Track and Field Wraps up Season at WAC Tournament



Seattle University’s Track and Field team took to Orem, Utah this past week for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, ready to dominate.

First-year Nicole Whittern set the tone for the conference and secured a bronze medal in the javelin throw on the first day. Whittern was able to crush her personal-best with a heave of 40.20-meters in the preliminary round, then beat that personal-best with a throw of 41.53-meters in the finals.

Whittern has been awaiting this chance since an injury near her elbow put her out for most of the season, allowing for only one throw in the spring season before the tournament.

Sophomore Kyle Kennedy continued the day with similar success as he ran his first ever 10k, earning seventh place with a time of 32:47.59.

Kennedy has continued his trend of placing in the top eight for three conferences in a row.

Though Kennedy and Whittern were the stars of the day, several other Redhawks were able to set new personal-bests as well.

First-year Tallia Sova won her heat in the javelin throw with a personal- best of 35.21-meters.

First-year Courtney Gelmini also posted a personal-best in the 10k with a time of 41:14.93.

With the first day full of success, the Redhawks continued into the rest of the conference with heads held high.

Senior Caylah Lunning led the Redhawks into the second day with a bronze medal as she tied her own personal-best in the long jump with a distance of 5.73-meters.

Junior Michelle Newblom once again broke the school record for the 100-meter hurdles despite a considerable headwind with a time of 14.51, qualifying her for the finals.

Alongside Newblom, many other Redhawks were able to qualify for the finals.

Junior Siobhan Rubio qualified for the 800-meter run finals with a time of 2:15.03 and came out second in her heat.

First-year Nicole Golba qualified for the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.76 while fellow first-year Regie Grady set a personal-best in the 400-meter run with a time of 57.58.

First-year Isaiah Payne also recorded a personal-best with a time of 21.65 in the 200-meter dash and an impressive time of 10.93 in the 100-meter dash, coming in third in his heat.

Junior Steven Brown led his teammates in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.76.

As the second day came to a close, the Redhawks looked forward to the third and final day as their last chance for record-breaking achievements.

In the midst of this incredible success, there was one event that stood out: the women’s 4×100 relay.

Newblom, Lunning, and Grady were accompanied by sophomore Michaela Moore in bringing home a new school record in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 46.85, a full .90 seconds faster than the previous record. The group was fourth overall in the conference for the event.

This group was quite unusual, made of up of a hurdler, long jumper, 400-meter runner, and only one 100-meter runner.

“The fact that we were able to accomplish this was amazing,” Newblom said.

The team had little to no preparation going into the event as a team as Lunning was battling injuries up until the tournament.

“I just had to figure out two different hand-offs and came in a bit later. I think we did a pretty solid job overall,” Lunning said.

The group attributes this overall achievement to the bonds they share with one another, which allowed them to pull together a cohesive group in such little time.

“We get along really well. If we didn’t have that I don’t think we would have had this level of success at all,” Moore said.

Grady also adds that the support they received from coach Kelly Sullivan and assistant coach Chad Pharis gave them the confidence they needed.

“For them to even have their eyes on us and make sure that we were in a good spot made us feel confident and comfortable,” Grady said.

The men’s 4×100-meter relay saw similar success, as First-years Brant Yamamoto, Lucas Milne, and Isaiah Payne accompanied Junior Jarod De Guzman for a season-best at 42.06, securing fourth place as well.

Returning for the finals, Newblom was able to secure sixth place with a time of 14.80 in the 100-meter hurdles.

Golba was able to place eighth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.42 in the finals while teammate Rubio took fourth place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.60.

First-year Marie-Therese Chahrouri led the women with a time of 4:52.45 in the 1500-meter run.

Senior Jacques Hebert was able to secure fourth place in the 1500-meter run with an incredible time of 3:55.79, the fastest of the Redhawks for the event.

Overall, Seattle U placed seventh overall for the women’s team and eighth overall for the men. The title went to the host of the event for the women, Utah Valley, while the men’s title went to Grand Canyon University.

The conference was considered a win for Seattle U with several broken school records and many personal- bests for the athletes.

Editor’s Note: Michelle Newblom, Michaela Moore, and Caylah Lunning all are employees of The Spectator.

Kristen may be reached at
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