Six Willamette Track and Field Athletes Earn All-Academic Honors

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

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- A total of six Willamette University track and field athletes have been chosen for the 2013-14 NCAA Division III All-Academic Teams as selected by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Student-athletes received the award as a result of academic and athletic success.

Each All-Academic honoree earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher (4.0 scale), while either competing at the NCAA Division III Championships or by finishing the regular season ranked in the top 35 nationally in an individual event or in the top 25 in a relay event.

The Women's All-Academic Team includes 416 athletes, while a total of 276 athletes are on the Men's All-Academic Team. Overall, 692 athletes were selected from throughout Division III.

Willamette's All-Academic selections were Hannah Bressler (So., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS), Bekah Daniel (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS), Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS), Tyler Higley (Jr., Aloha, OR/Aloha HS), Jordan Loos (Sr., Springfield, OR/Thurston HS), Taylor Ostrander (So., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS),

Hannah Bressler

Hannah Bressler ranked 35th in NCAA Division III in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. She achieved her top time of 11:07.68 at the Oregon Twilight on May 9. She took second place at the Northwest Conference Championships in the steeplechase, trailing only Ostrander as Willamette claimed a 1-2 finish.

Bressler's time at the NWC meet was 11:14.65. Earlier in the season, she placed third in the top heat of the steeplechase at the Willamette Invitational.

At Willamette, Bressler is majoring in Exercise Science. She owns a 3.31 cumulative grade point average.

Bekah Daniel

Bekah Daniel received All-Academic status for the second year in a row. She recently graduated with a major in Physics and a 3.94 GPA. She qualified for the NCAA Championships in the triple jump and placed 21st in the nation.

She set the Willamette record in the triple jump at the West Coast Invitational with a combined distance of 38' 6.75". At the NWC Championships, she won her second consecutive title in the triple jump at 37' 8".

Also at the NWC meet, she placed third in the heptathlon with a personal record of 4,411 points and third in the long jump at 17' 5.25". She ranks second all-time at Willamette in the heptathlon and finished the year ranked 23rd on the NCAA Division III performance list.

She was named Second Team Capital One Academic All-America this season.

Michaela Freeby

Michaela Freeby qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive season in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. She placed 17th at the national meet despite recovering from a late-season injury. She was 13th in NCAA Division III in 2012 and took fourth place in 2013. Her top time this season was

She won the 1,500-meter run at the NWC Championships this spring with a time of 4:42.49 as she led a 1-2-4 finish for the Bearcats.

Freeby ranks second on Willamette's all-time list in the steeplechase at 10:33.34 and is fourth in the 5,000-meter run at 17:10.42. She is majoring in Biology and has achieved a 3.35 GPA.

Tyler Higley

Tyler Higley concluded the year ranked 35th in NCAA Division III in the hammer throw with a top toss of 172' 9". He recorded his top throw at the West Coast Invitational on May 15.

Higley is majoring in Computer Science and has a 3.84 GPA at Willamette. He placed sixth in the shot put at the NWC Championships with a distance of 46' 11.50". He was seventh in the hammer throw at the Willamette Invitational.

Jordan Loos

Jordan Loos set the Willamette record in the javelin throw with a toss of 214' 7" while taking first place at the NWC Championships. Loos qualified for the NCAA Championships, where he placed 11th.

The new record by Loos broke the old mark of 211' 11", set by Jim Williams in 1987. Williams held the record for 27 years.

In addition to winning the javelin, Loos placed fourth in the NWC in the hammer throw. His top distance at the NWC meet was 179' 5". It was Willamette's top throw of the season.

Taylor Ostrander

Taylor Ostrander took 11th place at the NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Her time in the final heat was 10:59.08. She registered a time of 10:48.86 while taking second place in her preliminary heat two days earlier.

It was her second time competing at the national meet. She placed 22nd in the steeplechase at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Her top time this season in the steeplechase was 10:40.86 at the Oregon Twilight. She earned a time of 17:13.53 in the 5,000-meter run at the Willamette Invitational. She ranks third all-time at Willamette in the steeplechase and is fifth in the 5,000.

Ostrander won the steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run at the NWC Championships this spring. She also took second place in the 1,500-meter run. She has attained a 3.76 cumulative GPA. She is majoring in Exercise Science.

 

Taylor Ostrander placed 11th in the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. She won NWC titles in the steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run.

Taylor Ostrander placed 11th in the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. She won NWC titles in the steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run.