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Strong season opener at WWU Ralph Vernacchia

Published by
Devin Rajala   Apr 2nd 2012, 11:51pm

Strong season opener at WWU Ralph Vernacchia


April 1, 2012


By Devin Rajala and Ben Thistlewood


Bellingham, Wash. – Heavy rain and cold temperatures did not hinder the Thunderbirds on Saturday at the Ralph Vernacchia meet at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., as the women placed third out of 13 teams, and the men fourth out of 14 teams. The meet produced a multitude of personal bests among Thunderbirds.


NAIA ‘A’ standards were achieved by Jackie Regan in the women’s 5,000 m and Anne-Marie Nano in the women’s 400 m hurdles.


On Friday night, Sarah Reimer – who already has the NAIA Championships ‘A’ standard for the marathon – won the women’s 10,000 m in 37:36.19, earning the ‘B’ standard for that event in the process.


During the women’s 5,000 m on Saturday, Regan took the lead and gapped the field midway through the race. She closed hard to finish just under the ‘A’ standard of 17:46.30, with a new PB of 17:43.26.


In the women’s 400 m hurdles, Nano surprised herself with a season opening time of 1:03.96, which was good enough for the ‘A’ standard. Nano had some redemption, as she qualified for NAIAs in the same event in 2010, but missed going last year.


The 1,500 m run generated a couple of NAIA ‘B’ standards from a pair of sophomores in Justin Kent and Heather Slinn. Kent sat patiently near the front pack along with fellow T-Bird Jordan Smith before they both made moves in the final 400 metres of the race. Kent’s time of 3:56.77 bettered the ‘B’ standard of 3:57.00, while Smith just missed it, clocking 3:57:05. Slinn raced from the middle of the pack to a third place finish in a new personal best time of 4:42.27, ducking just below the 4:42.50 ‘B’ standard.


Other notable performances were Andrew Nathan winning the men’s 100 m in 11.10 seconds, and Devin Rajala winning his section of the men’s 800 m, in 1:58.90, his first sub-2-minute performance. The women’s 4x100 m relay team of Danielle Douglas, Addison Kramer, Sophie Tran and Erin Templeton won their race in 50.01; Erin Templeton also won the triple jump, leaping 11.17 m. In the men’s 5,000 m, T-Birds went 2-3-4, with men’s captain Theo Hunt running 15:18, Tim Huebsch 15:31, and Matt Galea 15:35.


Full Results can be found at: http://www.wwuvikings.com/sports/c-track/stats/033112aaa.html




The ‘Birds have a rare home meet next weekend, the UBC Open, where they will look to earn more NAIA standards.


The competition starts at 1:45 pm, and will last until approximately 4:30 pm. Spectating is free of charge.


More information, and complete schedule is available at:http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/sports/2011/3/16/TRACK_UBCOpen2011.aspx?path=track




The 61st Annual Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will be May 24-26, at Indiana Wesleyan University, in Marion, Ind.

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