The Western Washington University men’s track & field team from Bellingham, WA won the program’s seventh title at the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships, concluding the two-day meet on Saturday at McArthur Field on the Western Oregon University campus.
The Viking men scored 173 team points, well-ahead of second-place Central Washington with 122 points. The outdoor championship was the seventh in program history, adding to the 2005, 2010 and 2012-15 team titles. WWU has now recorded 12 GNAC men’s track & field team titles, with a seven Outdoor and five Indoor.
The WWU women placed 5th among the 10 teams at the GNAC Outdoor Championships, finishing with 95.0 points.
“I am real proud of how both teams competed at the championships and it was a great performance for the men to win the seventh title in program history,” said 32nd-year head coach Pee Wee Halsell. “It was an all-around total team effort and a typical track meet where things happen that you can’t control. But we has so many student-athletes step up on both sides to make this a special performance by the Vikings.”
Junior Cordell Cummings (Lake Stevens, WA/Arlington) was a double-winner in the 110m and 400m Hurdles to win the Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet Award. His performance helped lead the Viking men to the GNAC Track & Field sweep in 2019, with WWU also winning the Indoor Championships team title in February.
“Cordell was fantastic and an absolute animal in sweeping the hurdles events,” added Halsell. “He is just a competitor and loves to win. He has the heart of a champion and once again showed it today with an amazing performance.”
Cummings repeated as the conference champion in the 110m Hurdles winning in a time of 14.91, ahead of second-place finisher Giovanni Brown from Concordia (15.12). Cummings won last year’s event in 14.97, and became the fifth GNAC hurdler to record multiple titles in the 110m Hurdles since the first conference championship event in 2002. A WWU student-athlete has now won the 110m Hurdles in six of the last seven championships, with Logan Myers winning in 2013-14 and Travis Milbrandt in 2015-16.
Cummings became a double-winner by setting a meet record in the 400m Hurdles (just an hour after the 110m Hurdles) in a personal-best time of 51.77, just 3/100th off the WWU all-time record. He blew away the old GNAC Championships record of 52.12 set by Simon Fraser’s Vladislav Tsygankov last season. Cummings won the same event as a freshman in 2017.
In winning both the 110m and 400m Hurdles, Cummings becomes just the second competitor in the 17-year history of the GNAC Championships to be a double winner in the hurdles, joining Western Oregon’s Sam Hobbs in 2004. Cummings capped his great weekend running the opening leg of the winning 4×400 relay that concluded the event.
Sophomore Seren Dances (Port Townsend, WA) also had an outstanding meet gathering 18 total points, winning the long jump on Friday, placing 4th in the triple jump, 8th in the high jump and 6th in the decathlon.
“Seren gave several great performances, from his points at the multi-event championships, to winning the long jump to a PR in the triple jump…just a great effort by him,” said Halsell.
Sophomore Bryant Welch (Burien, WA/Mount Rainier) helped contribute 24 points, placing 2nd in the 400m and 3rd in the 200m, and ran the third leg in the Vikings winning 4×400 relay.
“Bryant is another young man that just has a heart of a champion and really works hard and came alive late in the season and at this meet,” said Halsell. “I am looking forward to how he uses this outstanding performance to catapult him to even great things in his WWU career.”
Senior javelin thrower Alex Barry (Sequim, WA) needed just one throw, only his second of the season due to an injury, to place 3rd to earn All-GNAC honors and record an NCAA II provisional qualifying mark of 62.87m/206-3.
On the women’s team, junior Hannah Bradley (Bellingham, WA) earned All-GNAC honors placing 2nd in the 200m and senior Savannah Smith (Renton, WA) capped her great career placing 3rd in the 400m.
“I am really proud of the team effort on the women’s side…with so many student-athletes stepping up,” said Halsell. “Savannah (Smith) capped a great career with her performances, Devon (Olson) was phenomenal in the triple jump, Hannah (Bradley) ran a great 200m and Lexi (Perry) was great in the pole vault. And once again our javelin throwers showed why they are an elite bunch.”
Here is rundown of the WWU student-athletes that earned All-GNAC honors for placing in the top three in individual races and on the winning men’s 4×400 relay team:
WWU All-GNAC Honors (top 3 individual, top relay team):
- Cordell Cummings, 1st, 110m Hurdles, 14.91
- Cordell Cummings, 1st, 400m Hurdles, 51.77 (meet record)
- Cordell Cummings, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:15.54 (first leg)
- Bryant Welch, 2nd, 400m, 48.30 (5th in WWU history)
- Bryant Welch, 3rd, 200m, 22.15
- Bryant Welch, 4×400 Relay, 3:15.54 (third leg)
- Seren Dances, 1st, Long Jump, 7.20m/23-7.5 (4th in WWU history)
- Avery Lux, 2nd, Hammer Throw, 55.35m/181-7 (3rd in WWU history)
- Ian Rinefort, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:15.54 (second leg)
- Myles Smith, 1st, 4×400 Relay, 3:15.54 (fourth leg)
- Koby Okezie, 3rd, 110m Hurdles, 15.18
- Dylan Hayes, 2nd, Steeplechase, 9:08.22
- Ed Kiolbasa, 2nd, 10,000m, 32:19.18
- Kyler Sager, 2nd, 800m, 1:54.96
- Alex Barry, 3rd, Javelin, 62.87m/206-3
- Hannah Bradley, 2nd, 200m, 24.81 (3rd in WWU history)
- Chanelle Eddy, 2nd, Discus, 43.49m/142-8
- Lexi Perry, 3rd, Pole Vault, 3.62m/11-10.5
- Savannah Smith, 3rd, 400m, 56.10 (3rd in WWU history)
- Maddie Taylor, 2nd, High Jump, 1.67m/5-5.75
- Heather Faretta, 3rd, High Jump, 1.62m/5-3.75
- Amanda Short, 3rd, Javelin, 45.14m/148-1