Track & Field's Northwest Conference Championship Preview

McMINNVILLE, OR - The Northwest Conference Track & Field Championship Meet returns to Linfield College’s Maxwell Field for the first time in seven years.

Team, individual, and relay championships are on the line Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, when the eight-team conference gathers for its 77th annual championship meet.

Willamette University is the defending men’s and women’s team champion.

The Bearcats face challenges on the men’s side from Linfield, Whitworth College, and George Fox University. Nine individual men’s champions representing 10 events return to the 2005 NWC Championship meet.

Headlining the returners is Willamette weights specialist Nate Matlock. The senior is back to defend his titles in the discus and hammer and looks to add a third crown in the shot put. Willamette is also expected to get strong performances from defending champions Nick Symmonds (800), Zach Larsen (high jump) and Brennan Garrelts (110 high hurdles).

Other returning men’s champions include Frank Prince of the University of Puget Sound in the 10,000 and Austin Richard of Whitworth in the shot put. Defending NCAA Division III javelin champion Matt Gassaway of George Fox is among the list of defending titlists, along Bruins teammate Seth Harris in the 400 intermediate hurdles.

Expected to contend for individual men’s titles are Linfield’s Chris Boock
in the 100, Scott Vanassche of Linfield in the 200, Tyler May of Willamette
in the 400 and 110 hurdles, and Steve Bianchi of Lewis & Clark in the triple jump. NWC pole vault leader Greg Gause of UPS will battle 2002 NWC champion Dayson Tiogangco for this year's crown.

Thanks in large part to Erik Jensen’s victory in the NWC decathlon competition, Pacific Lutheran enters the championship meet with 14 team points. Willamette has 13 points, Linfield six and Whitworth three.

The Willamette women are favored to repeat their championship of a year ago, however, Whitworth, Linfield, and Pacific Lutheran University are also considered contenders.

Two defending women’s champions return for Willamette. Alicia Andrews is primed to defend her title in the 800 meters and Lindsay Patterson will attempt to repeat in the long jump. Other returning women’s champions include Jena Robinson of Puget Sound in the triple jump, Katie Heaton of Puget Sound in the pole vault, Danielle Bielenberg of Linfield in the shot put, Caitlin Mahoney of Linfield in the 100 hurdles, DeeDee Arnall of Pacific University in the javelin, and Megan Wochnick of Pacific Lutheran in the hammer.

Other contenders include newly crowned NWC heptathlon champion Brooke Barker of Pacific in the 200 and 400, Willamette’s Sarah Zerzan in the 1,500 and 5,000, Shannon McGrane of Willamette in the 100 and 400 hurdles, and UPS's Robinson in the long jump. Linfield’s Joni Claypool will battle Bielenberg for the shot and discus championships.

Willamette enters the meet with 14 team points, following a 4-5-6 finish at the recent NWC heptathlon competition. Pacific has 10 points, followed by George Fox with eight and Whitworth with seven.

Competition Friday begins at 2 p.m. with four field events. The first preliminary running event, the 1,500, starts at 2:30. Saturday’s schedule gets underway at 10:30 a.m. with five field events. The 4x100 relay starts off the schedule of events on the track at noon.

Visitors planning to attend the NWC Championship meet can refer to the on-line Linfield Athletics Visitors Guide http://www.linfield.edu/sports/vguide/index.php, which contains directions to Maxwell Field, as well as motel, restaurant and other logistical information.

NORTHWEST CONFERENCE
CHAMPIONSHIP MEET SCHEDULE
April 22-23, 2005

FRIDAY’S EVENTS
2:00 p.m. Pole Vault (W) 2.60m
Long Jump (M)
Discus (W)
Javelin (M)
2:30 p.m. 1,500 Run Trials (W),
if needed
2:45 p.m. 1,500 Run Trails (M),
if needed
3:00 p.m. 100 Hurdles (W)
3:15 p.m. 110 Hurdles (M)
3:30 p.m. 400 Dash Trials (W)
3:40 p.m. 400 Dash Trails (M)
3:50 p.m. 100 Dash Trials (W)
4:00 p.m. 100 Dash Trials (M)
4:10 p.m. 800 Run Trials (W)
4:25 p.m. 800 Run Trials (M)
4:30 p.m. Javelin (W)
Long Jump (W)
Discus (M)
High Jump (M) 1.71m
4:40 p.m. 400 Hurdles Trials (W)
4:55 p.m. 400 Hurdles Trials (M)
5:10 p.m. 200 Dash Trials (W)
5:20 p.m. 200 Dash Trials (M)
5:40 p.m. 3,000 Steeplechase Finals (W)
6:00 p.m. 3,000 Steeplechase Finals (M)
6:20 p.m. 10,000 Run (W)
7:10 p.m. 10,000 Run (M)

SATURDAY’S EVENTS
10:30 a.m. Shot Put (M)
Hammer (W)
Triple Jump (M)
Pole Vault (M) 3.50m
High Jump (W) 1.36m
12:00 p.m. 4x100 Relay (W)
12:10 p.m. 4x100 Relay (M)
12:15 p.m. 1,500 Run (W)
12:25 p.m. 1,500 Run (M)
12:40 p.m. 100 Hurdles (W)
12:50 p.m. 110 Hurdles (M)
1:00 p.m. Hammer (M)
Triple Jump (W)
Shot Put (W)
1:00 p.m. 400 Dash (W)
1:10 p.m. 400 Dash (M)
1:20 p.m. 100 Dash (W)
1:30 p.m. 100 Dash (M)
1:40 p.m. 800 Run (W)
1:50 p.m. 800 Run (M)
2:05 p.m. 400 Hurdles (W)
2:15 p.m. 400 Hurdles (M)
2:25 p.m. 200 Dash (W)
2:35 p.m. 200 Dash (M)
2:45 p.m. 5,000 Run (W)
3:10 p.m. 5,000 Run (M)
3:35 p.m. 4x400 Relay (W)
3:45 p.m. 4x400 Relay (M)
4:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony