WHAT: 2018 GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships
WHEN: May 11-12
WHERE: Monmouth, Ore. - McArthur Field at Western Oregon University

ON TAP: The Alaska Anchorage men’s and No. 10 nationally ranked women’s outdoor track & field teams will look to defend its titles at the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Monmouth, Ore., May 11-12.

THE GNAC BUZZ: While the goal will certainly be to win the team trophies, much of the talk will be about individual performances at the 2018 GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Alaska Anchorage, who won both the men’s and women’s meets last year, will vie to repeat as team champions. The Seawolves’ men just edged out Western Washington for the title last year with 134 points while the women had a 27-point cushion to win with 158 points. The focus, though, will be on the individuals who have made the 2018 GNAC outdoor season a historic one. Entering the meet, athletes have broken six conference records, one Division II record and established two more top-three Division II all-time best times. Adding to the excitement is a boatload of returning champions from across the league. A total of 13 men’s champions and six women’s champions are back from last year along with a pair of athletes who won in 2016.

ATHLETES TO WATCH: The Seawolves had 28 marks (12 men, 16 women) rank in the top five in the GNAC performance lists this season. On the men’s side, Oshane Hylton (100m, 200m), Darrion Gray (200m), Liam Lindsay (200m, 400m), Jorge Sanchez (10,000m), Nickson Koech (10,000m), the 4x100m Relay, the 4x400m Relay, Christopher Brake (HJ,TJ), Brandon Nicholson (TJ) will look to score points. For the women’s team, Marie Ries (100m, 200m), Vanessa Aniteye (400m), Yemi Knight (400m, 800m), Danielle McCormick (800m), Caroline Kurgat (1500m, 5000m, 10000m), Tamara Perez (1500m), Emmah Chelimo (5000m, Steeple), Mariah Burroughs (Steeple), the 4x100m Relay, the 4x400m Relay, and Yvonne Jeschke (HJ) have a strong chance to score.  

RECORD RANKING: The women’s team equaled its best USTFCCCA national ranking in program history it set in 2014, moving up to No. 5 on Apr. 3. UAA enters the championship meet at No. 10.

RECORD BREAKERS: UAA has broken six records this outdoor season. Junior Caroline Kurgat owns three school records in the 1,500 (4:21.18), 5,000 (15:41.21), and 10,000 (32:33.24). Both the 5K and 10K are GNAC records, and both sit in the top three in Div. II history. Junior Danielle McCormick of Soldotna improved her 800-meter mark (2:06.17). On the men’s side, sophomore Oshane Hylton owns the fastest 200-meter time in program history (21.42), while freshman Brandon Nicholson set a new school mark in the triple jump (47 feet, 5.25 inches).