2024 GNAC Indoor Track Championships Preview

Saturday, February 17, 2024
by Evan O'Kelly, Assistant Commissioner For Communications

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the third consecutive year the Great Northwest Athletic Conference track and field programs converge on The Podium as the 2024 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships kick off on Monday.

Western Oregon is the reigning team champion, becoming just the second school since the event was founded in 2004 to claim both the women’s and men’s team titles at the same meet. The only other GNAC school to achieve that feat was Alaska Anchorage at the 2016 GNAC Championships.

View the complete meet schedule online here.

Women’s Preview

For the second year in a row Simon Fraser’s Marie-Eloise Leclair has rewritten the GNAC record books, clocking the fastest-ever 200 meters time of 23.60 seconds to sit at the top of the NCAA provisional qualifying list. While Leclair is the favorite to become the first woman in GNAC history to win three straight 200 meters indoor titles, her bid at a second straight 60 meters title should be a much tighter affair.

CWU’s E’lexis Hollis has twice run a time of 7.38 seconds this season, standing as the second-fastest time in GNAC history behind only Leclair’s 2023 GNAC Championships record time of 7.33 seconds. With Simon Fraser’s Jaeland Cummings also in the mix at 7.68 seconds, this event projects to be among the most exciting of the meet.

A pair of SFU sophomores made headlines in Boston on Feb. 9, with Emma Cannan and Claire Bosma running the conference’s top-two 400 meter times of 56.89 seconds and 56.94 seconds, respectively. The reigning champion in the event, Bosma will look to make it three consecutive Red Leafs to claim the crown.

Western Washington has never had a women’s indoor champion in the 800 meters, but that could change in 2024 as Marian Ledesma holds the GNAC’s top time of 2:10.13 entering the event. Alaska Anchorage’s Jess Chisar (2:12.10) and WWU’s Emmy Kroontje (2:12.70) each also hold provisional qualifying marks in the 800 meters.

The stars of the 2023 cross country season return to competition in the distance races, with GNAC athletes holding eight provisional qualifying marks combined in the mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Saint Martin’s junior Cassidy Walchak-Sloan has the conference’s top time in the mile at 4:52.83, as she could become the first Saint to win the event. Western Washington’s Sophie Wright (4:52.96) and Ila Davis (4:55.00) are close behind, with the latter also holding a provisional qualifying mark in the 3,000 meters at 9:45.70.

For the third year in a row, the women’s 3,000 meters figures to come down to WWU’s Davis and Seattle Pacific’s Annika Esvelt, with the former claiming last year’s crown and the latter winning the event in 2022. Esvelt holds the conference’s top time in the event, running 9:41.62 at the UW Indoor Preview on Jan. 13. Esvelt also leads the GNAC in the 5,000 meters as she will vie to match her double crown from the 2022 event. At 16:31.43, Esvelt holds a significant margin over WWU’s Ashley Reeck (17:06.33) and UAA’s Nell Baker (17:16.40) who both also have provisional qualifiers in the 5,000 meters.

Lauryn Chandler became the second woman in Central Washington history to win a GNAC title in the 60-meter hurdles, claiming the 2023 crown with a time of 8.57 seconds. She enters the meet as the favorite to repeat, with her top mark of 8.75 seconds coming on Dec. 9 and standing as a provisional qualifier.

Central Washington and Simon Fraser have combined to win the last five 4x400 meter relays, and the Wildcats hold the conference’s top time of 3:53.94. Western Washington will figure to compete for its second title in the event and first since 2010, after clocking the GNAC’s second-fastest time of the season at 3:54.77. The Vikings will also look to defend last year’s distance medley relay crown, but will have a stern test as Simon Fraser’s provisional mark of 11:46.25 ranks 20th nationally.

No GNAC women’s athlete has ever won all three jump titles at a single championship, but CWU freshman Emy Ntekpere will have a chance at the feat as she enters her first GNAC championship with a conference-leading high jump of 5’ 8.5” (1.74 meters), conference-leading triple jump of 38’ 8.25” (11.79 meters) and the second-best long jump at 18’ 7.75” (5.68 meters). All three are provisional qualifiers for Ntekpere, who will have to out-leap reigning long jump champion Ujunwa Nwokoma of Western Oregon. The latter holds the top GNAC long jump of 19’ 0.75” (5.81), which she hit on Feb. 3. Giving Ntekpere a run for the triple jump title could be Simon Fraser freshman Kerlinda Chatwin, who holds a provisional qualifying jump of 38’ 3.5” (11.67 meters).

