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Track & Field

Westmont Men, Women Capture GSAC Track & Field Titles

Both the Westmont men's and women's teams claimed championships today at the GSAC Track and Field Championships. The men claimed their fifth championship in a row while the women have now won two in the last three years. 

The men tallied 265 points, outpacing second-place Vanguard who scored 209 points. Biola finished third with 110.5 points, The Master's was fourth with 88 points, Menlo took fifth with 73.5 points, Arizona Christian finished sixth with 46 points and William Jessup was seventh with 32.

"I think it is amazing, because all four years I have been at Westmont I have seen the men win, so it feels normal." said Peter Zippi, "At the same time, this is very special because everyone contributed so much. I was in awe of everyone on this team, people overcame injuries and they overcame some personal struggles so to come together in the midst of that was great."

A year after taking second to Biola by a point and one-half, the Westmont women turned in a dominating performance. The Warriors scored 325 points with Biola tallying 236.50 for second place. William Jessup claimed third place with a score of 84 and Vanguard collected 69 points for fourth. The Master's produced 46.5 points for a fifth-place finish, edging out Arizona Christian who took sixth with 42 points. Menlo placed seventh with 26 points.

"The women had a complete team victory", said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley, "from top to bottom people got points.  When we couldn't win an event, we had three people score to equal what the winner of an event scored. So, it was very gratifying to have a true team win. We did not miss out on a single point that was available to us."

"At the beginning of the year the goal we made at our first practice was to have both the men and women win GSAC - we knew it was going to be hard, but we could do it," said senior Becky Collier. "So to be in this moment, knowing that the entire team contributed and we have all been so driven to do it since day one, just tasting victory is so cool and to see my team step up today was really cool and really encouraging.

"It wasn't just a bunch of first places that won it - we had a lot of seventh and eighth place finishers and those points really racked up. It has been such a good four years, and finishing with a win and my team behind me - I wouldn't rather be anywhere else in the world right now than on this track with these people."

Madison Herrera was the Warriors' leading point scorer. The sophomore won four individual events, finished fifth in another, and was a member of one winning relay team to tally 46 points.

Herrera recorded NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship automatic qualification marks while winning the 110 meter hurdles in a time of 14.58 and the long jump with a leap of 5.68 meters (18-7.75). Herrera won the 100 meter dash in a time of 12.38 and the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.31. She picked up 3.5 point by tying for fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 10.55 meters (34-7.5)

Herrera, along with teammates Alseha Bond, Dana Bowers and Taryn Phipps, won the 4 x 100 meter relay in a time of 48.89.

Phipps was also a member of the women's 4 x 400 meter relay team which included Chena Underhill, Emily Parks and Collier. The foursome finished more than seven seconds ahead of second-place William Jessup, posting a time of 3:59.43

Phipps also won the women's 400 meter dash, posting a time of 56.95 and earning a provisional qualification.  Phipps finished second in the 200 meters in a time of 25.97.

Underhill and Bowers finished first and second respectively in the women's pole vault. Underhill cleared 3.50 meters (11-5.75) to earn a provisional qualification mark. Bowers vaulted 3.35 meters (10-11.75).

Parks was the winner of the women's 800 meters posting a time of 2:16.03 to win by 1.25 seconds. Parks also was a member of the 4 x 800 meter relay team that included Anne Elise Brown, Maia Halverson and Hope Geisinger. Yesterday the quartet recorded a first place finish in a time of 9:42.07.

Collier won the women's high jump by clearing the provisional qualification mark of 1.65 meters (5-5). She also won the women's triple jump with a distance of 11.44 meters (37-6.5), which was also a provisional qualification mark. 

In the long jump, Collier leapt for 5.55 meters (18-2.5), which earned her a second place finish and yet another provisional qualification. She also finished third in the javelin (35.22 meters), fourth in the 100 meter hurdles (15.29), and fifth in the shot put (10.57 meters). Collier is the reigning NAIA national champion in the women's heptathlon, which she will defend next month in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Winning the GSAC championship in the heptathlon was Brianna Stoppa who recorded 3,935 points. Stoppa trailed Doria Aberouette of Menlo by just 10 points going into the final event. Stoppa won the 800 meter in a time of 2:35 to earn 632 points, 154 more than Aberouette who posted a time of 2:48.66.

The women's 5,000 meter race was won by Kelly Collins whose time of 18:21.67 was nearly 14 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Emily Williams placed third in the event in a time of 18:44.85.

Kristen German earned a third place finish in the women's hammer throw, achieving a mark of 40.96 meters (134-4). 

Of the 22 events comprising the women's competition, Westmont took first place in 15 events.

In the men's decathlon, Westmont Jackson Nemitz claimed first place, tallying 6,140 points to beat out Biola's Nathaniel Belden who scored 5,832 points. Nemitz won three of the 10 events and took second in four.

Pedro Perez Espino took first place in the men's 400 meter dash, posting a time of 49.75. He also placed second in the men's 400 meter hurdles with a time of 56.49. Perez Espino was a part of two relay teams that placed second. In the 4 x 100 meters, he teamed up with Pieter Top, Anthony Cota and Zippi to post a time of 42.81. In the 4 x 400 meters, Perez Espino, Thomas Hamlin, Michael Conant and Top finished just 0.15 seconds behind Vanguard, recording a time of 3:23.43.

After taking second yesterday in the long jump, Cota claimed a first place finish in the men's high jump, clearing 2.05 meters (6-8.75) for a provisional qualification mark. 

Top took second place in the men's 200 meter dash in a time of 22.13 and third in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.97. In the triple jump, Cota placed fourth with a jump of 13.19 meters (43-3.25).

Conant had a second place finish in both the 1500 meter (4:05.08) and the 800 meter (1:53.93) men's races. Michael Oldach finished third in the 1500 meters (4:05.68) 

Jack Dickinson won the men's shot put with a mark of 14.65 meters (48-0.75) while Eric Wong took third with a put of 13.61 meters (44-8). Wong claimed the GSAC championship in the men's hammer throw with a toss of 45.51 meters (149-3). 

Brett Shagena, who finished fifth in the men's decathlon, placed third in the pole vault, clearing 3.94 meters (12-11).

Next up for the Warriors is the second annual Harry Marra combined events on May 12 and 13 at Westmont. The Warriors will also host the All on the Line Qualifier on May 13.

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