Shipley wins distance double to lead Pacific to its best conference meet finish since 1977

Two more conference champions, several personal best performances, another school record and the men’s best team finish in four decades highlighted a banner day for the Pacific track and field teams as they concluded the Northwest Conference Championships Saturday at Willamette University’s Charles Bowles Track.

The Boxer men had 17 individual event placers, led by the second conference title of the meet for Tyler Shipley and a title for Kelson Kawai, to finish third in the team standings with 122 points. Pacific was just 10 points short of perennial NWC power Willamette for second place in the Boxers’ best team finish at the conference meet since 1977.

Pacific’s women finished with seven individual event placers, topped by a school record effort for the 1,600-meter relay team, to finish eighth with a total of 33 points.

Shipley completed an amazing long distance double, capturing a title in the 10,000 meters on Friday, then following it up with a championship in the 5,000 meters on Saturday.

Shipley, a freshman from Forest Grove, won the 10,000 with a time of 31:58.63. The performance moved him to No. 3 on Pacific’s all-time list in the event and was enough to hold off Matt Klein of Puget Sound by nine seconds.

On Saturday, Shipley won the title in the 5,000 with a time of 15:10.26, beating Lewis & Clark’s Samuel Smith by five seconds.

For his efforts, Shipley was selected by the conference’s coaches as the Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet.

Kawai, meanwhile, pulled out a lifetime best to win the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 6¼ inches. Kawai also tied for second place with teammate Budweiser Hawkins in the high jump, with both clearing 6-6¼. The clearance was a lifetime best for Hawkins and moved him to No. 6 on the Boxers’ all-time list.

Michael Zane led three Pacific scorers in the sprints, placing second in the 200 meters in 22.43 seconds. Sean Valente finished third in the 400 with a season-best time of 50.06.

A record effort in the long relay led the way for the Pacific women.

The team of Emily Tuffey, Sarah Tuffey, Alexis Damo and Kelli Aken-Pagdilao placed fourth in 4:05.10, cutting seven seconds off the school record time of 4:12.58 set last year. The four opened the meet with a fourth-place time of 50.23 seconds in the 4x100-meter relay, which ranks No. 2 all-time for the Boxers.

Aken-Pagdilao came through earlier in the day with a second-place finish in the 100 meters, following up her school record in the preliminaries with a time of 12.68 seconds. Sarah Tuffey added a fourth-place finish in the 400 with a season best time of 1:00.33.

In all, Pacific finished the meet with three conference champions and 15 All-NWC performers based on top-three finishes.

Whitworth was a runaway winner in the men’s team competition, finishing with a total of 287 points to claim their third straight NWC championship. George Fox held off a late surge by Willamette to win its third straight women’s title, compiling 188½ points to finish eight points ahead of the Bearcats.

The Boxers will be back in action this weekend as they host their sixth annual Pacific Twilight. Competition begins on Friday at Lincoln Park Stadium at 4 p.m.

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