Bearcat Runners Highlight Day One of Willamette Invitational; Fahey Wins Women's Hammer Throw

SALEM, OR - Nick Symmonds and Sarah Zerzan continued their winning ways as both finished first in the 1500 meter run to highlight the opening day at the Willamette Invitational at McCulloch Stadium. The second day of the invite begins tomorrow with field events at 10:30 a.m. and running events beginning at noon.

Friday night the distance runners raced under ideal conditions. Zerzan broke her personal record by nearly seven seconds, winning the race by a shade over two seconds in 4:38.36. Tiffany Beechy of Team Eugene finished second (4:40.99) and Erin Crotty of Portland (4:42.73) finished third.

Symmonds ran right at his own personal record, finishing just .2 seconds off his school record. Symmonds time of 3:45.75 beat Chuck McKenzie of Portland by just under four seconds. Trevor Palmer (3:50.20) of Southern Oregon University finished third.

Willamette's Melinda Fahey won the hammer throw with a toss of 137-11, a foot better than Ronni Coleman (136-08) of Spokane, Western Oregon's Sabrina Freed finished third with a toss of 134-06.

Lucas Nebert posted the best time in the Northwest Conference this season in the 3000 steeplechase, bettering his own personal record by 14 seconds as he finished third in 9:26.02. Steven Ault of Portland finished first in 9:04.84. Former Willamette All-American Jake Stout finished second in 9:12.25.

Kaitlin Poggi of Oregon State won the women's 3000 steeplechase in 11:18.74, followed by Willamette's Ashley Sharrat in 11:43.24. Pacific's Sarah Smith finished third in 11:57.02.

The men's hammer throw went to Jacob Shanklin of Spokane Community College with a throw of 180-0, ten feet better than Anthony Marin of Western Oregon. Greg Schultz of Concordia was third with 165.06.

Central Washington's Marcie Mullen won the Women's 10,000 meters in 37:25.11. Mandy Kaempf (37:42.20) of Anchorage Alaska finished second and Shannon Edwards (37:45.56) of Albertson College finished third.

The men's 10,000 was won by Will Dobbie of Club Northwest with a time of 31:36.39. Leif Kohler (31:42.51) of the Husky Running Club was second and Tom Badley (31:43.90 of Concordia was third.

In the women's 5000-meter run, Kelsey Jones of the Eastside Track Club won with a time of 17:21.70. Camille Herron (17:30.10) was second and Central Washington's Rachel Bailey was third in 17:57.85.

David Kilpigat ran away from the field with two laps to go to win the men's 5000 in 14:38.87, five seconds better than Dylan Mason of Team XO. Sam Scothmer (14:47.53) of Central Washington finished third.
On Saturday, the remaining field events begin at 10:30 a.m. with the javelin and shot put. The jumping events begin at noon and the discus is at 12:30.

On the track, running events begin at noon with the women's 100-meter run.