by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. - The George Fox track & field teams knocked off the seven-time defending Northwest Conference Champion Whitworth men and two-time defending champion women, scoring 242 points (men) and 213.50 points (women) to win the 2017 Northwest Conference Track & Field Championships hosted by Whitworth on Saturday, April 22.
Andrew Bloom threw a NWC Championships meet record of 68.32m (224' 2") to beat NWC favorite Seth Nonnenmacher from George Fox by six feet in the javelin.
Nick McGill cleared 1.94m (6' 4.25") and finished second in the high jump by judge's decision. Jacoby Wolfe won the event for George Fox, clearing 2.04m (6' 8.25").
Pacific's Jacob Duvall became the champion in the discus, throwing 46.00m (150' 11"). Zachary Fairhart scored points for the Pirates in eighth place with a final distance of 40.21m (131' 11").
The George Fox men's 4x100 relay won in 42.33. Whitworth finished fourth in 42.95. The George Fox men finished the meet with a win in the 4x400 relay in 3:19.96. The Pirates fourseome finished second in 3:20.07
Brad Hodkison from Pacific Lutheran won his second event of the NWC Championships with a 4:02.81 time in the 1500 run. Chris Polk beat Daniel Harper (1:53.68) from Whitworth by less than a second for a NWC Championship in the 800 run, finishing in 1:52.46. Hodkison finished first and second with teammate Kyle Rapacz in the 5000-meter run with times of 15:27.61 and 15:31.61, respectively. Come Nzibarega finished third in 15:34.70.
John-Robert Woolley became the first Whitworth men's individual NWC champion, winning the 400 hurdles in 54.09. Matt Well's from Puget Sound won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.95. John-Robert Woolley finished second for the Pirates in 15.48.
In the 400 dash, Linfield's Jake Mihelich ran a 48.78 to edge Whitworth's Jalen Robinson-McClure (49.17). George Fox's Vernon Lott ran a 10.93 to win the 100 dash. Mihelich dashed his way to another conference title in the 200, finishing in 21.47. Robinson-McClure finished fifth in 22.
Kayla Leland got out in front from the gun and held her lead in the 1500-meter run, finishing in 4:36.86 to become Whitworth's first individual champion. Leland followed up her championship in the 1500 with a win in the 800, running a 2:12.84. She collected her third individual title in the 5000-meter run with a time of 18:07.97. Allie Wood finished third for Whitworth in 18:17.42
Sarah Cool finished just behind George Fox's Sarah King (56.65) in the 400-meter dash in 58.86. NWC favorite Asia Greene won the 100 dash in 12.14, beating second and third-place finishers Dallas Edge (12.36) Kameha Medallada (12.56) from Whitworth by less than half a second. In the 200, Asia Greene picked up another top finish in 24.78. Medallada finished in third place in 25.62.
Whitworth's Kayla Brase jumped 12.23m (40' 1.5") in the triple jump for first in the event and a new Northwest Conference record. Her mark is the third-best in Division III. Olivia McDaniel's cleared 3.76m (12' 4") to win the pole vault. Amy Blyckert finished fifth with a final height of 3.16m (10' 4.25").
The Whitworth women won the last race of the meet, finishing the 4x400 relay in 3:52.14. George Fox's foursome won the women's 4x100 relay in 48.94. Whitworth's group finished in 49.63 for fourth place.
Linfield's Dallas Edge ran a 14.82 to win the 100 hurdles. Whitworth's Sarah Martinez finished third in 15.53. King ran a 1:00.56 for a win in the 400 hurdles, beating second-place Martinez, who finished in 1:01.26.
Emily Sproul from Pacific won the javelin, tossing 43.34m (142' 2") to beat second place by nearly seven feet. Lewis & Clark's Sarah Bucknovitz threw 41.22m (135' 3") to beat Danielle Openiano (39.84m, 130' 8") by under five feet.
Whitworth's Kayla Brase earned NWC Field Athlete of the Year after setting a Northwest Conference record in the triple jump. She leaped a final distance of 12.23m to take first at the conference championships. Brase finished third in the women's heptathlon at the NWC Combined Event Championships on April 10-11, scoring 4145 points. In the long jump at the conference championships, she finished third with a final distance of 5.29m.
Alex Canchola was selected as Men's Field Athlete of the Year after winning the decathlon at the 2017 NWC Combined Event Championships, long jump, and triple jump. He also scored points in the javelin, leading the field event's for the Bruins in their 2017 Northwest Conference Championship. He finished with distances of 6.90m in the long jump and 14.35m in the triple jump.
Kayla Leland won the 800-meter, 1500-meter, and 5000-meter runs at the NWC Championships, earning the award for NWC Women's Track Athlete of the Year. Leland won her three events in 2:12.84, 4:36.86, and 18:07.97, respectively.
Brad Hodkinson from Pacific Lutheran was honored as NWC Men's Track Athlete of the Year after winning the 1500, 5000, and 10000-meter races. Hodkinson ran 4:02.81, 15:27.61, and 32:56.39 in his three events.
After winning the 110 hurdles in 14.95 and helping his team to a fourth-place finish int he 4x400 relay, Puget Sound's Matt Wells was selected as men's track & field freshman of the year. He also finished sixth in the decathlon, scoring 5562 points.
Pacific Lutheran's Vakeaemanu Hunkin earned the honor of women's track & field freshman of the year. She finished first in the shot put and second in the discus with distances of 13.15m and 46.23m, respectively.
Next Up: With the conclusion of the NWC Championships, the Pirates will travel to Willamette to compete in the West Coast Conference meet on May 4, looking for national qualifying marks.