In the second meet of her collegiate career, CWU freshman Lauryn McGough became the first GNAC pole vaulter to clear 13 feet, as she posted a monster mark of 13’ 3.5” (4.05 meters) on Jan. 12 at The Podium. McGough’s GNAC record clearance holds as the fifth-best mark in Division II this winter, and it is an entire foot higher than SPU’s Lizzy Daugherty who is second in the GNAC with a provisional qualifier of 12’ 3.5” (3.75 meters). McGough is seeking to become the fourth CWU woman to win the pole vault and the first since Halle Irvine in 2020. If she can approach her season-best, the GNAC meet record of 12’ 10.75” (3.93 meters) has a good chance of falling.

Looking to repeat as shot put champion will be Northwest Nazarene’s Destany Herbert, whose provisional qualifying toss of 46’ 4.75” (14.14 meters) leads the conference and was ninth-best in GNAC indoor history. Katie Potts of Western Washington will also contend for the title, as she enters with a provisional mark of 45’ 4.25” (13.82 meters).

Neither Saint Martin’s nor Montana State Billings have ever had a GNAC women’s indoor champion in a throwing event, but that could change thanks to a pair of standout seniors. SMU’s Jocelyn Saribay enters the meet with a GNAC-best throw of 53’ 6.25” (16.31 meters) while MSUB’s Grace Jones is close behind at 51’ 9.25” (15.78 meters). Jones is fresh off a PR at the Mountain State Games on Feb. 9.

Men’s Preview

Kevin McDermott, who claimed the 2023 GNAC Cross Country Championships title, has put together an indoor season to remember and is the owner of three provisional marks ahead of the event. The 2022 GNAC indoor champion in the 5,000 meters, McDermott will look for his second title in that event as his entry time of 13:50.77 was third fastest in GNAC history and ranks seventh nationally. McDermott also has the GNAC’s top times in the mile (4:02.13) and 3,000 meters (7:59.27), which rank 13th and ninth nationally and are both fourth all-time for GNAC indoor track.

A healthy Cole Nash of Alaska Anchorage could yield an exciting men’s 5,000 meters, although his top time this season of 14:28.84 sits well back of McDermott’s. Nash broke the GNAC meet records in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters on his way to a pair of titles at last year’s indoor championships. The men’s 3,000 meters figures to be a tighter affair, with Simon Fraser standout Ephrem Mekonnen (8:08.40) and McDermott’s teammate Sten Brakstad (8:17.67) each also holding provisional qualifying marks.

McDermott will also look to snap a streak of three straight SFU mile champions, but will have hefty competition from Western Oregon’s Keeton Sanchez whose time of 4:07.61 ranks second in the conference and is a provisional qualifier.

Alaska Anchorage freshman Joshua Caleb flirted with history in his collegiate debut, running the second-fastest times ever in the GNAC in both the 60 meters (6.73) and the 200 meters (21.43). Both figures, which stand as provisional qualifying marks, would be conference meet records if Caleb can match his speed from the Whitworth Invitational on Feb. 9. While the Seawolves are typically known for their distance prowess, they hold the conference’s top marks in three of the sprints. Kevin Angarita enters the championship with a provisional 400 meters time of 48.21 seconds and is the favorite to defend his 2023 title in the event.

Western Oregon and Simon Fraser figure to joust for points in the men’s 800 meters, with the Wolves’ Isaiah Rodriguez holding the top time at 1:53.18 and the Red Leafs’ Aiden Good close behind at 1:53.58 entering the meet. WOU’s Grant Bohannon has the fourth-best time in the event at 1:54.44, while SFU’s Colton Plummer is fifth at 1:54.52.

Western Washington’s Hunter Flick holds the GNAC record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.07 seconds) and has the conference’s top mark of 8.11 entering the meet. He will attempt to dethrone reigning conference champion Justin Conklin of Western Oregon, whose time of 8.34 seconds ranks third this winter. Conklin also holds the conference’s top high jump of the season at 6’ 6.75” (2.00 meters) as he vies to become the first Western Oregon man to win that event at the indoor meet.

