Falcons set new highs

Daniel Newman

Scout Cai led the pack for the Falcons at the GNAC Multi-Event Championships, finishing in second place in the heptathlon, and accumulated a total of 5,034 points, which was a new career high for her.

In addition, multiple members of the Seattle Pacific University men’s and women’s track teams set personal records in their events at the Ken Shannon Invitational at the University of Washington last weekend. The Falcons had three members of the team participate in the heptathlon: Cai, Renick Meyer and Kellie May.

“The heptathletes finished fairly close to where they were ranked heading into the competition,” said assistant coach Chris Reed. “Despite not getting the title, it was nice to see Scout Cai post a lifetime best.”

Cai was able to take home second place overall, helped by second place finishes in the high jump and javelin events, and third place finishes in the shot put, throwing a new personal best, and the 800-meter run. Meyer, who won the competition last year, finished in fifth with 4,764 points, winning the long jump and getting second in the 110 hurdles and the 200. May finished in tenth with 4,111 points. She had a third-place finish in the long jump and a fifth-place finish in the shot put, with a personal best throw. Cai and Meyer’s finishes added 12 more points to the team’s total for the overall outdoor championship.

Central Washington University’s HarLee Ortega took home the championship with a total of 5,212 points, and Central Washington also had the fourth-place finisher in Sidney Trinidad, who had 4,783 points. The Wildcats were able to add 15 points to their championship team score.

“Central Washington’s heptathletes certainly had a strong couple of days, so that’s going to challenge many of our athletes in other event areas to find a way to step up at the GNAC Championship this coming weekend,” said Reed

The rest of the Falcons got to compete on Saturday at the Ken Shannon invitational at the University of Washington.

Peace Igbonagwam won the long jump for the second week in a row, jumping 18 feet and 5.75 inches. Renick Meyer finished in fourth in the event. Igbonagwam was the only Falcon to win an event on Saturday, but that didn’t stop the Falcons from getting personal best performances.

Kate Lilly broke the 4 minute 30 seconds mark for the first time in her career in the 1500, with a time of 4:28.99, good enough for third place. Kelsey Mitchell also had a personal best performance in the race, finishing in fifth, and Dania Holmberg finished sixth.

Julia Stepper went under 12 seconds in the 100 for the first time, finishing in second with a time of 11.96. Meyer finished in third, and Jenna Bouyer finished in sixth.

In the 200, Grace Blay finished in fourth and Igbonagwam set a personal record time and finished in sixth. Rebecca Troescher finished in third in the 400 with a time of 59.77 and Elizabeth Thompson finished in third in the 800 with a time of 2:18.28.

In the field events, Cai set another personal record in the pole vault, finishing in fourth after clearing the bar at 12 feet and 2 inches. Geneva Lenhert finished in second in the high jump after clearing the bar at 5-5 and Madison Licari tied for seventh in the same event.

One of the best performances on the day from the Falcon men came from Jesse Phan, who finished third in the 800, with a time of 1:54.13.

The Falcons had six competitors run in the 1500, and Colby Otero came in tenth with a time just over the four-minute mark. The other Falcon runners were Elius Graff, Shad Galloway, Jared Putney, Brayden Schultz and Ben Hansen, who finished in thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth, respectively.

On the field side, Sean Barbour jumped over 14 feet for the first time in his career and finished in third in the event. Silas Newby finished sixth in the long jump with a jump of 20-2 1/4.

“It was a pretty good meet for us overall,” said Reed. “For most of our athletes, it was a chance to build upon their confidence in themselves, their training, and their teammates.”

With the regular season meets are over, and the Falcons will gear up for the GNAC outdoor championships this weekend at Western Oregon University. The women will be looking to repeat as champions, and the men will be fighting hard to bring home a championship as well. Reed commented that both teams feel ready for the big meet.