Bearcats Win a Total of 14 Events at Willamette Opener

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University track and field teams started the 2008 season by winning seven women's events and seven men's events during the Willamette Opener on Saturday, March 1 at the Charles Bowles Track. Willamette competed against athletes from the University of Portland, Oregon State University, Whitworth University, and Corban College, plus several club teams from the area. No team scores were recorded.

Three Willamette athletes each won a pair of events. Melinda Fahey (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) took first place in the women's discus throw at 132'6" and also topped the field in the hammer throw at 153'7". Brooke Smith (Jr., Idleyld Park, OR/Glide HS) won the women's high jump with a height of 5'3.25" and finished first in the javelin throw with a toss of 112'2". Merben Woo (Jr., Salinas, CA/Hartnell JC) was victorious in the men's 100-meter dash with a time of 11.49 seconds and outraced the field in the 200-yard dash in 23.07 seconds.

Other champions on the WU women's team were Lydia Marsalli (So., Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) in the 100-meter dash, Elizabeth Andrews (So., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS) in the pole vault and Christina Edholm (So., Pleasanton, CA/Foothill HS) in the shot put.

Marsalli's winning time in the 100 was 13.29 seconds for a narrow margin over teammate Kaitlin St. John (So., Bend, OR/Mountain View HS), who finished second at 13.34 seconds. Andrews cleared 10'6" in the pole vault for the day's highest successful attempt. Edholm threw the shot 35'8.75" and combined with Holly Winter (Jr., Dundee, OR/Newberg HS), who threw 34'7", to give WU a 1-2 finish.

Willamette received one victory each from Ryan McLaughlin (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS), Jacob Monroe (Jr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS), Kellen Peters (So., Forest Grove, OR/Pacific University), Colby Takeda (Fr., Mililani, HI/Iolani School) and James Yamashita (Walnut Creek, CA/Diablo Valley College). McLaughlin and Peters won on the track, while Monroe, Takeda and Yamashita won in field events.

McLaughlin placed first in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:58.41 to edge out teammate Jonathan Lanning (Fr., Springfield, OR/Thurston HS) by just 0.43 seconds. Peters triumphed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, after clocking in at 9:38.68 for a margin of victory of more than 22 seconds.

Monroe led the hammer throw with a toss of 149'10", helping Willamette take 1-3-4-5 in the event. Takeda cleared 12'11.5" in his first collegiate competition in the pole vault. Yamashita won the long jump at 20'9.75".

Willamette's next competition will be a dual meet at Western Oregon University on Saturday, March 8 in Monmouth, Ore. The Bearcats will host WOU, plus Southern Oregon University and Oregon State University, in a home meet at the Charles Bowles Track on Saturday, March 15.

Willamette Opener
Brooke Smith won the javelin and the high jump at the Willamette Opener.

Brooke Smith won the javelin and the high jump at the Willamette Opener.