The Vikings will look to make it four different winners in four years in the 4x400 meter relay, as that title has changed hands in each of the last three conference meets. WWU enters the meet with the top seed time of 3:17.69 which came on Feb. 9 at the UW Husky Classic. Simon Fraser, meanwhile, appears poised for a three-peat in the distance medley relay, as the Red Leafs’ provisional qualifying time of 9:50.45 was a hair faster than Western Oregon’s top time of 9:52.08.

Central Washington’s Drew Klein put together the seventh-best heptathlon score in GNAC history on Jan. 19, racking up 5,198 points to solidify a provisional qualifying mark. With two-time champion Steven Schmidt of NNU out of the picture, Klein will have a chance to bring this event back to the Wildcats who won it three times in a row from 2017-19. Schmidt holds the meet record with 5,386 points (2023), as Klein will look to become the sixth athlete in meet history to break the 5,000-point barrier. Klein is also the pre-meet favorite in the pole vault, with his provisional mark of 15’ 9.75” leading all GNAC athletes.

In what has been a successful winter for CWU’s men’s field athletes, sophomore Isaiah Webster is fresh off a GNAC-best long jump of 23’ 2.75” achieved on Feb. 9. Manny Melo (2012) is the only Wildcat to claim the GNAC indoor long jump title, but the ‘Cats have a good chance for a second as Klein is third in the conference (22’ 5.75”) and Christopher Hines is fourth (22’ 4.25”).

As Conklin looks to conquer the high jump, his Wolves teammates Tyler White and Marley Harrison are the favorites to compete for the title in the triple jump. White leads the GNAC at 45’ 6.25” while Harrison was right on his heels at 45’ 5” when the duo competed at the UW Husky Classic on Feb. 9. This could be the year for WOU’s Mark Warren, who has made the GNAC award stand four times in his collegiate career but never on the top step. The junior’s GNAC-leading weight throw of 57’ 6.25” (17.53 meters) on Feb. 1 was a PR, as he looks to revitalize a WOU weight throw tradition that claimed five consecutive titles from 2004-08. The last Wolf with this crown was Matt Schryvers in 2011.

Montana State Billings’ best chance for an individual men’s title lies in the shot put, where freshman Cole Bentley enters the meet third (47’ 0.25”) and sophomore Isaac Perkins is fourth (46’ 11”). The duo of Yellowjackets will have to overtake both CWU’s Wyatt Franklin (48’ 8.25”) and WWU’s Noah Turner (48’ 3.25”) who hold the conference’s top marks of 2023-24.

2024 GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships

The 2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held Feb. 19-20, 2024 at The Podium in Spokane, Wash. All nine conference programs will compete at the event. Tickets for the event are available for purchase online here.


GNAC Track In The Weekly Coaches Poll Rankings

The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association releases national and regional rankings throughout the 2024 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons.

The Central Washington women reclaimed the conference’s top national ranking, jumping to No. 17 while Simon Fraser moved to No. 21. Western Washington’s women remain the top GNAC team in the regional rankings at No. 4, while CWU (6th) and SFU (8th) remained in the top-10. On the men’s side, Western Washington held pat as the No. 1 regional team for the fourth consecutive week.

USTFCCCA National Rankings - Men's Indoor Track & Field
Poll Team 1 Team 2
Week 1 – 1/23 None --
Week 2 – 1/30 None --
Week 3 – 2/6 None --
Week 4 – 2/13 None --
USTFCCCA National Rankings - Women's Indoor Track & Field
Poll Team 1 Team 2
Week 1 – 1/23 15. CWU  --
Week 2 – 1/30 13. SFU 17. CWU
Week 3 – 2/6 17. SFU 20. CWU
Week 4 – 2/13 17. CWU 21. SFU


USTFCCCA West Region Rankings - Men's Indoor Track & Field
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 Team 5 Team 6 Team 7 Team 8 Team 9
Week 1 – 1/22 1. WWU 3. WOU 4. CWU 5. SFU 7. SPU 8. MSUB 9. NNU 11. UAA 12. SMU
Week 2 – 1/29 1. WWU 3. WOU 4. SFU 5. CWU 7. NNU 8. MSUB 12. UAA 13. SPU 14. SMU
Week 3 – 2/5 1. WWU 3. WOU 4. SFU 5. CWU 7. NNU 11. MSUB 12. UAA 13. SPU 14. SMU
Week 4 – 2/12 1. WWU 4. WOU 5. CWU 6. UAA 7. SFU 8. NNU 13. MSUB 15. SPU 16. SMU


