DIII track — George Fox takes five individual titles to win by nearly 60 points; men win two events to place fifth in the conference

TACOMA, Wash. — Paced by double winners Alyssa Turner and Charity Arn, the George Fox women made capturing the school’s fourth Northwest Conference championship look easy, while the Bruin men had an encouraging showing to place fifth Friday and Saturday at Puget Sound.

Boosted by the 20 points it earned when Maria Green, Charity Arn and Sarah Frazier went 1-2-7 finish in the heptathlon a week earlier, GFU boosted its advantage on day one by dominating the long jump and pole vault events.

Arn picked up her first event title by clearing 18-2.75 as the Bruins took five of the top six places (all except third) thanks to Maria Green (17-6), Frazier (17-4.25), Rachael Adkins and Asia Greene, who tied for fifth at 17-3.25.

Dannah Martin and Sierra Robertson then finished 1-2 in the pole vault after both cleared 11-4, but Martin did so on fewer attempts to learn the conference crown.

Emily Painter was second in the 10,000 in 36:59.23 to score points Friday, as well.

Building on good performances in the preliminaries, the Bruins ran away with the meet Saturday, thanks in part to Turner’s NWC swan song.

Turner placed sixth nationally in 2012 in the 400 hurdles, but suffered an ankle injury that forced her to sit out the entire 2013 season.

Now in graduate school at Fox, Turner won her signature event Saturday in 1:02.98, then took the 400 in 58.89.

Arn added a second title by claiming the high jump (5-3.25), but George Fox also turned in numerous All-NWC performances (top-three) to compile 195.5 team points and pull away from runner-up Whitworth (138).

Claiming second-place showings were Racheal Kraske in the 100 (12.60) and the 100 hurdles (14.71, Katie Dyk in the 800 (2:15.77), and Rachael Adkins in the triple jump (37-5.75).

Thirds went to Kraske in the 200 (25.68), Arn in the 100 hurdles (14.84), Green in the high jump (5-1.25) and Frazier in the triple jump (36-10).

“There never was a guarantee that we were going to win again,” head John Smith said. “We did have a slight lead going in, but all those positions mean nothing because you actually have to go and do it. The women performed really well and kept up in all the areas we needed them to.”

The Bruin men didn’t pick up any wins Friday, but did get impressive showings from Kyle Dreibelbis, who was second in the 3,000 steeplechase (9:40.39); Kody Tarbell, who took second in the 10,000 steeplechase (32:09.74); and Arick Morrell, who was third in the hammer (179-11.75).

After Lawrence broke through for George Fox’s first win by taking the 800 (1:52.67), Joseph Pia eeked out a win by 0.12 seconds in the 1,500 (3:59.20).

“That’s kind of eluded him for a while,” Smith said of 1,500 title. “He’s running really well.”

Pia also claimed fourth in the 5,000 (15:23.66) to round out a strong showing by the GFU distance crew.

“It was pretty evident (assistant coach) Randy Dalzell’s magic was at work there,” Smith said. “All of them just ran super well. That was a neat turn of events.”

Morrell also took second in the discus (143-10) to earn all-NWC honors for the second time at the meet.

Whitworth steamrolled to the team title with 225 points, but just 14 points separated second and fifth place, as Pacific (106), Willamette (102), Pacific Lutheran (102) and George Fox (92) rounding out the top five.

“We have a really young group, really, with a lot of freshmen and sophomores in that mix,” Smith said. “So the future looks pretty bright.”

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