DIII track and field — GFU sends athletes to four different meets in hopes of qualifying or improving their positions at championships

EUGENE — George Fox athletes were spread far and wide over the weekend, as the Bruins chased NCAA qualifying marks at four different last chance track and field meets.

First stop was the Oregon Twilight Friday in Eugene, where Asia Greene moved up to 20th in NCAA Division III with a leap of 18-4.5 in the long jump, good enough to earn her second place behind Portland State’s Baileh Simms (19-0.5).

The biggest improvement by a Bruin athlete came in the women’s hammer by Emily Hamilton, who finished fourth with a throw of 145-5.

Her mark moved her into sixth place in the Northwest Conference this season and into fourth place all-time at George Fox. 

Rachel Kraske was third (14.71) and Charity Arn fourth (15.11) in the 100 hurdles, but neither improved their season-best times, which was the same case for Rachael Adkins in the triple jump, where she placed fourth.

Kyle Dreibelbis (9:49.72) and Bryant Quinn (10:15.29) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 3,000 steeplechase, but neither improved their standing.

Greene turned around Saturday and improved her long jump mark to 18-6 at the Linfield Open, finishing first and moving up six places on the national list.

Kylie Weatherford made a 7.5-inch jump from her previous best to post a 10-11.75 in the pole vault, finishing second in the meet.

The Bruin women won three other events Saturday. Rachael Kraske won the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.28, Alyssa Turner took the 400 hurdles in 1:02.66, and the 4 x 400 relay team of Kraske, Olivia Fleming, Weatherford and Turner finished first in 3:59.78. 

Winners for the George Fox men included Gabriel Luckey in the 110 hurdles (16.26) and Justin Weatherford in the 400 hurdles (59.98). 

Joseph Pia was the Bruins’ lone representative Sunday at the Occidental College Invitational in Los Angeles. Pia finished 31st in the 5,000 against a large field of unattached athletes from local clubs, the NAIA and every level of the NCAA, posting a time of 14:50.24 to climb into fifth place on the all-time Bruin 5,000 list.

“Joseph finally got in a race where he could just ride the pace and ran a nice PR for what is most likely his last 5K for GFU,” associate head coach Randy Dalzell said. “So it was nice for him to break into the top all-time marks.”

Lastly, Maria Green and Charity Arn got off to strong starts as the only participants in the heptathlon Monday at the Whitworth Final Qualifier. Arn had 2,871 points and Bruin teammate Maria Green had 2,800 after four events.

Green currently stands 13th on the NCAA top 50 qualifying list with 4,526 points, while Arn is 14th with 4,514. Both were achieved during the Northwest Conference Multi-Events April 14-15, when Arn had 2,768 points and Green 2,719 after the first day, so they are on a pace to surpass their previous marks.

Ezekiel Smith won three events and leads the decathlon with 3,478 points, with teammate Erich VanBergen second with 3,122.

Smith currently stands 27th on the NCAA top 50 qualifying list with 6,240 points, while VanBergen is 35th (6,023). Both events concluded on Tuesday after press time.

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