by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates open the 2019 outdoor season this weekend at the Ed Boitano Invitational, which is hosted by Puget Sound.
Last Time Out: Izzy Clark and Nick McGill set school records in the pentathlon and heptathlon when the Pirates traveled to the Cougar Indoor on February 2. Clark set a new career-best mark in the shot put and her 38' 31/4" throw earned first place among pentathletes. McGill's performance was also keyed by earning the top spot in the shot put as well as a runner-up performance in the pole vault.
Several other Pirates also had strong days at the Cougar Indoor. Kameha Medallada nearly set a third school record in the 60-meter dash, but her 7.90 second time came up .02 seconds shy of the mark. Jacob Hubbard contributed a career-best weight throw of 53' 41/2", and Xavier Betancourt added a top-ten finish in the 400-meter dash.
Coaches Poll: Northwest Conference coaches foresee both Pirate teams remaining among the best in the NWC. Both the men's and women's teams were picked to finish second in the conference coaches poll and the men earned one of the nine first place votes.
Outdoor Up Next: The Pirates host the Buc Scoring Invite on Saturday, March 16.
Indoor National Rankings: One Pirate is in position to qualify for the indoor national championships. Nick McGill's 4,488 points in the heptathlon rank 11th in the nation, well in-range of a spot at the national championships To qualify for the indoor national championships, athletes must have one of the best 20 results in the nation.
Indoor National Championships: The 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships will take place in Boston, Mass. on March 8-9.
Recent Indoor Championship History: The Pirates have a proud history of competing at the indoor national championships that includes having eight All-Americans since 2012. Whitworth has qualified a student-athlete for the indoor national championships in six of the last seven indoor seasons.
2018 – Kayla Leland placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run to earn All-America honors for the second straight season.
2017 – Leland earned All-America honors in the mile and 800-meter run, finishing fourth in the mile and eighth in the 800-meters. Kayla Brase just missed an All-America mark in the triple jump, finishing ninth.
2016 – Katie McKay earned All-America honors in the 800-meter run, finishing sixth.
2014 - Casey Monahan represented Whitworth at the indoor national championships, finishing sixth in the 60 meter hurdles and earning All-American recognition.
2013 - Christina Dobbins and Carter Comito qualified and each earned top-five finishes. Both took home All-American honors, as Dobbins finished third in the high jump and Comito placed fifth in the shot put.
2012 - Carter Comito, Frank Lima and Jheri Gates represented the Pirates at the national championships. Lima placed 10th in the men's high jump while Gates finished 11th in the women's high jump. Comito finished seventh in the shot put to earn All-America honors.
Indoor Up Next: If McGill qualifies, the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships will take place in Boston, Mass. on March 8-9.
The Coach: Now in his 21st season as the head Track & Field coach at Whitworth, Dr. Toby Schwarz has transformed the Whitworth Track & Field team into one of the top programs in the nation.
Since the 2008 season 95 student-athletes earned a spot in the the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships and come home with 48 All-America (top-8) performances. Schwarz has coached Pirate athletes to eight individual national titles over the same time frame (nine outdoor and one indoor). The Whitworth men have finished among the top 20 teams in the nation six times since 2008, including a third place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, a third place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships and a sixth place finish at the 2009 outdoor meet.
Schwarz has earned 31 Coach of the Year awards, including the 2016 NCAA West Region men's outdoor award and 2016 Northwest Conference honors (men and women). In 2009 Schwarz was selected as the NCAA Division III Men's Coach of the Year. Members of Schwarz's coaching staff have also won the NCAA DIII West Region Assistant Coach of the Year awards for the past six years including the 2015 outdoor men's assistant coach of the year (Joe VanHoomissen).