Track and Field | Monday, June 16, 2014
Bearcats Win Four NWC Titles in Women's Track and Field
Women's Track and Field Moment of the Year
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University women's track and field athletes Taylor Ostrander (So., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS), Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) and Bekah Daniel (Sr., Jr. elig., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) combined to win four Northwest Conference titles this spring.
Ostrander won two events -- the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run -- while placing second in the 1,500-meter run. Freeby won the 1,500-meter run and reached the finals in the 800-meter run, but had to pull out of the race due to injury. Daniel claimed her second consecutive NWC championship in the triple jump, and placed third in the heptathlon and the long jump.
The combined efforts of those three athletes at the NWC meet in Tacoma, Wash., on April 25-26 stood out as one of the top moments during the 2014 season. All three athletes went on to compete at the 2014 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships, with Ostrander and Freeby in the steeplechase and Daniel in the triple jump.
Ostrander prevailed in the steeplechase at the NWC Championships with a time of 10:56.37. She led a 1-2 finish for WU, as Hannah Bressler (So., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) took second in 11:08.08. Ostrander added first place in the 5,000-meter run in 17:42.58 for more than a 16-second margin of victory. She was second in the 1,500-meter run at 4:44.32.
Freeby's winning time in the 1,500-meter run was 4:42.49. A year ago, Freeby won the 2013 NWC title in the steeplechase, while placing second in the 1,500 and the 5,000.
Daniel covered 37' 8" to set a personal record while winning the triple jump for the second year in a row. Her personal record lasted only a few weeks, as she broke the Willamette record with a distance of 38' 6.75" at the West Coast Invitational on May 15. The previous school record was 36' 6" by Laura Wright in 1989.
In the long jump, Daniel took third place in the NWC at 17' 5.25". In the heptathlon, Daniel earned third place with a personal record of 4,411 points. Her score moved her into second on Willamette's all-time list.
At the NCAA Championships, Ostrander finished 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Freeby placed 17th in the steeplechase and Daniel took 21st in the triple jump.