by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
TACOMA, Wash. – Five individual victories and a bevy of top-five finishes propelled both the Whitworth men's and women's track and field teams to third place results at the Shotwell Invitational.
Between the two squads, the Pirates piled up 23 top-five finishes at Shotwell despite missing some members of the team for spring break.
For the women's team, Kayla Leland led the way with a victory in the 5,000 meters. Her 17:04.28 time was Whitworth's best of the season and was just under 11 seconds behind her school record-breaking time from last season.
Isabel Clark tallied Whitworth's other women's victory in the 400-meter hurdles where her 1:04.72 mark set a new personal record, beating out her top-20 national time of 1:05.67. Clark also finished second in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.25 mark.
Danielle Openiano competed in her first meet of the season and is already in a qualifying position for the outdoor national championships. The senior's mark of 127' 9" in the discus is 22nd best in the nation.
Alecia Longsine added another top-five performance in the pole vault, clearing 10' 2 ½" to earn third place and set a new personal best mark.
The final women's scores were: 1) Central Washington - 175, 2) Spokane CC - 133.50, 3) Whitworth - 83, 4) Saint Martin's - 70, 5) Puget Sound - 49, 6) Olympic College - 34, 7) Pacific Lutheran - 22, 8) Alaska Fairbanks - 15, 9) Everett CC - 11, 10) FTC - 10, 11) Green River College - 9, 12) Club NW - 6, 13) Guerilla Running Racing Club - 5, 14) Western Washington – 2
Marissa Mount also competed at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, winning her flight in the 5,000-meter run and finishing 62nd out of 151 runners. The time was Mount's personal best in the event.
On the men's side, John-Robert Woolley led the way with a victory in the 400-meter hurdles. Woolley's 54.97 mark was just .85 seconds behind his career best time in the event. The senior also finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with his best time of the year, a 15.53 mark.
Andrew Bloom added to the Pirate point totals by picking up his fourth consecutive victory in the javelin. Bloom's 208' 10" toss won the event by 17 feet.
Come Nzibarega gave the Whitworth men their final win in the 5,000-meter run. Nzibarega just missed a personal record in the event, running it in 15:25.75.
Nick McGill rounded out the excellent day for the Pirate men with several strong finishes. The sophomore placed third in the high jump, fourth in the 110-meter hurdles fifth in the javelin, and sixth in the long jump. McGill's long jump mark of 20' 8" is Whitworth's best of the year.
The final men's scores were: 1) Central Washington – 155.5, 2) Spokane CC - 89, 3) Whitworth - 85, 4) Everett CC – 62.5, 5) Saint Martin's - 56, 6) Puget Sound - 50, 7) Olympic College - 33, 8) Western Washington – 22, 9) Pacific Lutheran - 17, t-10) Alaska Fairbanks - 10, t-10) One World Athleteics - 10, 12) Green River College - 9
Up next, the Pirates compete at the World War #10 meet, which is hosted by Spokane Community College.