Symmonds Breaks School Record in 400; Dentzel Throws Sixth Best Javelin Mark in Country As Numerous Bearcats Qualify for Conference Tournament

MCCULLOCH STADIUM - Despite a steady rain, the Willamette University track and field team posted some impressive marks at the Annual Charles Bowles Spring Break Classic, including a new school record in the 400 by Nick Symmonds.

With four Northwest Conference leading marks, two NCAA Division III provisional marks, and eight new individual conference qualifiers, the Bearcats will return to action at the Willamette Invite in two weeks.

Senior Nick Symmonds (Boise, ID) now leads all of NCAA Division III in the 400, 800, and 1500, as he ran one lap around Bowles Track in an impressive 48.15, barely edging recent Willamette graduate Tyler May, now competing for Team XO. With that time, Symmonds broke Doug Ousterhout's 27-year-old school record of 48.34.

Sophia Dentzel (JR., Port Townsend, WA), a 2005 national qualifier in the javelin, uncorked a provisionally qualifying throw of 130-02, a mark that currently stands sixth in the country.

Also in the throws, freshman Jacob Monroe (Keizer, OR) had another breakthrough in the hammer throw. In an event that he has only been competing in for nearly a month, he launched a personal best of 141 feet even, over 11 feet better than his previous best. With that throw, Monroe now is 6th on the NWC Top Marks list.

On the track, where conditions took a turn for the worse early on, the rain did not impede many of the Bearcats.

Ashley Sharratt (SO, Union, OR) is your new NWC leader in the 3000-meter steeplechase, as she ran a personal best 11:41.

Ashley's work ethic and dedication is something that will allow her to continue to bring her times down in the steeplechase. With three Bearcats at the top of the conference standings in this event, it could be a very interesting event with Ashley and her teammates leading the way!

For the men, Lucas Nebert (SO, Cincinnati, OH) ran a similar race to Ashley, with similar results. After hanging with a pack of his teammates early in the race, Nebert began to pick up the pace, showing efficiency over the barriers, as he ran to a conference leading time of 9:38.

Sophomore Sarah Zerzan (San Carlos, CA) looked very impressive in her winning effort of 4:44 in the 1500. With that time, Sarah leads the NWC list in the 1500 by over five seconds. Zerzan ran personal bests in the 1500, 3000, and 5000 in the month of March.

In the men's 1500, freshman Josh Clough (Auburn, WA) got out in great position, taking 2nd in a time of 4:01.82, a personal record.

Other conference qualifiers for the Bearcats included: Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (FR, Juneau, AK) and Lucas May (SO, Portland, OR) in the 1500, Jon Williams (FR, Boise, ID) in the 3000m steeplechase, Nathan Jones (JR, Tucson, AZ) in the 400, Jon Woodland (FR, Creswell, OR) and Jordan Aney (FR., Paisley, OR); and Audrey Squires (JR., Springfield, OR) in the 3000m steeplechase.

On April 7-8, the Bearcats host the Willamette Invite, one of the largest track and field meets on the West Coast.