[Gresham, Oregon] Six NWAC conference champions, Twenty-one All-American performances highlighted an amazing two days at the NWAC track championships for the Sasquatch men. The men scored 175 team points, the most since the 2018 championships when they scored 177 points.
Leading the way once again was Jaxson Nichols. Already the conference champion in the decathlon and the defending 2022 high jump champion Nichols was simply everywhere at once. With-in a 5-minute time span Nichols secured his second straight high jump title with an incredible jump of 7’.50” (2.14m).
His winning leap was seven inches better than his winning jump from last year, an incredible performance by itself. His high jump mark moves him into the number two spot on the schools all-time list, and is the third highest jump on the national junior college performances list in 2023
Just minutes later he recorded another personal and season best throwing the javelin 158’ 7” good for sixth place. In-between Nichols added two fifth place finishes in the triple jump going 44’ .75” in just the second time competing in this event in 2023, and also jumping in the long jump final landing in the sand at 22’ 7.75”.
Overall, Nichols scored an impressive 31 team points while competing in 14 events between the decathlon and open events. For his efforts Nichols earned the athlete high point award of the meet, and was also named the Baden Track Athlete of the Year. Nichols will collect his Athlete of the Year award at the NWAC Hall of Fame Banquet next week.
Winning his first NWAC championship was freshman Kiler Borg in the men’s 3k steeplechase. Borg mostly led wire to wire while recording nearly a twenty-one second season and personal best covering the 12-lap event in 9:46.87.
Borg was assisted by his teammate and NWAC athlete of the week in week ten Darian Slack who also had an incredible twenty-five second personal best in the steeplechase to finish in second place running 9:56.50. The one-two finish netted 18 team points and was just the begging for the sasquatch distance crew.
Freshman Luke Hurd ran his best 5k of the season to collect yet another distance title running 15:22.14 and taking the win with a seven second personal best. Also finishing in All-American position was teammate Gideon Swanson who ran to third place and helped add to the team score for an event total of 16 points. This dynamic duo swapped positions in the men’s 10k with Swanson finishing in second place running a twenty-four second season best hitting 32: 55.52. Hurd placed third with an impressive ninety second season and personal best of 32:59.66, good for another 14 team points.
Not to be left out of mix the sasquatch sprint crew turned up the heat over the two-day championships. Leading the way in what was clearly a breakout championship was the 200m champion Dalton Wild. Wild turned in one of the most dramatic performances of the championship winning the 200m title in the last step of the race running a season and personal best of 22.07. His winning margin a microscopic .002 of a second.
Wild earned his second of four All-American awards of the meet in the 100m, where he finished third with his best performance of the season running 10.87 seconds. Dalton also collected more points and All-American finishes in the 4 x 100 relay where he teamed up with Christian Hansen, Zach Merrifield and Andre Gonzalez to finish second with their best time of the year running 41.84.
In his final event of the championship’s Wild teamed with Shaun Salveson, Maximus Richmond and Michael Byers to finish second in the 4 x 400 relay. The foursome recorded their best time of the season running a nine second best of 3:20.60. A team leading four All-American honors and 20 team points capped Wild’s efforts.
Sprint teammates Christian Hansen and Zach Merrifield combined with Wild in the 200m to score an event high 22 points for the Sasquatch.
Freshman Dan Close attempted what few other Sasquatch throwers have over the past few years by competing in all four men’s throwing events. A complicated and challenging task, yet one the Lewis and Clark Spokane grad was up for.
Close won the men’s Discus throw on Monday afternoon with a toss of 145’ 4” good for 10 out of his 19 team points and an All-American award. Close finished fourth in the hammer throw reaching 147’ 2”, in the shot-put he finished fifth with a toss of 43’ 1.75” and just missed making the javelin final and finished tenth at 144’ 11”. Close finished with 19 team points in the meet.
Gavin Hoskinson ended his freshman campaign in the pole vault with a runner-up finish clearing 14’11.50”. Hoskinson earned his first All-American award.
The final All-American award went to standout 400m runner and team leader Michael Byers. Byers ran consistently through out the season and just missed cracking the 49 second barrier in the men’s 400m running a season best and finishing in third place with a 49.02 second effort. Byers also ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 400 relay which finished second for another All-American award for Byers.
Additional point scorers included the following:
Christian Hansen 100m Fourth Place 10.87
Zach Merrifield 200m Sixth Place 22.44
Christian Hansen 200. Eighth Place 22.89
Shaun Salveson 400m Eighth Place 51.16
Kiler Borg 1500m Fifth Place 4:09.23
Darian Slack 1500m Eighth Place 4:15.71
Cameron Galbreath 400m Hurdles Fifth Place 56. 64
Jaxson Orr Shot-Put Sixth Place 42’ 3.75”
Reise Raymond Javelin Fifth Place 168’10”
Ryan Dewey Javelin Eighth Place
Cameron Galbreath Decathlon Fifth Place 5096
#Men's Track and Field