USTFCCCA West Region Rankings - Women's Indoor Track & Field
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 Team 5 Team 6 Team 7 Team 8 Team 9
Week 1 – 1/22 3. CWU 4. WWU 5. WOU 6. SFU 12. SPU 13. MSUB 14. NNU 15. UAA 16. SMU
Week 2 – 1/29 2. WWU 5. CWU 6. SFU 8. WOU 10. SPU 12. NNU 14. UAA 16. SMU 17. MSUB
Week 3 – 2/5 3. WWU 5. CWU 6. SFU 11. SPU 12. WOU 13. SMU 14. NNU 17. UAA 18. MSUB
Week 4 – 2/12 4. WWU 6. CWU 8. SFU 11. SPU 12. WOU 13. SMU 14. UAA 15. NNU 18. MSUB


USTFCCCA Conference TFRI Rankings – Women’s Indoor Track & Field

Week 3 Conference TFRI Rankings (Feb. 5)

Week 4 Conference TFRI Rankings (Feb. 12)

USTFCCCA Conference TFRI Rankings – Men’s Indoor Track & Field

Week 3 Conference TFRI Rankings (Feb. 5)

Week 4 Conference TFRI Rankings (Feb. 12)

USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings – Women’s Indoor Track & Field

Week 2 Event Squad Rankings (Jan. 29)

Week 3 Event Squad Rankings (Feb. 5)

Week 4 Event Squad Rankings (Feb. 12)

USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings – Men’s Indoor Track & Field

Week 2 Event Squad Rankings (Jan. 29)

Week 3 Event Squad Rankings (Feb. 5)

Week 4 Event Squad Rankings (Feb. 12)

2024 Provisional National Qualifying Marks - Women
Event Athlete School Mark Date Meet
60 Meters E'lexis Hollis CWU 7.38 12/9/23 Spokane Invitational
60 Meters Marie-Eloise Leclair SFU 7.38 1/13/24 UW Indoor Preview
200 Meters Marie-Eloise Leclair SFU 23.60 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
400 Meters Emma Cannan SFU 56.89 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
400 Meters Claire Bosma SFU 56.94 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
800 Meters Marian Ledesma WWU 2:10.13 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
800 Meters Emmy Kroontje WWU 2:12.70 1/26/24 UW Invitational
800 Meters Jess Chisar UAA 2:12.10 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
Mile Cassidy Walchak-Sloan SMU 4:52.83 1/26/24 UW Invitational
Mile Sophie Wright WWU 4:52.96 1/26/24 UW Invitational
Mile Ila Davis WWU 4:55.00 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
3,000 Meters Annika Esvelt SPU 9:41.62 1/13/24 UW Indoor Preview
3,000 Meters Ila Davis WWU 9:45.70 1/13/24 UW Indoor Preview
5,000 Meters Annika Esvelt SPU 16:31.43 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
5,000 Meters Ashley Reeck WWU 17:06.33 1/26/24 UW Invitational
5,000 Meters Nell Baker UAA 17:16.40 1/26/24 UW Invitational
60 Meter Hurdles Lauryn Chandler CWU 8.75 12/9/23 Spokane Invitational
Distance Medley Simon Fraser SFU 11:51.23 1/26/24 Terrier Classic
High Jump Emy Ntekpere CWU 1.74m 12/9/23 Spokane Invitational
Pole Vault Lauryn McGough CWU 4.05m 1/12/24 Spokane Indoor Challenge
Pole Vault Lizzy Daugherty SPU 3.75m 2/3/24 George Fox Indoor #1
Long Jump Ujunwa Nwokoma WOU 5.81m 2/3/24 George Fox Indoor #1
Long Jump Emy Ntekpere CWU 5.68m 2/9/24 Whitworth Invitational
Triple Jump Emy Ntekpere CWU 11.79m 1/19/24 Lauren McCluskey Memorial
Triple Jump Kerlinda Chatwin SFU 11.67m 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
Shot Put Destany Herbert NNU 14.14m 12/9/23 Spokane Invitational
Shot Put Katie Potts WWU 13.82m 1/13/24 UW Indoor Preview


