WWU recorded its fifth GNAC Men’s Indoor Track & Field team title. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

WWU Men Win 2019 GNAC Indoor Championships 

February 17, 2019 

NAMPA, Idaho – The Western Washington University Track & Field program wrapped up a successful 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Championships with the men’s team taking home its fifth title in program history at the two-day event held at the Jacksons Indoor Track and Sports Complex at the Ford Idaho Center.

 

A total team effort by the Vikings recorded six individual titles, 11 All-GNAC performances for top-3 finishes and 26 new entries were made into the all-time program top-10 record book.

 

The Viking men rallied around individual titles by Cordell Cummings in the 60m hurdles, Kyler Sager in the 800m, Seren Dancesin the long jump and J.T. Konrad in the pole vault to record 138.5 team points, 24 points better than second-place Alaska Anchorage with 114.5 points. WWU also won team titles in 2005, 2006, 2013 and 2014.

 

The women’s team placed 4th with 79 team points, just behind third-place Alaska Anchorage with 83 points. Anna Paradee won her second indoor pole vault title and Maddie Taylor took home the women’s high jump title. 

 

“It was an all-around great team effort during the championships,” said 32nd-year head coach Pee Wee Halsell. “If they weren’t competing they were cheering…and they all fed off each other’s performances. I couldn’t be prouder of how they competed and battled this week. It was a phenomenal team atmosphere to be part of.”

ALL-GNAC PERFORMERS

The following WWU student-athletes earned All-GNAC honors by placing in the top 3 in their event. There were nine additional 4th-place finishes just outside of All-GNAC consideration.

 

  • Cordell Cummings: 60m Hurdles (1st)

  • Bryant Welch: 200m (3rd)

  • Kyler Sager: 800m (1st)

  • Tupre Wickliff: High Jump (2nd)

  • J.T. Konrad: Pole Vault (1st)

  • Seren Dances: Long Jump (1st)

  • Sophia Galvez: 5000m (2nd)

  • Maddie Taylor: High Jump (1st)

  • Heather Faretta: High Jump (2nd)

  • Anna Paradee: Pole Vault (1st)

  • Chanelle Eddy: Shot Put (3rd)

 

CUMMINGS DAZZLES IN 60m HURDLES

Junior Cordell Cummings added another hurdles title to his personal trophy case, bringing home the trophy in a PR time of 8.33 in the 60m hurdles. Cummings was the outdoor champion in the 110 high hurdles in 2018 and the 400 hurdles champion as a freshman in 2017. He became the third Viking to win the indoor 60m hurdle title, joining Travis Milbrandt (2015-16) and Josh Freeman (2004). Freshman Koby Okezie placed 6th (8.53) and redshirt freshman Seren Dances placed 8th (9.03) as the Vikings picked up 14 points in the event.

SAGER SETS SCHOOL RECORD WINNING 800m

Senior Kyler Sager won the 800m in a school-record time of 1:53.29, edging out Western Oregon’s Curt Knott by nearly two seconds. Sager becomes the second Viking to win the 800m indoor title, joining Keith Lemay in 2008.

 

BIG POINT TOTALS FOR CUMMINGS AND DANCES

Junior Cordell Cummings helped the Vikings to 23 team points, winning the 60m hurdles (10 points), placing 4th in the 400m (5 points) and was part of the 2nd-place 4x400 relay (8 points). Redshirt freshman Seren Dances helped the Vikings with 14 points, winning the long jump (10 points), placing 6th in the triple jump (3 points) and was 8th in the 60m hurdles (1 point). Dances also finished 9th in the high jump just outside of the points.

 

PARADEE WINS SECOND GNAC INDOOR TITLE

Senior Anna Paradee made the most of her last GNAC competition, winning the pole vault competition clearing 3.89m/12-9. She cleared the winning height in her first chance, while Central Washington’s Halle Irvine too three tires at the same height to finish in 2nd. Both tried for 4.04m/13-3 for what would have been an NCAA II automatic mark, but could not clear the bar.

 

Paradee was the 2017 GNAC Indoor champion and the 2016 GNAC Outdoor champion. She became an eight-time All-GNAC selection, earning top-3 finishes four times in each the outdoor and indoor championships during her WWU career. WWU had nine competitors in the pole vault competition, with Rachael Roberts placing 4th (3.44m/11-3.5), Jewels Oliquiano placing 6th(3.44m/11-3.5) and Lexi Perry 7th (3.29m/10-9.5).

