Bearcats Earn Four NCAA Provisional Qualifying Times in the Celebration of Distance

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University track and field teams were able to enjoy the Charles Bowles Celebration of Distance at the Willamette Invitational on Friday night (April 3), as the Bearcats recorded four provisional qualifying times for the NCAA Division III Championships.

WU's provisional times were recorded by Kyle Kotaich (Jr., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) in the men's 1,500-meter run at 3:54.79, and by three Bearcat runners in the women's 5,000-meter run. Earning the provisional qualifying times for the women's team were Maddie Coffman (Jr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) at 17:02.33, Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) at 17:16.40 and Kimber Mattox (Fr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) at 17:32.31.

Kotaich was timed at just under the NCAA provisional standard of 3:55.00. Coffman, Winger and Mattox finished the 5,000 under the provisional standard of 17:35.00. Coffman's time was 32.67 seconds beneath the provisional mark.

All four earned career-best times. Coffman also moved into second place on WU's top 10 list in the 5,000. She trails only Sarah Zerzan '08, who set the school record of 16:28.54 in 2007.

Mattox has registered NCAA provisional qualifying marks in three events this spring. In addition to the 5,000, she also has attained qualifying times in the 1,500 at 4:38.67 and in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 10:49.67.

The winner of the men's 1,500 was Mick Boyle from Alaska-Anchorage. His time was 3:49.77. The women's 5,000 was won by unattached runner Natalie Hemphill with a time of 16:59.36. Coffman crossed the finish line just under three seconds later in third place. Sixteen women completed the race in under 17:48.

Leo Castillo (Fr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) narrowly missed achieving a provisional qualifying time in the men's 5,000-meter run. He finished in 14:47.32, just 2.32 seconds away from the provisional standard. He also was 0.18 seconds away from the Willamette top 10.

Castillo finished ninth. The winner was Eric Burck of Concordia University (Ore.), who was timed at 14:40.59. Burck led a total of 10 runners who crossed the finish line in less than 14:50.

In the women's pole vault, WU's Elizabeth Andrews (Jr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS) took second place, as she cleared 10'0". The event was won by Mary Vaughn of Lane Community College at 10'6".

Other top results for the Willamette women on Friday included:

Hammer Throw -
Christina Edholm, 136'1" (6th place)

1,500-meter run-
Edith Polanco, 4:52.01 (16th place)

Other top results for the Willamette men on Friday included:

Hammer Throw -
Jacob Monroe, 167'10" (6th place)
Steve Collins, 156'0" (7th place)

Pole Vault -
Aaron Bilbao, pole vault, 13'3.5" (3rd place tie)

1,500-meter run -
Kyle McLaughlin, 3:59.45 (14th place)
Reid Gilbertson, 4:02.65 (19th place)

3,000-meter Steeplechase -
Chris Platano, 9:38.93 (4th place)
Ben Donovan, 9:43.60 (5th place)

5,000-meter run -
Stefan Redfield, 15:07.62 (13th place)
Nick Rebol, 15:13.36 (15th place)

The Willamette Invitational, with 1,274 entries representing 51 collegiate and club teams this year, is one of the largest college meets on the West Coast each season. Action will continue on Saturday, April 4, starting at 10 a.m. (PDT).

Willamette Invitational
At Charles Bowles Track
Salem, Ore.
April 3, 2009
Maddie Coffman led three Willamette runners with NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 5,000-meter run. Coffman completed the race in 17:02.33

Maddie Coffman led three Willamette runners with NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 5,000-meter run. Coffman completed the race in 17:02.33