WWU will send seven student-athletes to the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Kingsville, Texas. Karlington Anunagba, Alex Barry, Cordell Cummings, Raquel Pellecer, Paige Shimkus, Amanda Short, Maddie Taylor. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Send Seven to NCAA II Outdoor Nationals
May 16, 2019
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University Track & Field team will send seven student-athletes to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships that will be held May 23-35 in Kingsville, Texas.
WWU’s contingent features four women and three men that will compete in the three-day championships hosted by Texas A&M Kingsville at Javelina Stadium.
The seven selections are the most since the Vikings sent a record 12 athletes to the 2016 championships in Bradenton, Florida.
Here is the list of Vikings that will compete at the NCAA II Outdoor Track & Field Championships and where they are seeded heading into the meet:
» Cordell Cummings, 400m Hurdles, 6th, 51.77
» Maddie Taylor, High Jump, 7th, 1.74m/5-8.5
» Karlington Anunagba, 100m, 8th, 10.33
» Amanda Short, Javelin, 8th, 47.62m/156-3
» Raquel Pellecer, Javelin, 9th, 47.31m/155-2
» Paige Shimkus, Javelin, 11th, 47.01m/154-3
» Alex Barry, Javelin, 17th, 62.87m/206-3
Western’s noted javelin program will again be well-represented at the national championships, with four student-athletes competing in Kingsville. WWU has had a javelin All-American in seven of the last eight years, including four national champions.
Here is a rundown of WWU’s student-athletes that will be competing at nationals:
CORDELL CUMMINGS (400m Hurdles)
Junior Cordell Cummings (Lake Stevens, WA/Arlington) is seeded 6th in the 400m hurdles with a season-best time of 51.77 setting a meet record at the GNAC Championships. Cummings was a triple-winner at the conference championships to earn Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet honors, also winning the 110m Hurdles and running the first leg of the winning 4x400m Relay. The 51.77 is just 3/100 off the WWU record of 51.74 set by Mike Vorce in 1973. This is first trip to nationals for the five-time GNAC individual champion (four outdoor, one indoor) and the first men’s hurdler to compete at the NCAA outdoor meet since Travis Milbrandt in 2016.
MADDIE TAYLOR (High Jump)
Senior Maddie Taylor (Seattle, WA/Auburn Mountainview) will be making her second trip to nationals this season, earning second-team All-America honors with an 11th-place finish at the NCAA II Indoor Championships in early March. Taylor is seeded 7th heading into the national championships with a top mark of 1.74m/5-8.5. Taylor broke WWU’s 35-year-old school record at the Doris Heritage Track Festival on March 16 in her season outdoor debut. She earned All-GNAC honors with a runner-up finish at the conference outdoor championships clearing 1.67m/5-5.75.
KARLINGTON ANUNAGBA (100m)
Freshman Karlington Anunagba (Lagos, Nigeria) is seeded 8th in the 100m running a 10.33 in his second collegiate race at the Jay Hammer Open on April 13. The 17-year-old freshman had the second-fastest qualifying time at the GNAC Championships, but was scratched from the final with a hamstring injury. His 10.33 (NCAA wind-legal +2.9) is 2nd-fastest in WWU and GNAC history, trailing only All-American Alex Donigian (10.22 in 2015).
AMANDA SHORT (Javelin)
Junior Amanda Short (Lebanon, OR) makes a return trip to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2015, and the first time as a Viking. Short placed 19th at nationals in 2015 while a two-sport athlete at Western Oregon (also played volleyball). After returning from an elbow injury, Short makes a return to the NCAA II Championships seeded 8th. She set a PR with a throw of 47.62m/156-3 at the Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet and earned All-GNAC honors with a 3rd-place finish at the conference championships.
RAQUEL PELLECER (Javelin)
Junior Raquel Pellecer (Sandy, OR) is looking to add a second All-America honor to her trophy case after placing 6th at last year’s championships in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pellecer is seeded 9th with a top season mark of 47.31m/155-2 obtained in the season-opening Ed Boitano Invitational on March 2.
PAIGE SHIMKUS (Javelin)
Freshman Paige Shimkus (Stanwood, WA/Lakewood) is seeded 11th in the women’s javelin and is one of seven freshman in the 23-competitor field. Shimkus recorded a season-best mark of 47.01m/154-3 at the UBC Open on March 30.
ALEX BARRY (Javelin)
Senior Alex Barry (Sequim, WA) made only two throws during the season coming off a minor elbow injury, but made the most of his throws. He qualified for the GNAC Championships with one throw at the Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field meet, and then earned All-GNAC honors with a 3rd-place finish at the conference championships with a qualifying mark of 62.87m/206-3. Barry is seeded 17thin the 19-athlete javelin competition that will be held on the final day of the championships on May 25. Barry was a first-team All-American in 2018 placing 4th at the NCAA II Championships with a throw of 68.38m/224-4. He also competed at the 2016 NCAA II championships placing 14th.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The following is an event rundown with timing (in Central Time) of events WWU athletes will compete in. The complete schedule for the NCAA II Outdoor Track & Field Championships is available online at the championships website:
» Men’s 100m (Anunagba) – Prelims (Thursday, 5/23 - 7:10 pm), Finals (Saturday, 5/25 – 6:45 pm)
» Men’s 400m Hurdles (Cummings) – Prelims (Thursday, 5/23 – 8:40 pm), Finals (Saturday, 5/26 – 7:30 pm)
» Women’s High Jump (Taylor) – Friday, 5/24 (5:05 pm)
» Women’s Javelin (Short, Pellecer, Shimkus) – Saturday, 5/25 (11:30 am)
» Men’s Javelin (Barry) – Saturday, 5/25 (2:25 pm)
GNAC REPRESENTATION AT NATIONALS
A total of 32 women and 14 men, representing eight of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s 10 Track & Field programs, gained invitations to the national meet. Simon Fraser led the way with nine individual selections, while Alaska Anchorage had eight individual selections plus the women’s 4x400-meter relay and Western Washington had seven selections, including four javelin throwers.
HOW TO FOLLOW NATIONALS
The three-day NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships can be followed online via the following social media channels and links:
-- WWU Track & Field --