Written by: Nicholas Sarysz
The Greater Northwest Athletic Conference Championship Track & Field meet was hosted this month at McArthur Field, May 12 and 13. Western’s women’s track team came into the meet ranked third in the conference, while the men ranked second. Both teams are also the reigning GNAC Indoor championships from February of this year.
The combined-events championship was held the week prior, where the heptathlon and decathlon athletes competed at Northwest Nazarene University. There, senior Jenelle Hurley claimed her first GNAC heptathlon title. She took first in the high jump and long jump while taking third in the 200 and 800-meter dash. Previously, Hurley had won two indoor pentathlons, was named 2022 GNAC Female Field Athlete of the Meet and holds the indoor and outdoor school records in the long jump. Hurley finished the meet as the Field Athlete of the Meet, winning the heptathlon, taking third in the long jump, second in the high jump and 16th in the javelin. Other Western finishers in the heptathlon included Maliyah Thompson in sixth place, Amity Deters in seventh place, Amariyah Clay in ninth place and Macy Clemans in 10th.
On the men’s side, senior JJ Walker finished second in the decathlon. Walker took first in the long jump, second in the 400-meter dash and pole vault and third in the 100-meter dash. Other Western finishers in the decathlon included Brennen Sorah in fourth place and Gabriel Burchfield in sixth.
As for the individual events, Senior Dayne Gordien won both the shot put, and discus titles. Sophomore Keeton Sanchez also brought home an individual title in the 1500m, winning the race by eight-tenths of a second. Other top finishers for the men included Justin Conklin in second place for the 110 hurdles, Amari Hendrix in second place for the 400 and Emmett Klus in second place for the 800.
Senior Kaylee Wright won the javelin title on the women’s side with an NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 43.25 meters and a score of 141-10. Other top finishers for the women included Lyndee McLauchlin getting second place in the javelin, Abigail Sanders in third place in the javelin, Maliyah Thompson in third place in the 100 hurdles, Krystal Andres in third place in the discus and Amariyah Clay in third place for the triple jump.
Both Western men’s and women’s teams placed second overall in the championship meet, each losing to Western Washington University by 23 and 85.5 points, respectively.
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