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Whitworth men take opening-day lead at NWC meet

Sat., April 23, 2011

Carter Comito and Alexander Hymel broke meet records Friday and defending men’s champion Whitworth jumped out to a substantial first-day lead at the Northwest Conference track and field championships in McMinnville, Ore.

The Pirates lead Willamette 108-73.5, while Whitworth’s women are second behind leader George Fox, 84-61, going into today’s final session.

Comito, a sophomore from Mead, threw the discus 178 feet, 5 inches – more than 16 feet less than his recent school record but still topping the old meet mark by 3 feet and leading a 1-2-5-6 Whitworth finish.

Hymel added 3 inches to a 24-year-old record to repeat as champion in the javelin with a 216-6 throw as the Pirates swept the first three places.

The Pirates also cleaned up in the long jump, with runner-up Luke Mathews coming up just a half-inch short of the title with a 21-9 leap.

Whitworth took five scoring places in a windy competition in which just 6 inches separated the eight places. Tyler Dudley (steeplechase) and Aaron Jenkins (10,000) also had second-place finishes.

Two Pirates defended their 2010 titles on the women’s side. Joy Shufeldt won the 10,000 meters by nearly a minute in 37:24.90, while Erica Cox repeated in the discus with a throw of 137-11.

Freshman Jheri Gates was Whitworth’s other champion, taking the high jump at 5-5 1/4.

Tonya Turner was second in a spirited race with NWC steeplechase record-holder Kimber Mattox of Willamette, a 10:50.80 clocking just shy of her school record.

In the preliminary heats, Pirates advancing with the day’s top marks included Dana Misterek in the 800 (2:19.37), Elizabeth Mattila in both hurdles races (14.89 and 1:05.34) and Tyler Alsin in the 800 (1:57.02).

Oregon Relays: Michael and Brianna Okoro turned in strong performances for Eastern Washington during the first day of the Oregon Relays in Eugene.

Michael Okoro won his heat of a wind-aided 200 in a season-best 21.96, while Brianna finished second in the long jump – also with a season-best 18-9 3/4 leap that was wind-aided.

Erica Chaney led a 4-6-7 EWU finish in the women’s discus with a 152-5 throw, while Jordan Arakawa had a season-best 155-5 for fifth among the men.

Gonzaga got a couple of season-best efforts in the men’s and women’s 5,000 meters.

Emily Thomas ran 17:22.97 for 10th in a tough women’s field, while Chris Boyle clocked 14:35.93 for sixth among the men.

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