Willamette 4 x 100-Meter Relay Team Breaks NCAA Provisional Standard

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

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's 4 x 100-meter relay team had to achieve a provisional qualifying standard twice, but this time it counted. After a timing malfunction prevented the team from counting its time of 48.50 seconds (48.74 converted) on April 7, the Bearcats didn't give up. The talented group of mostly first-year collegiate runners kept up their efforts, which paid off on Friday, April 27, when they won the 4 x 100-meter race at the Western Oregon Twilight Meet with a time of 48.48 seconds.

Freshmen Autumn Schmeck (Beaverton, OR/Aloha HS), Lydia Marsalli (Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) and Kaitlin St. John (Bend, OR/Mountain View HS) ran the first three legs on Friday, with senior Andrea May (Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) providing the anchor leg. The NCAA Division III provisional qualifying standard in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay is 48.88 seconds. Willamette will now try to attain the automatic qualifying standard of 47.50 seconds.

In addition to winning the event at Western Oregon and achieving the provisional qualifying time, Willamette's 4 x 100-meter relay team also set a school record. The previous record was the 48.74 converted time on April 7. Prior to that race, WU's record in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay was 49.04, set in 1989.

The Willamette women's 4 x 400-meter relay team, which achieved a provisional qualifying time at the Northwest Conference championships on April 21, lowered its time with a first place finish at the WOU Twilight Meet. Willamette's time of 3:50.19 edged out Portland State University for the win, as the Vikings reached the finish line in 3:50.21.

WU's time in the 4 x 400 was just over three seconds faster than a week ago and just 0.59 seconds away from the automatic qualifying standard of 3:49.60. Running for the Bearcats were May, Lydia Marsalli (Fr., Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS), Jennifer Luecht (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) and Mariah Hanson (Sr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS).

Jordyn Smith (Jr., Henderson, NV/Green Valley HS) improved her time in the women's 400-meter hurdles. She won the event in 1:02.34, lowering her provisional qualifying time by 0.56 seconds. The automatic qualifying time is 1:02.00.

St. John finished third for Willamette in the women's 400-meter dash. She clocked in at 59.72 seconds, missing second place by just two one-hundredths of a second. Brittany Grizzard of Concordia University (Ore.) won the event in 58.57 seconds,while Tanya Baker of Concordia was second at 59.70 seconds. Sascha Larsen-Helbing (So., Honokaa, HI/Hawaii Preparatory Academy) of Willamette took fourth place with a time of 59.93 seconds.

Katie Klein (So., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS) of Willamette was seventh in the women's 100-meter dash. She was timed at 12.97 seconds. Klein also took ninth place in the women's 200-meter dash in 26.63 seconds.

Two Willamette athletes placed in the women's hammer throw. Holly Winter (Fr., Dundee, OR/Newberg HS) was fifth in the event with a throw of 126'8". Emilie Burger (Jr., Saint Helena, CA/Saint Helena HS) took sixth at 122'10".

Brittany Farrer (So., Medford, OR/South Medford HS) from Willamette claimed eighth place in the women's shot put with a toss of 38'8". Christina Edholm (Fr., Pleaseanton, CA/Foothill HS) was 12th at 36'2". Brooke Smith (So., Idleyld Park, OR/Glide HS) took ninth in the women's long jump, as she went 14'10". Elizabeth Andrews (Fr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS) finished seventh in the women's pole vault after clearing 10'4".

Andrew Welch (Fr., Daly City, CA/Terra Nova HS) and Andy Meuser (Fr., Portland, OR/Woodrow Wilson HS) from the Willamette men's track and field team competed in the men's 100-yard dash. Welch was 10th with a time of 11.38 seconds, while Meuser was 17th at 11.62 seconds. The event featured a total of 33 entries.

Garrison Coy (So., Gig Harbor, WA/Gig Harbor HS) earned fifth place in the men's 400-meter hurdles. His time was 55.88 seconds.

Also for Willamette, Chris Platano (Fr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) finished 13th in the men's 1,500-meter run. He was timed at 4:05.52. Jonathan Woodland (So., Creswell, OR/Creswell HS) took ninth in the men's triple jump at 42'6" and Jacob Monroe (So., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) was 11th in the men's hammer throw at 156'7". Monroe also placed 11th in the men's discus with a throw of 130'11".

Western Oregon Twilight Meet - Final Results