a time of 1:47.61. The tightly contested championship race saw Bryce Hoppel of Adidas win in a time of 1:46.20.

Holdsworth succeeded in automatically qualifying for the semifinals with a season-best run in Thursday’s preliminaries, placing third in the third heat with a time of 1:46.74 that was the seventh-best time of the day.

It initially looked as though Holdsworth had missed the final after placing fourth in the second heat of the semifinals despite picking up four places over the final lap to finish in a time of 1:47.53. Following the race, Wes Ferguson of Nebraska-Kearney was disqualified, which moved Holdsworth into the third automatic qualifying position and a spot in the final.

Holdsworth, who currently competes unattached, competed in the 2019-20 indoor season at Western Oregon and won the GNAC indoor 800-meter title. He had the top time in Division II that season, which ended with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic cancellations of college athletics. He currently trains in Seattle under former Western Oregon head coach Mike Johnson.

Former Western Oregon standout David Ribich, who now competes for the Nike Union Athletics Club, raced in the men’s steeplechase. The four-time GNAC champion outdoors in the 1,500 meters and a three-time NCAA Division II outdoor All-American, Ribich placed 19th overall in the preliminaries and 10th in the race’s second hear in a time of 8:45.92.

Former Seattle Pacific runner Kaylee Mitchell, who has raced at Division I Oregon State since 2020, placed sixth in the finals of the women’s steeplechase in a personal-best time of 9:24.01. A part of the chase pack for the first two laps, Mitchell moved up to sixth place after the first 1,600 meters and was in contention for one of the three U.S. spots for the World Athletics Championships until a lap to go. Mitchell’s time was just short of the World Championships qualifying standard time of 9:23.