Trio of Bearcats take full advantage of Last Chance Meet

Three Willamette University track & field athletes made NCAA Division III championship provisional qualifying marks during the Willamette Last Chance Meet, held Friday and Saturday in Newberg and Salem.

On Friday night at George Fox University, freshman Natalie Muren and sophomore Aaron Hollingshead made provisional times in distance events. Muren won the 10,000 meters in a time of 36:51.6, which ranks No. 2 all-time in school history. Hollingshead won the 3,000 steeplechase in 9:22.0, a time that is No. 8 in Bearcat history.

On Saturday at Willamette’s Charles Bowles Track, freshman Roseann Kassebaum qualified provisionally for next week’s national meet by placing fourth in the 400 hurdles in 1:04.64. That time is a personal best and ranks No. 6 all-time at Willamette.

Also on Saturday, WU sophomore Alicia Andrews improved her NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 800 with a second-place time of 2:13.54. That time is a personal best, too, and moved her up one spot to No. 3 on the Bearcats’ all-time list.

Three other NCAA Division III competitors earned first-time qualification marks on Saturday.

• Pacific Lutheran’s Carrie Larsen won the 400 hurdles in 1:02.26, bettering the NCAA automatic standard of 1:02.40.

• Whitworth’s Elizabeth Abbey won the 800 just ahead of Andrews in 2:13.14, which beat the NCAA provisional standard of 2:16.20.

• Linfield’s Casey Taylor finished second in the 800 in a time of 1:53.03, just under the NCAA provisional standard of 1:53.10.

The NCAA Division III championship meet begins its three-day run Thursday at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.