Symmonds Wins Three Races To Lead Bearcats To Fifth Straight NWC Men's Track and Field Title

SALEM, OR - Nick Symmonds won the 400, 800 and 1500 meter runs and the Willamette University men's track and feld team came from third place after Friday's events to win its fifth straight Northwest Conference track and field championship Saturday at McCulloch Stadium.

Trailing both George Fox and UPS after Friday's events, the Bearcats rode Symmonds' victories, a win in the 110 hurdles by Brennan Garrelts and strong performances from some unexpected places to win the meet with 182 points.

Puget Sound finished second with 151 points, followed by George Fox (134.5), Linfield (134), Whitworth (93), PLU (61) Lewis 7 Clark (35.5) and Pacific (24).

Symmonds (pictured above) and GFU's Seth Harris were named co-male athletes of the year for the conference. Willamette coach Matt McGuirk was named Male Coach of the Year.

Symmonds, the five-time national champion in the 800 and the 1500 started his Saturday by easily winning the 1500 in 4:04.75, defeating last year's conference champ, Willamette's Julio Vieyra. Vieyra ran 4:06.91 to give the Bearcats valuable points as they looked to make up ground on UPS. Linfield's Justin Brandt finished third in 4:08.71.

Symmonds then won the 400-meter run in 49.56, ahead of Linfield's Matt Strum (49.70) and GFU's Garrett Blizzard (50.58).

Symmonds then won the 800-meter run less than 45 minutes later, running a 1:55.39 to defeat Whitworth's Brandon Howell (1:56.28) and Willamette's Ben Decherd (1:57.34).

Symmonds finished his day by anchoring the Bearcats 4 x 400 relay team in the day's final event. The Bearcats finished second in that race to George Fox.

Brennan Garrelts won the 110 hurdles in 15.08, ahead of Seth Harris of George Fox (15.23) and Benjamin spawn of Whitworth (15.28. Mark Rice of Willamette finished fifth in 15.58.

Garrelt's finished second in the 400 meter hurdles. Lucas Setere won in 55.16. Garrrelts ran 55.40 and PLU's Luke Weinbrecht was third in 56.05. Mark Rice, Dylan Ordonez and Garrison Coy all scored points for Willamette in the race.

John Torsey and Scott Vanassche finished 1-2 in the 100-meter dash, running 10.9 and 10.96 respectively. PLU's James Burnett was second in 10.99 and Willamette's Steve Wilbon picked up some valuable points by finishing fourth in 11.10.

Brian Kramer of Puget Sound won the triple jump with a leap of 44-11. Willamette's Jonathan Woodland was a surprise second place finisher as he went 44-09 to edge Puget Sound's Burch Greene (44-02.75).

Matt Strumm of Linfield won the 200-meter race in 22.04, just ahead of Vanassche (22.10) and Ryan Forbes of GFU (22.45).

The 5000-meter run went to Stephen Peacock of Puget Sound in 15.24.64. He beat teammate Frank Prince (15:28.27) and Willamette's Ian Batch (15:31.82). Travis Harris, Alex Jimenez, Josh Clough and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo all scored for the Bearcats in the 5K.

On Friday, Harris won the 10K race in 32:04.42.

The men's long jump went to Seth Harris in 22-11.75. Puget Sound had the next three finishers: Burch Greene, Pete Van Sant and Mark Conrad.

Harris finished second in the high jump behind Puget Sound's Brian Kramer who easily won with a leap of 6-07.5.

Zeb Udell on George Fox won the pole vault in 14-11.00.

AJ Middleton of Puget Sound won the shot put with a throw of 50-08.75. Chris Miles of Linfield finished second (47-09) and PLU's Michael Johnson was third (47-01.5). Willamette's Jacob Monroe finished fourth (44-11).

PLU's Johnson won the discus with a throw of 141-11. Whitworth's Derrick Dewindt finished second in 138-08 ahead of infield throwers Jake Kleffner, Chris Miles and Dylan McMurtry.

Dewindt won the hammer throw on Friday with a toss of 181-03 to defeat PLU's Johnson (180-01).

Linfield's Gabe Haberly won the javelin on Friday with a throw of 193-08.

Finally, Harris of GFU won the decathlon championship held last week by scoring 6552 points.