Coffman and Vieyra Improve Provisional Qualifying Times in 1,500 at WU Last Chance

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

SALEM, ORE. -- With just one final opportunity to improve their times prior to selections for the NCAA Division III National Championships, Willamette University track and field athletes Maddie Coffman (So., Boise, ID/Boise HS) and Julio Vieyra (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) wanted to complete the 1,500-meter run faster than their best results from previous meets. Both runners already had achieved the NCAA provisional standard earlier this season.

Even so, improved times would mean a greater likelihood of being chosen for the National Championships. At the Willamette University Last Chance Meet on Wednesday, May 16, Coffman completed the women's 1,500 meters in 4:32.99, as she took 2.69 seconds off her previous qualifying time of 4:35.68. Vieyra ran the men's 1,500 meters in 3:52.57, slicing three-quarters of a second from his previous best of 3:53.32.

Coffman moved from 16th on the NCAA Division III Performance List into ninth place, pending other recent results. Vieyra, who began the day ranked 16th among Division III provisional qualifiers, moved up to 13th, pending results from other last chance meets.

The efforts of Coffman and Vieyra highlighted Willamette's accomplishments at the WU Last Chance Meet. Other top performers for the Bearcat women were the 4 x 100-meter relay team, plus Andrea May (Sr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) in the 100-meter hurdles and Melinda Fahey (Jr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) in the discus throw.

WU's 4 x 100-meter relay recorded a time of 48.30 seconds, finishing the race 0.11 away from the school record set just last week at 48:19 during the Western Oregon University Last Chance Meet on May 11. The Bearcats, who previously attained the provisional qualifying standard, had hoped to improve their time and take on the automatic qualifying mark of 47.50 seconds. Running for the Bearcats were 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 May.

In the 100-meter hurdles, May was clocked at 14.88 seconds. She was within 0.16 seconds of her provisional qualifying time and school record of 14.72 seconds, recorded earlier this year. Fahey, who attained a provisional qualifying distance of 136' 10" in the discus earlier in the season, registered a toss of 135' 0" at the WU Last Chance Meet

Additional top results for the WU men's team were supplied by Garrison Coy (So., Gig Harbor, WA/Gig Harbor HS) in the 400-meter hurdles, Lucas Nebert (Jr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Craig Sather (Fr., Junction City, OR/Junction City HS) in the shot put and Jacob Monroe (So., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) in the shot put. The meet included entries from 14 colleges and universities, plus athletes from several track clubs in the Northwest.

Coy ran the 400-meter hurdles in 54.81 seconds, as he finished more than a second faster than his time of 55.97 seconds at the WOU Last Chance Meet. He missed the provisional standard of 54.14 by just 0.67 seconds.

Nebert recorded a time of 9:35.04 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to win the event, which included seven entries. Nebert's time was roughly 12 seconds from the NCAA provisional mark of 9:23.00

Sather took third place out of 12 entrants in the shot put with a throw of 45' 9.25". Monroe finished fourth at 44' 3.25". The provisional standard in the shot put is 51' 0.25".

Athletes from other NCAA Division III colleges and universities who recorded provisional qualifying results at the WU Last Chance Meet were: Rachel Giffey-Brohaugh of George Fox University with a time of 2:13.88 in the women's 800-meter run; Amanda Phillips of Lewis and Clark College in the women's 1,500-meter run at 4:37.66; Brittany Hodgson from the University of Puget Sound with a time of 11:04.07 in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase; Taylor Hacker and Megan Wochnick, both from Pacific Lutheran University, with throws of 163' 9" and 162' 5", respectively, in the women's hammer throw; Karin Hatch from Pacific Lutheran in the women's javelin throw, as she recorded a distance of 132' 3"; Brian Kramer of Puget Sound, who cleared 6' 8" in the men's high jump.

Several other athletes came very close to achieving provisional qualifying marks: Tamma Carleton of Lewis & Clark ran the women's 5,000 meters in 17:47.15 (provisional standard is 17:40.00); George Fox's team in the women's 4 x 400-meter relay finished in 3:56.10 (PQ 3:56.00); Cindy Walsh from George Fox went 17' 11" in the long jump (PQ 18' 1.25"); Stephen Peacock from Puget Sound ran the men's 5,000 meters in 15:00.48 (PQ 14:48.00); Pete Van Sant of UPS went 22' 9.75" in the men's long jump (PQ 23' 0.75"); Kramer from UPS covered 45' 7" in the men's triple jump (PQ 46' 3.25"; Greg Bailey form Puget Sound earned a distance of 167' 10" in the hammer throw (PQ 168' 10").

WU Last Chance Meet - Results

Julio Vieyra in action during the 2007 Willamette Invitational earlier this season.

Julio Vieyra in action during the 2007 Willamette Invitational earlier this season.