Track & Field News Release

THIS WEEK: Bearcats out to defend 2002 Northwest Conference titles

Willamette will try to defend its 2002 Northwest Conference track & field championships this weekend at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. The two-day meet begins Friday and ends Saturday. Last year, Willamette won its first NWC women’s title since 1978 and the first Bearcat men's crown since 1987. In last year’s NWC meet, the Bearcat men finished with 254 points, well ahead of runner up Linfield (165.5) and third-place Pacific Lutheran (141.5). The Willamette women also won handily, scoring 225 points. The only drama was the battle for second place, as Pacific Lutheran won the 4x400 relay to take second place (141 points), just ahead of 2001 champion Whitworth (138 points).

Results of the meets can be found on the web at either:
http://www.nwcsports.com
/www.willamette.edu/athletics
http://www.run-down.com/bearcats/wu.php


LAST WEEK: May repeats as NWC decathlon champion; Sandbo, Larsen log provisional marks

Tyler May (So., Siuslaw HS) won his second straight Northwest Conference decathlon title Tuesday at Baker Stadium on the University of Puget Sound campus. May finished with a total of 6,231 points, just ahead of Linfield’s Jesse Fipps (6,158). May won the title as a freshman last spring in Salem with a score of 6,271. By surpassing the 6,000-point barrier, May has provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division III championship meet, to be held May 22-24 in Canton, N.Y. At the Clackamas Community College Invitational on Saturday in Oregon City, two Bearcats earned NCAA provisional qualifying marks as well. Zach Larsen (So, Triangle Lake HS) won the high jump with a season-best mark of 6-9 1/2 and Bill Sandbo (So, Tigard HS) placed third in the hammer with a season-best of 170-7. Larsen’s mark is No. 5 all-time at WU. Sandbo’s hammer is No. 3 all-time in Bearcat history and is the best WU mark in that event in 15 years.


NWC HONORS: May wins Men’s Athlete of the Week award

Tyler May (So., Siuslaw HS) was named Northwest Conference Men's Athlete of the Week on Monday after winning his second straight NWC decathlon championship.


BEARCAT NWC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK TO DATE:

WOMEN MEN
March 17 Shannon McGrane —
March 25 Kari Holbert Nick Symmonds
April 7 Natalie Muren —
April 14 — Nick Symmonds
April 21 — Tyler May


SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

The Bearcats won both the men and women’s side of the NWC Four-Way at George Fox on March 15 … Nick Symmonds (Fr., Bishop Kelly HS, Idaho) won the 800 in the Oregon Preview with a school-record and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:51.18. The previous school record in that event had stood for 45 years after Dale Hartman ran a 1:51.94 in 1958 … in the first NCAA Division III power rankings of the season, the Willamette women are ranked No. 2 in the nation and the men are No. 3. The rankings are based on “overall team strength in a dual meet type scoring” against Division III competition. The WU women are ranked behind No. 1 Williams College (Mass.), while the Bearcat men are rated behind Nebraska Wesleyan and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.). Whitworth was ranked sixth in both men’s and women’s polls.


WILLAMETTE’S AUTOMATIC NCAA QUALIFIERS

MEN
Nick Symmonds 800 meters 1:51.18 (Oregon Preview, March 22)

WILLAMETTE’S PROVISIONAL NCAA QUALIFIERS

WOMEN

Shannon McGrane 400 hurdles 1:04.31 (automatic: 1:02.40)
Kari Holbert steeplechase 11:24.67 (automatic: top 15)
5,000 meters 17:48.0 (automatic: 17:15.00)
Natalie Muren 5,000 meters 17:38.0 (automatic: 17:15.00)
Alicia Andrews 800 meters 2:15.58 (automatic: 2:12.00)

MEN

Jake Stout steeplechase 9:15.46 (automatic: 9:06.40)
5,000 meters 14:39.1 (automatic: 14:32.00)
Scott Overby steeplechase 9:17.9 (automatic: 9:06.40)
Aaron Hollingshead 5,000 meters 14:50.0 (automatic: 14:32.00)
Nick Symmonds 1,500 meters 3:54.34 (automatic: 3:50.60)
Tyler May decathlon 6,231 (automatic: 6,550)
Bill Sandbo hammer 170-7 (automatic: 183-9)
Zach Larsen high jump 6-9 1/2 (automatic: 6-10 3/4)


NWC, NCAA QUALIFICATION MARKS: The NWC and NCAA’s qualifying marks can be found on the NWC website at: http://www.nwcsports.com/TrackandField/NWCT&F.htm


2003 WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY TRACK & FIELD SCHEDULE
DATE EVENT/OPPONENT LOCATION TIME/PLACING
March 1 Willamette Six-Way Salem non-scoring
March 8 Willamette Three-Way Salem non-scoring
March 15 NWC Four-way Newberg WU women: 1st
WU men: 1st
March 22 Oregon Preview Eugene non-scoring
March 24-25 Linfield Multi-event McMinnville
April 4 Willamette Celebration of Distance Salem non-scoring
April 5 Willamette Inv. Salem non-scoring
April 11 GFU Distance Carnival Newberg non-scoring
April 12 Oregon Mini Meet Eugene non-scoring
April 14-15 NWC Multi-event champ. Tacoma, Wash. (UPS)
April 19 Clackamas CC Invitational Oregon City non-scoring
April 25-26 NWC Championships Tacoma, Wash. (PLU) TBA
May 3 Oregon Twilight Eugene TBA
May 10 Seattle Pacific Invitational Seattle, Wash. TBA
May 16 Willamette Last Chance Salem 4:00
May 17 Willamette Last Chance Salem 10:30
May 22-24 NCAA Division III Champ. Canton, N.Y. All day


THE KELLY SULLIVAN YEARS AT WILLAMETTE:
FINISHES IN THE NORTHWEST CONFERENCE

Women Men
Year Place Points Place Points
1998 5th 63 6th 65
1999 6th 86 4th 84
2000 5th 104 5th 118
2001 2nd 185.7 4th 126
2002 1st 225 1st 254


HOW TO CONTACT HEAD COACH KELLY SULLIVAN:
Office: (503) 370-6803
Email: kmsulliv@willamette.edu


DIRECTIONS TO MCCULLOCH STADIUM: Take exit 253 off I-5 in Salem. The cross street is Mission. Drive west on Mission 2.7 miles until you see the “Willamette University” reader board of the left-hand side of Mission. Parking is available in the adjacent lot on the south side of Mission, or north of Mission throughout the neighborhood.


MORE INFORMATION ON THE WEB:
WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY: /www.willamette.edu/athletics
UNOFFICIAL TEAM SITE: http://www.run-down.com/bearcats/wu.php
NORTHWEST CONFERENCE: http://www.nwcsports.com