Falcons soar as postseason approaches

SPU women reach top 10 in weekly rankings

Courtesy of Andrew Towell
Senior Michaella Kahns takes sixth place with a height of 10-11 ¾ at the 2017 Doris Heritage Distance Festival.

Just a week ago, the Seattle Pacific women’s team was ranked No. 13 on the weekly West Region list compiled by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. After this past week, they have moved up to the ninth spot on that list.

With moving up in the rankings, the women’s team put forth a stellar performance at the Spike Arlt Invitational on Central Washington University’s Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg this past Saturday, April 22.

Starting things off for the Falcons was sophomore Geneva Lehnert in the high jump. She cleared a season-high 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches taking first place in the event overall.

“I was very pleased with highjump,” Lehnert said. “I haven’t jumped very well this outdoor season so far, so to have a successful day was great and definitely lifted my spirits.”

First-years Scout Cai and Brooke Benner also competed in the high jump and took sixth and eighth places with each notching 4 feet, 11 1/2 inches.

“[Lehnert], [Benner], and I each did five events to get prepared for the heptathlon for conference that is coming up in a few weeks,” Cai said.

Senior Sammi Markham won the shot put with 42 feet, 5 1/4 inches, a new career best. Not only did she claim top honors on Saturday, but Markham also claimed the fifth spot in the GNAC DII Top Marks List for this event.

Markham was also fourth in the discus with a 123-5 1/2, as well as fourth in the javelin with a 135-4. Her javelin throw is currently tied for 19th nationally in NCAA Division II.

Advancing her time each week, first-year Lani Taylor set another best in the 200-meter with 25.29, claiming second place in the event overall. Teammate junior Becca Houk was close behind with a 26.26.

Houk also performed well in the 100-meter dash with a 13.01, taking second place overall.

Claiming another victory for the Falcons was the first-year team of Taylor, Benner, Olivia Gabriel, and Cai in the 4×400 relay.

“We tried a new group for the 4-by-4” Taylor said.

Comprised entirely of first-years, the Falcon team led the way from start to finish in the race, finishing with a time of 3:53.86.

In the long-distance events, first-year Gillian Edgar took sixth in the 1,500 with a time of 5:14.98. In the 3,000 meters, first-years Katherine Walter and Sedona McNerney took sixth and 10th with times of 10:50.29 and 11:39.67 respectively.

“I want the women to win the GNAC conference coming up in a few weeks,” Lehnert said. “We won during indoor season and want to do the same in outdoor.”

For the men’s team, many set an individual PR. In the 400, first-year Lazarus Scarbrough dropped two full seconds from his previous best and finished with a 50.80. This time put him at sixth place overall in the event.  

Teammates sophomore Jesse Phan and senior David McLeod also competed in the 400. Phan finished right behind Scarbrough in seventh place with a time of 50.92, while McLeod took 13th place with a time of 53.50.

Setting another PR was first-year David Choi in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.19 seconds. Choi also tied an earlier PR in the 100 meters with a time of 11.81.

In the long-distance events for the men’s team, Lloyd Byram, a graduate student, came in seventh place in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:18.57. Senior Joseph Walker took ninth with a time of 9:27.89.

The Falcons will compete again this coming Saturday, April 29, in the Ralph Vernacchia Invitational at the Bellingham Civic Stadium with both track and field events beginning at 9 a.m. Several distance runners will be traveling to Corvallis to compete at the Oregon State High Performance meet that same day.

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