2024 Provisional National Qualifying Marks - Men
Event Athlete School Mark Date Meet
60 Meters Joshua Caleb UAA 6.73 2/9/24 Whitworth Invitational
200 Meters Joshua Caleb UAA 21.43 2/9/24 Whitworth Invitational
400 Meters Kevin Angarita UAA 48.21 2/9/24 Whitworth Invitational
Mile Kevin McDermott WWU 4:02.13 1/26/24 UW Invitational
Mile Keeton Sanchez WOU 4:07.61 1/26/24 UW Invitational
3,000 Meters Kevin McDermott WWU 7:59.27 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
3,000 Meters Ephrem Mekonnen SFU 8:08.40 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
3,000 Meters Sten Brakstad WWU 8:17.67 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
5,000 Meters Kevin McDermott WWU 13:59.77 1/26/24 UW Invitational
60 Meter Hurdles Hunter Flick WWU 8.11 2/9/24 UW Husky Classic
Distance Medley Simon Fraser SFU 9:50.45 1/26/24 Terrier Classic
Distance Medley Western Oregon WOU 9:52.08 2/9/24 Valentine Invitational
Pole Vault Drew Klein CWU 15' 9.25" 1/19/24 Lauren McCluskey Memorial
Heptathlon Drew Klein CWU 5,198 1/13/24 Lauren McCluskey Memorial

2023-24 Meet-By-Meet Results
Date Meet Location GNAC Participants Final Results
12/7/23 Bobcat Preview Bozeman, MT MSUB Results
12/9/23 Spokane Invitational Spokane, WA CWU, NNU, SPU, WOU Results
1/12-13/24 Spokane Indoor Challenge Spokane, WA CWU Results
1/13/24 UW Preview Seattle, WA UAA, SMU, SPU, SFU, WOU, WWU Results
1/13/24 Myrle Hanson Open Spearfish, SD MSUB Results
1/19-20/24 Lauren McCluskey Memorial Moscow, ID CWU, WOU Results
1/21/24 Portland Indoor #1 Portland, OR WOU Results
1/26/24 John Thomas Terrier Classic Boston, MA SFU Results
1/26/24 Stacy Dragila Invitational Pocatello, ID MSUB Results
1/26-27/24 UW Invitational Seattle, WA UAA, CWU, SMU, SPU, WOU, WWU Results
1/27/24 Inland Northwest Invitational Spokane, WA NNU Results
2/3/24 Aggie Speed & Power Logan, UT NNU Results
2/3/24 Lew Thorne Invitational La Grande, OR NNU Results
2/4/24 Portland Indoor #2 Portland, OR SMU, WOU Results
2/4/24 George Fox Indoor #1 Newberg, OR WOU Results
2/9-10/24 Valentine Invitational Boston, MA SFU, WOU Results
2/9-10/24 Mountain State Games Pocatello, ID MSUB, NNU Results
2/9-10/24 Whitworth Invitational Spokane, WA UAA, CWU, SMU, WWU Results
2/9-10/24 UW Husky Classic Seattle, WA UAA, SPU, SFU, WOU, WWU Results


2023-24 GNAC Track & Field Athletes of the Week
Date Women's Athlete of the Week Men's Athlete of the Week
Dec. 11 E'lexis Hollis, Central Washington (Track) Brody Kemble, Northwest Nazarene (Track)
  Emy Ntekpere, Central Washington (Field) Justin Conklin, Western Oregon (Field
Jan. 15 Marie-Eloise Leclair, Simon Fraser (Track) Kevin McDermott, Western Washington (Track)
  Lauryn McGough, Central Washington (Field) Drew Klein, Central Washington (Field)
Jan. 22 E'lexis Hollis, Central Washington (Track) Johan Correa, Central Washington (Track)
  Emy Ntekpere, Central Washington (Field) Drew Klein, Central Washington (Field)
Jan. 29 Marie-Eloise Leclair, Simon Fraser (Track) Kevin McDermott, Western Washington (Track)
  Katie Potts, Western Washington (Field) Ryan Greenwalt, Western Washington (Field)
Feb. 5 Maliyah Thompson, Western Oregon (Track) Josh Green, Central Washington (Track)
  Ujunwa Nwokoma, Western Oregon (Field) Mark Warren, Western Oregon (Field)
Feb. 12 Marie-Eloise Leclair, Simon Fraser (Track) Joshua Caleb, Alaska Anchorage (Track)
  Kerlinda Chatwin, Simon Fraser (Field) Isaiah Webster, Central Washington (Field)


2024 GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships

The 2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held May 10-11 at the Recreation Sports Complex on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. The event will be preceded by the GNAC Combined Event Championships, which will take place April 29-30 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. All nine GNAC track and field programs are eligible to compete in both the combined event championship and the outdoor championship.