WWU Vikings

Donigian takes 2nd at nationals

Western Washington University sprinter Alex Donigian placed second in the men’s 60-meter final, missing out on a title by .001 of a second, at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, March 14, at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Less than a second separated the first five finishers in the race.

Lamar Hargrove from Tiffin, Ohio, was declared the winner in 6.717 seconds, with Donigian timed in 6.718. Missouri Southern’s Jeffrey Fraley was third (6.721), Minnesota State’s Emmanuel Matadi fourth (6.724) and McKendree’s C.J. James fifth (6.724).

“I saw the video and it was just a line of men crossing the finish line,” said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell. “Without fully automatic timing, you could never have figured it out.

“He missed out on a national championship by literally a hair. He got out well and was right there the whole way … He’s excited and we’re all very proud of him.”

It was the second straight national indoor appearance for Donigian, who placed 14th last year. This season, he broke his own school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference records with an automatic qualifying time of 6.72 seconds.

The runner-up finish guarantees All-American recognition for Donigian. At outdoor track nationals last spring, he placed fifth (10.61) in the 100 to receive similar honors.

WWU distance runner Katelyn Steen, who was competing in her first indoor national, finished 10th in the women’s 3,000 on Saturday with a time of 9:42.68. She had placed fourth in the 5,000 on Friday with a 16:54.31 clocking.

The top four finishers in the 3,000 all bettered the NCAA meet record.

“She ran a great race and had the second-best time she’s ever run,” Halsell said, “but it’s a tough double and this was a hot race.”