Coffman Wins Individual Women's Title at Willamette Grass Course Meet

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219 and
Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Maddie Coffman (Sr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) of Willamette University took first place in the women's race, and the Willamette men's team placed three runners in the top five en route to a team title, Saturday at Willamette's Grass Course Invitational at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore.

Coffman completed the 5-kilometer course in 18:04.00 for just over a 17-second margin of victory. Kelsey Owens of Pacific University crossed the line in second place at 18:21.07. Willamette's Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) finished in third place with a time of 18:27.19.

Fourth place went to club runner Evelyn Young of Team Gallagher Fitness Resources (Salem), who clocked in at 18:48.16. Jessica Harper of Western Oregon University was fifth after finishing in 19:07.68.

Three other Bearcat women were among the top 25 finishers, helping Willamette achieve second place in the team standings. Molly Lewis (Jr., Fox Island, WA/Gig Harbor HS) crossed the line with a time of 19:27.36 to take 13th place. Ali Maki (Shoreview, MN/Mounds View HS) finished with a time of 19:42.95, good for an 18th place finish. Megan Horning (So., Page, AZ/Page HS) ended the race in 21st place with a time of 19:45.03.

Whitworth University took first place in the women's division with a score of 39. Willamette followed at 52, with Western Oregon in third place at 62. Team Gallagher Fitness Resources placed fourth at 106, with Pacific Lutheran University in fifth at 137 and Lane Community College in sixth at 146.

Willamette runners Hannah Vietmeier (Jr., Shoreline, WA/Shorewood HS), 27th overall, and Ciara Gonzalez (Jr., Los Angeles, CA/Flintridge Prep), 28th overall, completed the list of top finishers for the Bearcats. A total of 59 athletes competed in the women's race.

On the men's side, Leo Castillo (Fr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) of Willamette placed second overall with a time of 22:46.06 over the 7,085-meter course to lead the Bearcats to the team title. Josh Clough (Sr., Auburn, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) crossed the line in 23:00.44 to finish in fourth place, just four seconds ahead of teammate Nick Rebol (So., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS), who finished with a time of 23:04.21 to earn fifth place.

Alex Jimenez (Sr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) also finished in the top ten for the Bearcats. He completed the race in eighth place with a time of 23:06.58.

The individual champion in the men's division was Chris Reed of Western Oregon University, who registered a time of 22:36.50. Following Castillo was Zeke Van Patten of WOU in third place at 22:53.88.

Willamette's depth was evident by three additional Bearcats in the top 15. Ryan McLaughlin (So., Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS)) earned a time of 23:18.54 for 11th place. Ben Donovan (Fr., Minneapolis, MN/South HS), claimed 13th place with a time of 23:22.83. Rounding out the top runners for Willamette was Kyle Jackson (Fr., Springfield, OR/Marist HS), who took 14th place after concluding the race in 23:24.37.

The Willamette men claimed the team title with 30 points, edging out second place Western Oregon, which accumulated 39 points. Whitworth finished in third place with 70 points. Lane Community College was fourth at 114, with Pacific Lutheran University in fifth at 140 and Pacific University in sixth at 167. A total of 67 runners participated in the men's race.

Willamette's next action is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Charles Bowles Invitational, hosted by Willamette at Bush's Pasture Park. The meet is set to begin at 9 a.m. (PDT).

Senior Maddie Coffman runs away from a field of 59 at the Willamette Grass Course Meet.