Winger Selected as Northwest Conference Track Athlete of the Week

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

(TRACK & FIELD) SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University distance runner Jena Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) has been named Northwest Conference Women’s Track Athlete of the Week for the week ending March 11, 2007. Winger won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Willamette Mini Meet on Saturday, March 10.

Winger’s time of 11:17.72 in the steeplechase was the fastest time recorded so far this season in the Northwest Conference. The time also set a new personal best for Winger, reducing her previous top time by 55 seconds. She took first place with a margin of victory of 16.41 seconds. Her time was just over one second away from the NCAA Division III provisional standard for national qualifying of 11:16.50. Willamette achieved a 1-2-3-4 finish in the event, with all four runners completing the race in less than 12 minutes.

The Willamette women’s track and field team has won five consecutive Northwest Conference titles. WU has already qualified 52 women’s entries for the 2007 NWC Championships, set for April 20-21 in Tacoma, Wash.

Willamette will compete in two meets this weekend. The Bearcats will participate in the Linfield Open on Friday, March 16, before entering the Oregon Preview on Saturday, March 17. The Linfield Open will be held at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). Action at the Oregon Preview, which will be hosted by the University of Oregon, is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. (PDT) in Eugene, Ore.

Jena Winger

Jena Winger