Leineweber qualifies for nationals in high jump; A dozen other Bearcats are oh so close

Senior Laura Leineweber took the drama out of her national qualification status in the high jump Saturday when she went 5-feet, 7-inches to win that event in the Linfield Invitational in McMinnville.

That mark matched the NCAA Division III qualifying standard, making her Willamette’s first automatic qualifier for the national championships, to be held May 23-25 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

By going 5-7, she moved into a tie for fourth in the national rankings. Three other women have gone 5-8 so far this year.

Leineweber’s mark also bettered her own school record of 5-6 she set earlier this season.

She also has hopes of qualifying for the national meet in the heptathlon. Her score of 4,304 ranks 12th in the nation and is just shy of the 4,350 needed to qualify. Leineweber will get one more chance to reach that mark during the Willamette Last Chance Invitational on May 16-18 at Charles Bowles Track.

Nine other Bearcats are very close to qualifying automatically in 10 events. All have reached ‘provisional’ qualifying standards, which mean they are eligible to be considered in order to fill out an event.

Those provisionally qualified for the NCAA championship meet include (qualifying marks in parenthesis, national ranking in brackets):

• Kari Holbert, 3,000 steeplechase, 11:23.38 (no national standard) [19th]
• Shannon McGrane, 400 hurdles, 1:03.20 (1:02.60) [11th]
• Jessica Anderson, pole vault, 11-4 1/4 (12-0) [12th, tie]
• Laura Leineweber, heptathlon, 4,304 (4,350) [12th]
• Brian Roseler, 800, 1:52.64 (1:51.40) [6th]
• Jake Stout, 5,000, 14:35.8 (14:35.0) [9th]
• Jake Stout, 3,000 steeplechase, 9:10.70 (9:08.40) [6th]
• Jason Holmgren, discus, 156-10 (168-4) [24th]
• Calvin Keyser-Allen, javelin, 191-6 (201-5) [22nd]
• Matt Graham, javelin, 189-4 (201-5) [25th]
• Tyler May, decathlon, 6,271 (6,450) [12th]

This coming Saturday, members of the Bearcat track & field teams will either be at the Seattle Pacific Invitational or the Oregon Twilight in Eugene.