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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Defending champion Alexis Arnold of George Fox and newcomer Carson Kennedy of Willamette raced, threw, and jumped their way to first-day leads in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively, at the Northwest Conference Combined Championships. The first half of the multi-event competition, held at Linfield's Maxwell Field, wrapped up early Monday afternoon.
Arnold opened up nearly a 400-point lead over the field of 12 competitors, totaling 2,964 points. The sophomore won or tied in three of four events – the 100-meter hurdles (14.98), high jump (5-1.75) and shot put (38-00.25) – and placed second in another, the 200 (26.14).
Bruin teammates Alyssa Turner (2,581) and Charity Arn (2,477) trail Arnold though four events. Turner placed first in the 200 (25.76) while Arn’s best finish came in the high jump, where she tied for first with Arnold (5-01.75).
The men’s competition is a bit tighter, with Kennedy of Willamette owning just a 48-point advantage over second place, Luke Mathews of Whitworth.
Kennedy and Mathews tied for first in the high jump (5-11.25). Kennedy, only a freshman, took third in the 100 (11.66) and second in the long jump (20-09) while Mathews earned second in the shot put (34-02.75).
Mathews is the top returning finisher from last year’s multi-event championships, where he placed fourth. Puget Sound’s Joe Cerne, who entered this year’s meet with the top mark in the league, sits in third place after the first session with 3,076 points.
Michael Madden, the only Linfield competitor entered in the NWC Combined Championships, placed in the top five in three events contested on Day 1, but finds himself in eighth place overall with 2,833 points. His best performance came in the 400, where he finished third (52.28).
NEXT: The second and final session of the championships gets underway Tuesday at 10.m., again at Maxwell Field.