Smith Moves Into Finals of 800-Meter Run at NCAA Division III National Championships

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

OSHKOSH, WISC. -- Jordyn Smith (Henderson, NV/Green Valley HS), a junior on the Willamette University women's track and field team, recorded the second fastest time in the preliminary heats of the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships on Friday, May 25. Smith registered a time of 2:10.42 in the first heat, as she finished second behind Amber Druien of North Central College, who clocked in at 2:10.25.

Druien and Smith led a fast race that resulted in the top five times in the two preliminary heats. Smith's time was her personal best, as she cut the better part of one-half second from her NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:10.87. A total of nine runners advanced to finals.

"Jordyn pretty much executed the race plan perfectly and did what she had to do," Willamette Head Coach Matt McGuirk said. "She ran a big personal record in the process and set herself up for a good opportunity tomorrow (Saturday in the finals)."

Willamette seniors Mariah Hanson (Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) and Andrea May (Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) also competed at the National Championships on Friday. Hanson participated in the 400-meter run, earning a time of 57.04 seconds to place fifth in the first heat. Her time was just 0.18 seconds slower than her qualifying time of 56.86 seconds. May ran in the third heat of the 100-meter high hurdle prelims, but fell down on the seventh hurdle. She got back up and finished the race with a time of 19.30 seconds. Hanson and May did not advance to the finals.

Sophomore Jena Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) completed the day for Willamette by running in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. Winger finished 19th with a time of 11:36.24.

The National Championships are being hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Action concludes on Saturday with trials and finals in several field events, plus finals in most of the running events.

Grant Piros (So., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) will represent Willamette in the men's javelin throw, starting with the trials at 12:30 p.m. (PDT). Smith is set to compete in the 800-meter finals at 1 p.m. (PDT). Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) is the top seed in the women's 5,000-meter run, which will start at 2:20 p.m. (PDT). The Willamette women's 4 x 400-meter relay team will battle eight other teams in the finals at 2:55 p.m. (PDT).

2007 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships -- Men's Results
2007 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships -- Women's Results

Jordyn Smith achieved the second fastest time of the prelims in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Jordyn Smith achieved the second fastest time of the prelims in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III National Championships.