Three gold medals earned

Daniel Newman

The Seattle Pacific University men’s and women’s track and field teams took part in the Ralph Vernacchia invitational in Bellingham, with Falcon sprinters Grace Bley and Jenna Bouyer running off with three first-place and two second-place finishes combined.

“Grace and Jenna have been working hard all year and they’ve gotten to a level where they were truly the class of the field in the 100. They were committed to what they’ve been working on in practice and competed well,” assistant coach Chris Reed said.

Bley took first place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.60, and Bouyer finished in second with a time of 12.64.

Colby Otero, first year, is the first of the falcon finishers in the 3k men’s steeplechase. Photo Courtesy of Jacob Thompson

The same thing happened in the 200. Bley won the race with a time of 24.70, and Bouyer finished second with a time of 25.23.

Peace Igbonagwam also had a good day for the Falcons, finishing right behind Bouyer in the 200 with a time of 25.28. The three combined with Rebecca Troesher to win the 4×400 relay. Troesher and Igbonagwam also enjoyed individual success on the day. Troesher came in third in the 400, and Igbonagwam won the long jump with a jump of 18 feet and 1 inch.

Fellow Falcon Kellie May finished in fifth in both the long jump and the triple jump. Geneva Lehnert finished third in the high jump after clearing the bar at 5 feet and 4.25 inches. Emma Lambert finished tied for fourth in the pole vault and Madison Licari finished tied for tenth.

As for the distance races on the women’s side, Kaylee Mitchell had the best finish, finishing in second in the 3000 steeplechase. Kelsey Washenberger finished in seventh in the event. In the 5000, Sedona McNerney finished in third, running the race in under 18 minutes for the first time in her career, and Katherine Walter finished in sixth. In the 1500, Kate Lilly finished in fifth place, while Elizabeth Thompson and Dania Holmberg finished in ninth and tenth. Finally, Krystal Kaufman took sixth in the 800.

The best event for the Falcons on the men’s side was the steeplechase, where Colby Otero, Jared Putney and Brayden Schultz finished second, third and fourth. Shayne Carpenter finished in third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.62. Jesse Phan finished in sixth in the 800, and Elius Graff finished in tenth in the 5000.

On the field side, Sean Barbour and Davis Flintoff took eighth and ninth in the pole vault, while Silas Newby’s career best jump of 20 feet and 9.75 inches in the long jump was good enough for eighth place. He also achieved a ninth-place finish in the triple jump.

There is only one regular season meet left for both teams before the GNAC championships, and that meet is the Ken Shannon Invitational, which will take place at the University of Washington this weekend.But for three Falcons, championships will be coming earlier. Scout Cai, Renick Meyer and Kellie May will be competing in the GNAC combined event championships at Central Washington University on April 29-30. The three will take part in the heptathlon, where the athletes take place in seven events over two days. These events are the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, the 200, long jump, javelin and the 800. The faster you finish or the better the distance you achieve in an event, the more points you get. The person with the most points after seven events wins.

“The heptathlon is an event we have taken a lot of pride in over the years at SPU,” Reed said.

He thinks that all three will have a successful two days of competition, but the key will be to remain “even-keeled from event to event.”