WWU Vikings

WWU men fall six points short in bid for third straight title at GNAC Championships

Western Washington University finished six points short in its bid for a third straight men’s title at the 12th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, which concluded Saturday, Feb. 21, at Jacksons Indoor Facility on the campus of host Northwest Nazarene University.

The WWU men placed second with 136 points, behind first-time champion Alaska Anchorage with 142. Simon Fraser was third (95) in the nine-team standings.

UAA was also denied a third consecutive women’s crown, being outpointed by Seattle Pacific, 146 to 134. Simon Fraser was third (104) and WWU sixth (44).

“We had a few things not go our way in a couple of events,” said WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell (28th year) of the men’s finish. “We knew it was going to be a close meet coming in.

“But they went out there and gave it their all with 31 personal bests. They’re definitely champions in my heart.”

WWU’s Travis Milbrandt broke his school, GNAC and meet records in winning the 60-meter hurdles in 8.08 seconds.

Alex Donigian won his third straight title in the 60 (6.82), but was unable to defend his crown in the 200. His second-place time of 21.66 broke the meet record, but was 0.06 seconds behind Western Oregon’s Cody Warner, who was named the meet’s Outstanding Male Performer.

The Vikings’ Brett Watson won the high jump for the second straight year, clearing 6-9 to tie the meet record and reach the provisional national qualifying standard.

WWU’s Logan Myers was third in the 60 hurdles with a PNQ of 8.20, and was sixth in the high jump (6-5). Mark Seely placed second in the triple jump (46-5 1/4).

Cody McCranie finished fifth in the mile (4:14.58) as did Nate van Tuinen in the triple jump (43-7).

Brandon Pless was sixth in the weight throw (48-7 1/4) as was Somit Chhim in the triple jump (42-10 1/4).

Leading the WWU women was Jasmine McMullin, who won the triple jump with a PNQ mark of 38-2 3/4. Anna Paradee was second in the pole vault, clearing 11- 4 1/4.

Veronica Ivancic was fourth in the 60 (7.97), and placing sixth were Shawna Troupe in the 800 (2:15.74) and Haley O’Connor in the mile (5:04.20).