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WWU men win nine events, women eight at 33rd Annual Vernacchia meet

WWU men win nine events, women eight at 33rd Annual Vernacchia meet

Western Washington University Vikings logo. Photo: KPUG/Courtesy of WWU Athletics.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Lindsay Wells (Sr., Seattle/Nathan Hale) improved on her own school record in the women’s hammer throw, highlighting an outstanding day of performances for host Western Washington University on Saturday at the 33rd Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track and Field at Civic Stadium.

Wells claimed one of nine event victories for the WWU women with a throw of 182-4, improving her provisional national mark in the hammer.

The men won seven events, with Matt Lutz (So., Bremerton/Olympic) earning national provisional qualification by winning the 3,000 steeplechase in 9:24.55, cutting more than 17 seconds off his previous season best.

Frank Catelli (So, Sequim) was the top performer for the men, winning both the shot put and discus. Already a provisional qualifier in both events, he won the shot put in a meet record 55-4 1/2 as the Vikings claimed the top four spots, and won the discus in 162-11.

Ryan McArthur (Fr., Lynnwood) was also involved in two event triumphs for the WWU men, winning the 400 in 49.77, and joining with Jon Poolman (Jr., Langley/South Whidbey), Nate Schmidt (Jr., Lynnwood) and Devon Smith (Sr., Marysville/Lakewood) in taking the 4×400 relay in 3:20.34.

Other event winners for the men were Peter Maguire (So., Boise, ID), who claimed the 400 hurdles in 55.79, and Cody McCranie (So., Auburn), winner in the 800 at 1:56.74.

The lone multiple winner for the Viking women was Tanya Bjornsson (Sr., Ferndale), who claimed the long jump with a leap of 18-9, and the 100 hurdles in 14.62.

WWU’s Bethany Drake (So., Sandy, OR) and Katie Reichert (So., Longview/Kelso) continued their dominance in the women’s javelin, as Drake, the NCAA Division II leader in the event, won with a toss of 161-2 and Reichert was second in 158-9. Both have already earned automatic national qualification.

Also winning for the women were Cheyenna Pinley (Jr., Bellingham/Squalicum) in the pole vault (11-1 3/4), Katelyn Steen (Jr., Sammamish/Eastlake) in the 3000 (10:03.43), Sydney Coffey (Sr., Boulder, CO/Niwot) in the 400 (56.80) and Maggie Roe (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) in the discus (134-11).

“It was a good, solid meet for us,” said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell (27th year). “We were tired after a great week last week in California and still had some very good performances. Bethany Drake had a great day with two throws over 161feet and it was great to see Lindsay Wells improve her school record.”

Two meet records were set on the women’s side. Sarah Inglis of Trinity Western won the mile in 4:58.60, and the Seattle Pacific 4×100 relay team of Tasia Baldwin, Kyran Brannan, Kishia Mitchell and BryAnne Wochnick were victorious in 47.20. Brannan (12.37) and Baldwin (12.43) were also 1-2 in the women’s 100.

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