Willamette Men in First and Women in Third after Day One of NWC Track & Field Championships

TACOMA, Wash. - The University of Puget Sound is acting as host for the two-day Championships. The Championships will continue tomorrow beginning with field events at 10:30 a.m.

Kari Holbert, from Willamette, set a new NWC and Baker Stadium record in the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Holbert shattered her own NWC record, lowering her mark from 11:18.9 to 10:59.44. Willamette's Jacob Stout easily won the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, leading a dominant performance in the event for the Bearcats. Stout crossed the finish line in 9:12.86, as the Willamette runners took six of the top seven places in the event. George Fox's Michael Owen finished fourth with a time of 9:26.10.

Jonas Welsch, from Willamette, jumped 6.94m in winning the men's Long Jump. Welsch's jump was a NCAA provisional qualifier. Willamette's Lindsey Patterson won the women's long jump with a mark of 5.50m, also an NCAA provisional mark.

In another win for the Bearcat men, Zach Larsen jumped 2.02m in the high jump to win the event and mark a provisional NCAA qualifier.

Matt Gassaway, from George Fox, won the men's javelin with a throw of 60.00m, a NCAA provisional qualifier. In the women's javelin Pacific University's DeeDee Arnall just missed an NCAA automatic qualifier, winning the event with a throw of 43.15m, just off the 43.40m need for the auto.

In a preliminary heat, Pacific Lutheran sprinter Carrie Larson ran a personal best on her way to breaking her own Baker Stadium record in the women's 400-meter hurdles, recording a time of 1:02.05. Larson set the previous record just two weeks ago at the Shotwell Invitational held April 10th. Larsen and Willamette University's Shannon McGrane (1:02.99) will go head-to-head in tomorrow's highly anticipated final.

Team scoring after the six finals completed today and the NWC Multi-events held last weekend in Spokane, Washington has the Willamette men's team (91.50) in front of second-place Linfield (59), followed by George Fox (43).

On the women's side, the Pirates of Whitworth (71) hold a slim lead over Linfield (63), while defending champion Willamette (46.50) is in third.