WICKLIFF LEADS STRONG HIGH JUMP CONTINGENT

Senior Tupre Wickliff finished 2nd in the high jump clearing 2.03m/6-7.75, leading five Vikings in the top 10. Despite not defending his GNAC indoor title from last season, Wickliff still set a PR to move into 3rd in the WWU top-10 record book. Junior Nick Makrakisset a PR clearing 1.93m/6-4 to finish 6th and freshman Ethan Sterkel placed 8th also at 1.93m/6-4. 

 

KINGS OF THE TRIPLE JUMP

The Vikings picked up 15 team points in the men’s triple jump, with Nick Makrakis, Jacob Ringold, Seren Dances, Somit Chhimand Jeremiah Duckworth taking home places 4-8 in the competition. Makrakis finished 4th recoding a massive PR in the vent at 14.13m/46-4.25 to move into 5th in WWU history. Ringold (14.11m/46-3.5) and Dances (14.07m/46-2) also jumped over 46 feet to move up to 6th and 7th in the WWU top-10.

 

EDDY AND MCFADDEN GO 3-4 IN THE SHOT PUT

Junior Chanelle Eddy and sophomore Maya McFadden finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the women’s shot put. Eddy earned All-GNAC honors setting a PR with a throw of 11.91m/39-1 remaining at No. 3 in the WWU indoor top 10. McFadden placed 4th with a throw of 11.84m38-10..25, just off her PR of 11.87m/38-11.5.

 

BRADLEY SPRINTS TO PR IN 60m

Junior Hannah Bradley placed 4th in the 60m in a personal-best time of 7.80. Bradley moved up to No. 2 in WWU indoor history after qualifying 6th in the event with a previous PR of 7.84 in Friday’s prelims.

 

SMITH HAS BLISTERING 200m

Senior Savannah Smith finished 4th in the 200m in 25.07, setting a personal best and recording the 2nd-best time in WWU indoor history. She just missed out on the school record of 25.03 set by Ellie Siler in 2010. Smith also placed 8th in the 400m, an event where she also holds the 2nd-fastest time in program history.

 

OKEZIE HAS PHENOMENAL FIRST CHAMPIONSHIPS

Freshman Koby Okezie had a solid first GNAC Championships, placing 4th in the 60m (7.12), 6th in the 60m hurdles (8.53) and was part of the 2nd-place 4x400 relay team. Okezie helped the Vikings to 17 team points with this performances.

 

HAYES GOES THE DISTANCE

Senior Dylan Hayes had a pair of standout performances in the GNAC Indoor Championships, placing 5th in the 3000m on Saturday (8:46.84) and 6th in the 5000m on Friday (15:16.90).

 

RINEFORT FINISHES 6TH IN HEPTATHLON, CUMMINGS PR’S

Freshman Ian Rinefort placed 6th in the men’s heptathlon, finishing with 4,644 points. Freshman Cooper Cummings finished in 9thplace with 4,240 points, 4th-most in WWU history. Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis, a two-time First Team All-American in the event, won the heptathlon with 5,228 points to lead him to the Field Athlete of the Meet award.

 

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

The following are additional highlights by WWU student-athletes during the final day of competition at the 2019 GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships:

 

  • 4x400 Relay – WWU’s entry in the 4x400 relay placed 2nd finishing in 3:20.13, the 3rd-fastest time in WWU history…Myles Smith, Cordell Cummings, Koby Okezie and Bryant Welch formed the relay that finished less than a half-second behind first-place Central Washington.

  • James Jasperson – Placed 4th in the men’s mile finishing in 4:17.71, 7th-fastes in WWU history.

  • Bryant Welch – Placed 3rd in the 200m in 22.21, after setting a PR of 22.17 in the prelims

  • Myles Smith – Set a PR in the 200m in 22.34 to finish 6th, recording the 8th-fastest time in WWU history.

  • Ben Malquist – Placed 6th in the men’s shot put with a throw of 15.29m/50-2 for the 7th-best mark in WWU indoor history.

  • Koby Okezie – Placed 4th in the 60m (7.12) and 6th in the 60m Hurdles (8.53).

  • Shawnee Konrad – Placed 6th in the 800m finishing in 2:19.28 (set PR on Friday in 2:17.95).

  • Devon Olson – Finished 11th in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 10.73m/35-2.5.

  • Sophia Galvez – Finished 8th in the 3000m (10:34.08)…also earned All-GNAC honors with a 2nd-place finish in the 5000m (18:15.80) on Friday.

-- WWU Track & Field --

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