NEWS RELEASE (FINAL)

LAST WEEK: Symmonds wins NCAA Division III titles in 800, 1,500; Bearcat men’s sixth-place finish at nationals is highest ever; McGrane, Andrews earn All-America honors by finishing in top eight Nick Symmonds (Fr., Bishop Kelly HS, Idaho) won two NCAA Division III track & field titles in the final day of the national championships at St. Lawrence University on Saturday. Symmonds won the 1,500 meters early in the afternoon, then about an hour later, won the 800 meters (the top eight finishers in each event earn All-America honors). His two first-place finishes gave Willamette 20 team points, putting the Bearcats in sixth-place nationally; the highest national finish in school history. It also marked the first time in school history a Bearcat won two nationals titles in the same year on the men’s side (Carrie Pietig won the NAIA shot put and discus crowns in 1990). The Willamette women also had two top-eight finishes on Saturday. Alicia Andrews (So., Asotin HS, Wash.) placed sixth in the 800 and Shannon McGrane (So., Colville HS, Wash.) took fourth in the 400 hurdles to give the Bearcats eight points, putting them in a five-way tie for 28th in the national meet. Symmonds’ time in the 1,500 was 3:46.66, narrowly edging out Trinity (Conn.) College senior Ryan Bak, who finished in 3:46.75. Symmonds also showed off a strong kick in the 800, coming from behind in the final 50 meters to clip Wisconsin-Oshkosh senior Matt Groose, 1:49.51-1:50.13. Symmonds’ 800 time bettered his own school record of 1:50.48, set in Friday’s prelims. He broke the school record in the 800 three times this season. Andrews’ time of 2:12.72 was a personal best. McGrane’s time of 1:01.56 bettered her old school record of 1:02.43. Also on Saturday, Jake Stout (Jr., Portland Christian HS/lives in Brush Prairie, Wash.) placed ninth in the 5,000 meters in a time of 14:43.69. On Friday, WU’s Scott Overby (So., Barlow HS) placed ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:14.58) and Jazzmin Reece (So., Sehome HS, Wash.) took 14th in the heptathlon (4,213). On Thursday, Zach Larsen (So., Triangle Lake HS) placed ninth in the high jump (6-7) and freshman Natalie Muren (Fr., McNary HS) took 14th in the 10,000 (36:57.75).

MEN’S TOP 10 FINISHERS
1. Wisconsin-La Crosse 78.0
2. Lincoln University 56.0
3. Wisconsin-Oshkosh 44.0
4. Nebraska Wesleyan 37.0
5. Wisconsin-Platteville 25.0
6. Willamette University 20.0
7. Greenville College 19.0
8. Monmouth College (Ill.) 18.5
9. Wittenberg University 18.0
9. North Central College 18.0


Results of the national meet can be found on the web at either:
http://web.stlawu.edu/sports/03ncaatrack/ncaatrack.htm
/www.willamette.edu/athletics
http://www.run-down.com/bearcats/wu.php


SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: 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 NWC Championship meet on April 25-26, the Bearcat women set or improved on 17 all-time WU top-10 marks, while the men set or improved on seven marks. Shannon McGrane (So., Colville HS, Wash.) won the 400 hurdles in 1:02.43, breaking Amy Carlson’s 1994 school record of 1:02.98. The two teams defended both 2002 NWC championships, combined for 20 individual titles and Kelly Sullivan was named NWC Coach of the Year for both the men and women … three Bearcats broke school records in two meets on May 3. Kasey Sorenson (Sr., Scappoose HS) won the hammer at the Linfield Invitational with a throw of 150-1, breaking her own 2002 school record and exceeding the NCAA provisional mark of 147-8. At the Oregon Twilight in Eugene, Jazzmin Reece (Jr., Sehome HS, Wash.) and Nick Symmonds (Fr., Bishop Kelly HS, Idaho) each broke a WU record. Reece won the 100 hurdles in an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 15.08, which broke last year's WU record of 15.13 set by Laura Leineweber. Symmonds won the prestigious Bill McChesney Jr. Memorial Twilight Mile in a time of 4:03.85. The time converted to a 3:45.81 in the 1,500, which automatically qualified him for nationals and broke the 1980 school record of David Fleming … at the Ken Foreman Invitational on May 10, Kasey Sorenson (Sr., Scappoose HS) broke her own school record in the hammer, improving on her previous record of 150-1 with a mark of 152-7 and Jazzmin Reece (Jr., Sehome HS, Wash.) did the same in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.99 … at of the end of the season, the Bearcat women have broken three school records (see below) and have posted 33 all-time WU top 10 entries. The Bearcat men have broken two school records and have registered 19 entries into Willamette’s all-time top 10 lists.

2002-03 A BANNER SEASON FOR CROSS COUNTRY, TRACK & FIELD: The combination of Willamette’s 2002 cross country season and the Bearcats’ 2003 track & field campaign is probably the best in the history of the school. While such things would be difficult to measure given the differences in competition and technologic improvements, here are a few fun facts to ponder:
• It was the first time in the history of the school the teams combined to win all four Northwest Conference cross country and track & field championships.
• Willamette won all four NWC athlete-of-the-year awards in the two sports. Kari Holbert and Aaron Young won the 2002 cross country titles to earn those honors, and Shannon McGrane and Nick Symmonds were named co-athletes of the year in conference track & field along with two athletes from George Fox University.
• The men’s cross country team finished fifth at the NCAA meet, tying for the best finish in school history. The men’s track & field team placed sixth overall at the NCAA championships, the best-ever in the history of the school.
• Head coach Kelly Sullivan was named the 2002 NWC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year; the 2003 NWC Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year; and the 2003 NCAA West Region Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year. Matt McGuirk, the head men’s cross country coach and assistant track & field mentor, was named the 2002 NCAA West Region Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.


WILLAMETTE’S SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2003:
ATHLETE EVENT MARK
Nick Symmonds 800 meters 1:49.51
1,500 meters 3:45.81
Shannon McGrane 400 hurdles 1:01.56
Jazzmin Reece 100 hurdles 14.99
Kasey Sorenson hammer 152-7


BEARCAT NWC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK:
WOMEN MEN
March 17 Shannon McGrane —
March 25 Kari Holbert Nick Symmonds
April 7 Natalie Muren —
April 14 — Nick Symmonds
April 21 — Tyler May


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) WU women: 1st
WU men: 1st
May 3 Oregon Twilight Eugene non-scoring
Linfield Invitational McMinnville non-scoring
May 9 Cardinal Qualifier Palo Alto, Calif. non-scoring
May 10 Ken Foreman Invitational Seattle, Wash. non-scoring
May 15-16 WILLAMETTE MULTI-EVENT
SALEM
May 17 WILLAMETTE LAST CHANCE
SALEM non-scoring
May 22-24 NCAA Division III Champ. Canton, N.Y.# WU women: 28th, tie
WU men: 6th

# at St. Lawrence University


THE KELLY SULLIVAN YEARS AT WILLAMETTE:
FINISHES IN THE NORTHWEST CONFERENCE
WOMEN MEN
YEAR PL PTS PL PTS
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
2003 1st 227 1st 264


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


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