TRK: Westmont rules GSAC; women make history

Elysia Mitchell set a school record in the 100 and met a NAIA national qualifying mark in the 400 hurdles.

Elysia Mitchell tied a school record in the 100 meters and met a NAIA national qualifying mark in the 400 hurdles. She won all four events she competed.

Westmont swept the Golden State Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships this weekend, with both the men’s and women’s teams claiming first place. For the women, it is the first conference championship in school history. For the men, it is their third win in a row.

Westmont’s women posted 267.50 points to beat out Biola who tallied 211.50 points. Concordia claimed third place with 133.50 points while Vanguard took fourth with 85.50 points.

Of the 22 events, Westmont women won 10. Elysia Mitchell competed in four events – two individual and two relays – and won all four. On Friday she teamed up with Kylie Moore, Noelle Crosby and Alexandria Adams to win the 4 x 800 meter relay in a time of 9:35.75.

On Saturday, Mitchell won the 100 meter dash, tying the school record with a time of 12.05 meters. Later, she posted a time of 63.35 in the 400 meter hurdles to earn not only a GSAC championship, but also automatic qualifying mark into the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

In the final event of the meet, Mitchell, Adams, Kaylin Koopmans and Taryn Phipps won the 4 x 400 meters with an automatic qualifying mark of 3:52.08.

Alexus Dalton also won four events for the Warriors – one on the track and three in field events. Friday she won the long jump with a GSAC and Westmont record mark of 5.85 meters (19-2.5) – good enough for an automatic qualification into nationals. She also posted a mark of 11.73 meters (38-6) on Friday in the shot put to claim first place.

Saturday, Dalton took first in the triple jump at 11.30 meters (37-1) and posted an automatic qualifying time of 13.62 in winning the 100 meter hurdles. Dalton also took second in the high jump (1.65m) and third in the javelin (33.64m) to tally 54 points for her team.

Becky Collier took first in Saturday’s high jump, clearing an automatic qualifying height of 1.70 meters (5-7). Kristan Holding took (1.65m) to complete a first, second, third place sweep in the event by the Warriors.

Also claiming an individual event championship was Phipps who placed first in the 800 meters with an automatic qualifying time of 2:12.23.

Altogether, the women tallied 21 All-GSAC performances with 10 first place, three second place and eight third place finishes

Westmont men scored a total of 267 points, out pacing Arizona Christian (145 points) by 122 points. Concordia finished third with 114 points and Vanguard took fourth with 107 points.

Westmont won half of the 22 men’s events with three Warriors winning two individual championships each. Tyler Moore captured first place in the 200 meter dash in a time of 21.89 and in the 400 meter dash in a time of 49.51.

Shane Rowan dominated the horizontal jumps taking first in the long jump with a mark of 6.79 meters (22-3.5) and the triple jump at 14.36 meters (47-1).

Ben Kingsley ruled the shot put and discus, capturing the GSAC crown in each event with marks of 14.83 meters (48-8) and 43.19 meters (141-8). The Warriors swept first, second and third in the discus with Brian Sandefur (42.39m) taking second place and James Asselin (41.19m) taking third.

Sandefur won the hammer throw on Saturday, posting a mark of 40.34 meters (132-4) to lead another Warrior sweep. Kingsley (39.91m) took second and Joseph Miller (34.53m) claimed third.

Asselin collected his first place medal in the high jump when he cleared 1.85 meters (6-0.75m). Finishing first in the javelin was Peter Zippi who posted a winning mark of 55.56 meters (182.3).

On Friday, Jacob Grant, Kyle Fredrickson, Tyler Bradford and Thomas Hamlin comfortably won the 4 x 800 meter relay in a time of 8:04.12.

The Warrior men collected a total of 19 All-GSAC titles – 11 for first place, four for second and four for third.

Westmont head coach Russell Smelley was named the GSAC Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s track and field. This marks the fifth and sixth times that Smelley has received GSAC Coach of the Year honors. His previous awards came in 1998 for women’s cross country, 2006 and 2014 for men’s track and field and 2009 for men’s cross country.

The Westmont Track and Field schedule contains one more completion date before the national outdoor championships. On Saturday, May 9, select athletes will compete in the Occidental Invitational. Few if any seniors are expected to participate as the date coincides with graduation.

The NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held May 21-23 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.