by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. - Entering the final month of preparation for the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships, the Pirates will travel across the Northwest, participating in the CWU / GNAC Final Qualifier, Oregon Twilight, Ken Shannon Invitational, and the Linfield Open on May 5-6.
Check the online Pirate track & field schedule for results after the conclusion of the meet.
The Pirates: Since the conclusion of the NWC Championships, the women remain fourth in the West Region and 14th in the nation. The men rank seventh in the region and 53rd in the nation.
The Women: With an extremely successful season in the mid distance events, Kayla Leland ranks fifth nationally in the 800, eighth in the 1500, and 18th in the 5000m. In the 800, Leland improved from sixth to fifth with her time of 2:11.38 from last weekend's Cougar Invite hosted by Washington State. In addition to improving her 800-meter time at the Cougar Invite, she broke Whitworth's 25 year old school-record in the 3000-meter run, finishing in 9:47.27.
Kayla Brase holds the Whitworth women's top national ranking, sitting in third in the triple jump with her 40' 1.5" leap from the 2017 Northwest Conference Championships.
Sarah Martinez cracked the top four in the 400 hurdles at the Cougar Invite, running a 1:01.17 to take over the spot from Wisconsin-Whitewater's Meredith Porter (1:01.18). At 19th in the 400 hurdles, Maggie Callan sits just out of qualifying range with a 3:01.12, less than .1 seconds behind qualifying.
The women's 4x400 relay foursome ranks 12th nationally in 3:52.14.
The Men: Andrew Bloom threw a conference winning 224' 2" throw at the 2017 NWC Championships, beating out nationally ranked #1 Seth Nonnenmacher (226' 9") from George Fox. Bloom ranks second behind Nonnenmacher with his mark from the conference championships.
In the 400 hurdles, John-Robert Woolley rounds out the top 25 with a time of 54.09, less than half of a second outside of qualifying for nationals.
The Coach: Entering his 20th season as head coach, Toby Schwarz has earned 29 Coach of the Year awards. Since 2008, Schwarz has sent 86 athletes to the Division III National Championships where 44 earned All-America honors in addition to leading the men to six straight NWC crowns and the women to back-to-back titles.