Willamette Women Earn Sixth Consecutive NWC Title, while Bearcat Men Finish Second

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University won its sixth consecutive Northwest Conference women's track and field championship on Saturday, April 21, while the Bearcat men's team finished in second place, on the final day of the 2007 NWC Track and Field Championships. Willamette was led by Andrea May (Sr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS), who was selected Athlete of the Meet. WU Head Coach Matt McGuirk was named NWC Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year.

In the final women's team standings, Willamette had 257.33 points for a margin of victory of 133.33 points. George Fox University was second with 124 points and was followed by Linfield College in third with 114 points, Whitworth College in fourth at 87, the University of Puget Sound in fifth at 76.33, Pacific Lutheran University in sixth at 71.33, Pacific University in seventh at 45 and Lewis & Clark College in eighth with 36 points.

Linfield College won the men's team title with 211.83 points. Willamette trailed by just 16.83 points, as the Bearcats finished with a total of 195 points for second place. Whitworth was third at 157, while Puget Sound was fourth at 124.5, George Fox was fifth at 69.66, Lewis & Clark was sixth at 23, Pacific Lutheran was seventh at 19 and Pacific was eighth with 15 points.

May won two events for the Bearcats. She took first place in the 100-meter dash in 12.80 seconds. She also finished first in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.97 seconds. Her time in the hurdles would have been an NCAA Division III provisional qualifier, but the hurdles were not set at the correct height.

Julio Vieyra (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) also won two events on Saturday. He outran the field in the 800-meter run, finishing in 1:55.05, then won the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:57.21.

Other winners for Willamette on the second day of the championships were:

Jennifer Luecht (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) in the women's 200-meter dash, leading a 1-2-3-4-5 sweep by Willamette after clocking in a 25.95 seconds.

Mariah Hanson (Sr., Pouslbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) in the women's 400-meter dash with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 57.38 seconds, as she helped WU take first through third in the event.

Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) in the women's 1,500-meter run, as she improved her NCAA provisional time with a result of 4:33.87. The Bearcats finished first and second in the event.

Jordyn Smith (Jr., Henderson, NV/Green Valley HS) in the women's 400-meter hurdles. She recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:02.95. She also recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:03.36 in the preliminaries on Friday, April 20.

The Willamette women's 4 x 100-meter relay team of Autumn Schmeck (Fr., Beaverton, OR/Aloha HS), Lydia Marsalli (Fr., Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS), Kaitlin St. John (Fr., Bend, OR/Mountain View HS) and Katie Klein (So., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS), which won their event in 49.33 seconds.

Willamette's 4 x 400-meter women's relay team of Hanson, Luecht, May and Jordan Smith, who won their event by nearly 11 seconds with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:53.20.

Ian Batch (Jr., Eagle, ID/Capital HS) in the men's 5,000-meter run. Batch, who won the 10,000-meter run on Friday (31:52.95), led a 1-2-3-4-5 sweep by the Bearcats in the 5,000 with a winning time of 15:16.27.

Individual champions for the Bearcats on the first day of competition were:

Jena Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, as she earned an NCAA Division III provisional qualifying time and Baker Stadium record at 10:52.71.

Melinda Fahey (Jr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) in the discus throw with a toss of 131’10”.

Batch in the 10,000-meter run in a time of 31:52.95.

Overall, Willamette won 10 women's events and four men's events during the NWC Championships. Willamette's next action will be at the Western Oregon Twilight Meet on Friday, April 27, starting at 2:30 p.m.

NWC Track and Field Championships - Final Results