Bearcats are Set to Compete at NWC Championships in Track and Field

Action Begins on Friday, April 26 in Tacoma, Wash.

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University will be well represented at the 2014 Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships at the University of Puget Sound this weekend in Tacoma, Wash. Competition will start at 10 a.m. (PST) on Friday, April 25 and will continue on Saturday, April 26, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Most of Friday's action will be preliminary heats, while most of the finals will be on Saturday.

Even so, the schedule for Friday includes finals in the men's and women's hammer throw, long jump and shot put, plus the women's pole vault and the men's high jump. In addition, finals will be held on Friday in the men's and women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and the men's and women's 10,000-meter run. Preliminary heats will be held in the dashes, hurdles and 800-meter events.

The hammer throw will be contested at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash. All other events will be held at Baker Stadium on the UPS campus.

Saturday's slate of events includes prelims and finals in the remaining field events, as well as finals in most of the events on the track, including the 4 x 100-meter relay and the 4 x 400-meter relay.

The Bearcats will have athletes challenging to reach the finals in almost every event. In general, eight athletes will advance to the finals in events that include prelims. Members of the Willamette men's and women's teams are ranked in the top 8 on the NWC performance list 46 times in 25 events, and are in the top 5 a total of 33 times in 21 events.

Willamette has a tremendous history of success in the NWC in track and field. The Bearcats have won 21 conference team titles in men's track and field and 13 NWC team titles in women's track and field. Since 2002, Willamette has won nine women's championships and six men's championships.

Last year, the Bearcats finished in second place in both the men's and women's team standings.

George Fox University won the women's title with 188.5 points, as the Bruins edged out Willamette, which finished with 180.5 points. Whitworth was third with 150 points. The men's title was achieved by Whitworth University with 287 points. Willamette followed with 132 points, and Pacific University was third with 122 points.

Willamette has attained 21 marks this season that are ranked among the top 50 on the NCAA Division III performance list. At the end of the season, the top 20 men in each event and the top 22 women in each event will advance to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, set for May 22-24 at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

The Bearcat women's team has four athletes who have registered a total of seven results in the top 22.

Three of the marks are in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) ranked third at 10:44.52, Taylor Ostrander (So., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS) ranked fourth in 10:46.21 and Hannah Bressler (So., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) holding 20th at 11:14.65.

Freeby and Ostrander also are ranked in the 5,000-meter run. Freeby is 18th at 17:10.2 and Ostrander is 21st at 17:13.53.

In addition, Bekah Daniel (Jr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) is listed in the top 22 in two events. She is 12th in the heptathlon with a score of 4,411 points. She is 22nd in the triple jump with a combined distance of 37' 0.25".

Jordan Loos (Jr., Springfield, OR/Thurston HS) from the Willamette men's team is ranked third in the javelin throw. His top distance this season covered 202' 4" at the John Knight Twilight on April 11.

Willamette holds another five spots in the top 32 on the NCAA lists. Freeby is 24th in the women's 1,500-meter run at 4:38.34, while Ostrander is 32nd at 4:39.60. Freeby is 31st in the 800-meter run at 2:15.93.

The Bearcat men's 4 x 100-meter relay team is 27th with a top time of 42:11 seconds. The relay team includes Matt Paparella (So., Glendale, AZ/Ironwood HS), Chris Luetjen (Sr., Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS), Tom Fiechtner (Sr., Poway, CA/Cathedral HS) and Dylan Jones (So., Santa Maria, CA/Ernest Righetti HS).

Loos is ranked 31st in the men's hammer throw. His best toss of the season was measured at 172' 6".

Although most of the NWC individual track and field champions will be determined this weekend, the heptathlon and decathlon titles were won at the NWC Multi-Event Championships, hosted by Willamette on April 14-15. Peter Delap of Whitworth took first place in the decathlon with 6,731 points, while Maria Green of George Fox won the heptathlon with 4,526 points.

Team scoring from the NWC Multi-Event Championships will count toward the NWC team titles.

In the women's competition, George Fox has 20 points from the heptathlon, with Whitworth earning 8, Willamette 6, Linfield College 4 and Puget Sound 1. The men's standings after the decathlon include with Whitworth at 17 points, followed by George Fox with 12, Puget Sound with 8 and Pacific with 2.

Championships Website

2014 Northwest Conference
Track & Field Championships
At University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, Wash.
April 26-27, 2014

Jordan Loos is ranked #3 in NCAA Division III with a javelin throw of 202' 4".

Jordan Loos is ranked #3 in NCAA Division III with a javelin throw of 202' 4".