Symmonds kicks his way to pair of national titles as WU men place sixth

CANTON, N.Y. — Willamette freshman Nick Symmonds 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. His two first-place finishes gave Willamette 20 team points, putting the Bearcats in sixth-place nationally.

The Willamette women also had two top-eight finishes on Saturday. Sophomore Alicia Andrews placed sixth in the 800 and sophomore Shannon McGrane took fourth in the 400 hurdles to give the Bearcats 8 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 1:51.18.

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, junior Jake Stout placed ninth in the 5,000 meters in a time of 14:43.69.

On Friday, WU sophomore Scott Overby placed ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:14.58) and sophomore Jazzmin Reece took 14th in the heptathlon (4,213).

On Thursday, sophomore Zach Larsen placed ninth in the high jump (6-7) and freshman Natalie Muren 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 (Il) 18.5
9= Wittenberg University 18.0
9= North Central College 18.0

END