MONMOUTH, Ore. - Individual titles by senior Ruth Keino and sophomore Susan Tanui helped put the No. 12 Alaska Anchorage women's team in contention for team glory following the opening day of the 2012 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday at McArthur Stadium.
Following seven-scored events, the UAA women's squad is second with 61 points. Seattle Pacific leads the field with 64 points, while Western Washington is third with 53 points. On the men's side, the No. 15 Seawolves have 17 points. At the completion of six preliminary events, 10 Seawolves qualified for the finals on Saturday.
A local of Eldoret, Kenya, Tanui collected 10 points for the
Seawolves with a winning-time of 10:24.44 in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The current GNAC-record holder in the event, Tanui bested teammate Hallidie
Wilt (10:47.41), who finished runner-up. Tanui's time was also a meet record.
The women's team dominated in the 10,000 meters, taking 23 points on the heels of Keino's winning performance. From Kapcheno, Kenya, Keino cruised to victory with a time of 36:37.97 over junior Miriam Kipng'eno (36:44.96), who finished second. Also earning the Seawolves points were freshman Jaymi Bethea (5th, 38:05) and senior Shoshana Keegan (8th, 39:12.44).
In the men's steeplechase, All-American Micah Chelimo (8:47.33) was unable to capture his third straigh title, finishing second by just .07 seconds. Simon Fraser's Ryan Brockerville (8:47.26), the 2011 NAIA Champion, edged Chelimo, the current GNAC-record holder, at the finish line for the title.
Freshman Grace Morgan didn't hold back in the prelims today, breaking both the 100 meters (12.09) and 200 meters (24.47) records for the Seawolves. A local of Salt Spring Island, B.C., Morgan dropped an amazing .25 seconds of her previous 100-meter record of 12.34, set in April, before breaking Mary Pearce's five-year old 200-meter record by .08 seconds. Both times rank second in the GNAC history book.
Qualifying for three events tomorrow was sophomore Haleigh Lloyd. A local of Ladysmith, B.C., Lloyd finished first in the prelims in both hurdle events, while registering a UAA record and NCAA provisional time in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.31 - fourth best in GNAC history. Lloyd also posted the fastest 400-meter hurdle time at 1:02.23 and qualified in the 400 meters (56.78).
Break her UAA record in the women's long jump was senior Kelsea Johnson. A local of Sitka, Johnson posted a leap of 18-7 3/4, good for second place. Johnson also qualified for the finals of the 400 meters.
Also qualifying for the finals on the men's team were senior Shaun Ward (400mH), juniors A.J. Allen (100m) and Ethan Hewitt (400m), and freshmen Isaac Kangogo (800m) and Nicholas Blackburn (400mH). Qualifying on the women's side were sophomores Ivy O'Guinn (800m) and Susan Bick (800m).
The championships will conclude tomorrow with field events
commencing at 8:30 a.m. ADT and running events starting at 10 a.m. ADT.
Men's Team Scores (7 Events) - Western Washington 67, Central Washington 60 1/2, Northwest Nazarene 36, Western Oregon 30 1/2, Saint Martins 21, Seattle Pacific 18, Alaska Anchorage 17, Simon Fraser 10, MSU Billings 3.
Women's Team Scores (7 Events) - Seattle Pacific 64, Alaska Anchorage 61, Western Washington 53, Central Washington 24, Western Oregon 20, Northwest Nazarene 20, Simon Fraser 19, MSU Billings 9.