The GNAC Outdoor Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Western Oregon University. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

Vikings open competition at the GNAC Outdoor Championships today 

 May 11, 2018

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University track & field program competes Friday and Saturday at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships, hosted by Western Oregon University at McArthur Field.
 

The meet begins Friday afternoon with field events starting at 2 pm and track events at 2:45 pm. The Friday track schedule features distance events and the preliminaries for the sprints and middle distance events. Competition continues with a 10 am start for field events and a 12 pm start for track events on Saturday.
 

GNAC Outdoor Championships

The GNAC Outdoor Championships can be followed with live results at GNAC.Live. The live results feature a live scoreboard, event lists, team scores and the option to subscribe for results notifications via email, text and/or Twitter.

 

Tickets for the GNAC Outdoor Championships can be purchased at GNACtickets.com until the online sales deadline ends at midnight on Thursday, May 10. Online ticket prices are $9 for adults and $5 for children, students and seniors. Box office prices for the meet are $10 for adults and $6 for children, students and seniors. 

 

Meet Details:

Event: GNAC Outdoor Championships

Site: Monmouth, Oregon (McArthur Field)

Date: May 11-12, 2018

Meet Preview

The WWU men placed 2nd at the 2017 GNAC Outdoor Championships while the WWU women finished 5th. The men (132 points) were narrowly edged by Alaska Anchorage (134 points) in a battle for the title through the final event of the meet. The women totaled 90 points in 5th place last season.

 

For the men, a trio of Vikings return to the GNAC Outdoor Championships as defending champions. Junior Alex Barry (Sequim, WA) was the javelin champion last season while junior Isaac Derline (Kent, WA/Kentridge) took home the 5,000m title in 2017. Sophomore Cordell Cummings (Arlington, WA) was the 400m hurdles champion as a true freshman last year.

 

In addition to the returning champions, senior Brandon Pless (Sedro-Woolley, WA) was an All-GNAC performer in two events by placing 2nd in the shot put and 3rd in the discus at the 2017 meet.

The Vikings have 35 marks ranking among the top 10 on GNAC performance lists on the men’s side entering the championships, including 15 among the top 5 and a pair of GNAC-leading marks.

 

Cummings enters the meet with a GNAC-leading time in the 110m hurdles (15.01) and the No. 2 time in the 400m hurdles (53.70).

 

Junior Tupre Wickliff (Vancouver, WA/Evergreen/Clark College), the 2018 GNAC Indoor Championships high jump champion, leads the conference during the outdoor season in the high jump with a top mark of 2.06m (6-9).

 

Also among the top-5 marks for WWU are a trio of NCAA II provisional qualifiers. Barry owns the No. 3 javelin mark in the GNAC this year at a distance of 64.77m (212-6) and junior Kyler Sager (Snohomish, WA/Everett CC) has the 4th-best 800m time at 1:51.94 heading into the meet. Pless enters the meet with the 5th-best hammer throw mark (54.95m/180-3).

 

Sophomore Edward Kiolbasa (Stillwater, MN/Stillwater Area/North Dakota) has the No. 2 time in the 10,000m at 31:57.70 entering the weekend while junior J.T. Konrad (Mead, WA/Mount Spokane) ranks No. 3 in the pole vault (4.65m/15-3) and senior Somit Chhim (Kelso, WA) has the No. 3 mark in the triple jump (14.18m/46-6 ¼).

 

The WWU men won four consecutive GNAC Outdoor Championships team titles from 2012 through 2015 and have won six GNAC titles overall.

 

The WWU women return two All-GNAC honorees from last season in pole vaulters Jewels Oliquiano (So., Kaneohe, Hawaii/Castle) and senior Anna Paradee (Tacoma, WA/Decatur). Oliquiano was 2nd while Paradee finished 3rd in the pole vault at the 2017 conference meet.

 

Paradee, a 2017 indoor and outdoor pole vault All-American, has a pair of GNAC pole vault titles from the 2017 indoor season and 2016 outdoor season. 

 

The WWU women have 24 marks among the top 10 on GNAC performance lists entering the meet, including 11 among the top 5 with a trio of GNAC-leading marks.

 

Paradee enters the weekend with the top pole vault mark at 3.97m (13-0 ¼) as an NCAA II provisional-qualifying height. Junior Maddie Taylor (Seattle, WA/Auburn Mountainview/Montana) leads the conference in the high jump entering the meet at a height of 1.70m (5-7), also a provisional qualifier.

 

Sophomore Raquel Pellecer (Sandy, OR/Portland State) has the top javelin mark in the conference at 47.91m (157-2) and is one of three Vikings with a provisional-qualifying javelin throw during the season. Freshman Natalie Vetto (Kirkland, WA/Lake Washington) has the No. 4 mark in the conference at 44.94m (147-5) while freshman Hannah Nienaber (Battle Ground, WA/Prairie) is 10th (42.31m, 138-10).

 

Junior Savannah Smith (Renton, WA) has the 2nd-best 200m time (24.83) entering the meet while WWU’s top 4x100m relay time (47.36) during the season is No. 2 on the GNAC performance list entering the weekend.

 

Before placing 5th at the GNAC Outdoor Championships last season, the WWU women were 4th in 2016 and 2015 after tying for 2nd during 2014. The Vikings have placed among the top 3 at the GNAC Outdoor Championships 10 times, including three runner-up finishes. 

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