Record Falls at WWU Twilight

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – For the second straight week, the Evergreen Geoducks have rewritten the record book as the Geoducks competed at the WWU Twilight Meet on Friday afternoon in Bellingham, Wash.

After setting a new record in the 4x400m relay by nearly three seconds last week in Portland, the team of Wes Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS), Zephyr Forest (Fairfax, Calif./Sir Francis Drake HS), Steven Pressley (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS), and Les Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) broke their own record by nearly two seconds, taking second with a time of 3:26.49.

The quartet also competed in individual races to wrap up the meet.  Pressley took 20th in the 400m run with a time of 54.77.  Wes Jones was also 20th, but in the 800m run, posting a time of 2:00.84.  Les Jones took ninth in the mile run, completing the race in 4:28.65 to finish just out of the team points.  Forest added some jumping to his afternoon, taking eighth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.32.

Next week marks the final tuneup before the 2013 Cascade Conference Championships as Evergreen heads down to Forest Grove, Ore. for the Pacific Twilight on Friday and Saturday.


Purce Leads Peers at NAIA Convention

When Dr. Les Purce traveled to Kansas City last weekend for the 2013 NAIA Convention, he do so not just as President of The Evergreen State College but as the Chair of the NAIA Presidents Council.

“The NAIA provides those of us who share common values with an opportunity to work together in a community with like-minded institutions that value autonomy, student-athlete welfare, character, and athletics competition as a component of our institutions’ missions to build better citizens of the world,” said Purce in his opening remarks at the convention.

His term officially began on January 1 and shortly after that, NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr made the trip to Olympia and Evergreen to spend two days with Purce, as well as learn more about Evergreen and the Cascade Conference.  The visit also allowed Evergreen staff to meet with Carr, who was able to share his goals as head of the NAIA.

It also allowed Carr to experience the uniqueness of Evergreen and to understand the distinct challenges faced by the liberal-arts college in Olympia, Wash.  He shared his vision for the future of the NAIA and allowed the Geoducks an opportunity to understand the inner-workings of the national office.

The appointment of Purce to the position by his peers brings considerable pride not just to Evergreen but the Cascade Collegiate Conference as well.

“The Cascade Conference is very excited that President Purce has been elected by his peers to serve as the NAIA Council of Presidents Chair,” said CCC commissioner Rob Cashell. “His passion for the overall student-athlete experience in academics, as well as athletics, along with his considerable leadership capabilities will no doubt serve the association well.”

Joining Purce in Kansas City will be Evergreen Director of Recreation and Athletics Dr. Matt Newman.  Newman, who is in his second year at Evergreen, understands the significance of having such an important role filled on campus.

“Having President Purce serve as Chair of the NAIA Presidents Council is a feather in Evergreen’s cap, for sure, as well as being quite beneficial for the Association overall,” said Newman.  “Les was a student-athlete himself, and throughout his career in higher education he has been an advocate for all the positives that college athletics can represent and the NAIA provides the proper structure for those types of institutions and programs.”

In addition to Purce meeting with his fellow presidents to discuss the future of the NAIA, the convention has a number of legislative proposals that will be voted upon by the membership.  Among them is the creation of a national program for recognition of institutional and conference letters of intent as well as a number of amendments dealing with the eligibility process.

“I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited about the role intercollegiate athletics plays, not just in our Association but in the democracy of our nation,” Purce said. “And I’m excited about the role our student-athletes play, not just in the future of our institutions but in the future of our country.”

While his term only lasts until the end of 2013, Evergreen is very proud to have President Purce in such a high profile position.

“At Evergreen, we continue to appreciate his ongoing support of student-athletes, and we’re very proud that he’s chosen to take the time to serve the NAIA in this important role.” added Newman.

Geoducks Race Well at L&C Pioneer Invite

PORTLAND, Ore. – Led by a school-record in the 4x400m relay, the Evergreen Geoducks put forth a strong effort at the Pioneer Invitational, hosted by Lewis & Clark College, on Saturday at Griswold Stadium in Portland, Ore.

The highlight of the meet came in the lone relay that Evergreen entered as the team of Les Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS), Zephyr Forest (Fairfax, Calif./Sir Francis Drake HS), Steven Pressley (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) and Wes Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) took first in the 4x400m relay, setting a new school record with a time of 3:28.20, nearly three seconds faster than the previous record.

Wes Jones improved his season-best in the 800m run, taking second with a time of 1:56.98, trailing only Jacob Bowdoin of Corban.

Forest also had a solid individual race, running a 58.63 in the 400m hurdles to punch his ticket to the 2013 Cascade Conference Championships next month in Gresham, Ore.

The Geoducks will be in action again on Friday when they head up to Bellingham to take part in the WWU Twilight Meet, hosted by Western Washington University.


Jones Named Red Lion CCC Track Athlete of the Week

LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Evergreen State College’s Wes Jones has been chosen the Red Lion Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week for April 1-7.

Jones, a sophomore from Tacoma, WA., placed first in the 800-meter run at the JD Shotwell Invitational, defeating a number of NCAA DII athletes. His time of 1:58.33 was the best of 27 entries.

Honorable mention: Nathan Swanson, Corban, Matt Porter, Northwest

Full CCC Release

Jones Paces Geoducks at Shotwell Invite

TACOMA, Wash. –  Sophomore Wes Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) took first place in the 800m run to pace the Evergreen Geoducks on a rainy Saturday at the JD Shotwell Invitational, hosted by University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

Jones collected the victory with a time of 1:58.33, nearly a second quicker than second place Alex Horton of Seattle Pacific.  Twin brother Les Jones (Tacoma, Wash./Mt. Tahoma HS) took 15th in the event, posting a time of 2:04.68.

Les also ran the 1500m run, taking 11th place with a time of 4:12.71 against a mainly NCAA Division II field. Sophomore Aaron Jones (San Bruno, Calif./Capuchino HS) took 10th in the 5000m run with a time of 16:40.07.

Junior Zephyr Forest (Fairfax, Calif./Sir Francis Drake HS) made his outdoor debut in the 400m hurdles, posting a Cascade Conference qualifying time of 1:02.33, taking 11th against a competitive field.

Freshman Jamie Cummins (Lopez, Wash./Lopez HS) made her outdoor debut in the 1500m run, taking 14th with a time of 5:18.07.

The majority of the Geoducks will be back in action on April 20 when they head down to Portland for the Pioneer Invitational, hosted by Lewis & Clark College.