Mattox and Winger Finish 1-2 in NWC Steeplechase, Earn NCAA Automatic Marks

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Kimber Mattox (Fr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) and Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) of Willamette University finished first and second, respectively, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on the first day of the Northwest Conference Track & Field Championships, Friday, April 24 at Lincoln Park Stadium. Mattox and Winger recorded NCAA automatic qualifying marks in the steeple, with Mattox winning in 10:38.05 and Winger taking second in 10:42.08.

Mattox established a new school record in the steeplechase. Winger, who held the previous record at 10:46.74, also improved on her career-best time.

Willamette senior Grant Piros (Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) won the men's javelin with a personal record toss of 203'0". He improved on his previous NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 202'9", set at the Willamette Invitational on April 4. Brandt Nevin (So., Eagle Point, OR/Eagle Point HS) placed sixth in the javelin with a throw of 184'2".

Chris Platano (Jr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) and Nick Rebol (So., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS) claimed a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase. Platano won with a time of 9:32.33, while Rebol took second at 9:35.76. Each registered a personal best in the event.

In the women's javelin, Brooke Smith (Sr., Idleyld Park, OR/Glide HS) achieved an NCAA provisional qualifying result of 128'4" while taking fourth place. Katie Peterson (So., Independence, OR/Central HS) placed fifth in the javelin at 120'2". Beth Stam of George Fox University won the javelin at 142'0".

Also for the WU women, Elizabeth Andrews (Jr., Bellevue, WA/Bellevue HS) placed third in the pole vault, while Tina Patel (So., Bend, OR/Summit HS) took fourth in the 10,000-meter run and Christina Edholm (Jr., Pleasanton, CA/Foothill HS) was fourth in the discus.

Andrews produced a successful vault at 10'0". She finished behind the winner, Catherine Street of Linfield College, who cleared 12'3.50", and Misty Corwin of Linfield, who placed second at 10'6".

Patel took more than four minutes off her seed time to complete the 10,000 in 39:03.54. Her previous time this season was 43:21.35 at the Willamette Opener on Feb. 28. The NWC title went to Tamma Carleton of Lewis & Clark Colelge in 37:49.42.

Edholm was part of a tight battle in the discus that ended with less than three feet separating the top five finishers. The event was won by Kelly Bradley of Whitworth University with a toss of 114'6". Edholm's fourth place throw covered 112'5".

Three Bearcats placed in the top eight in the men's discus. David Oppat (So., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) placed fifth with a throw of 136'0". Jacob Monroe (Sr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) was sixth at 134'3" and Josh Clothier (So., Walla Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) took seventh at 132'8".

Other athletes who scored points for the Willamette men's team on Friday were Nate Smith (So., Colorado Springs, CO/Air Academy HS) and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (Sr., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) in the 10,000-meter run, Trevor May (So., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) in the high jump and Raymond White (Fr., Corona, CA/Centennial HS) in the long jump.

Smith finished sixth in the 10,000 with a career-best time of 32:34.40. Knutson-Lombardo placed seventh in 32:36.77.

May's top result in the high jump was 5'9.25", as he took seventh place. White recorded a leap of 20'5" to claim seventh place in the long jump.

The NWC Championships will conclude on Saturday, April 25. Willamette enters the second day in second place in the women's standings with 55 points. Whitworth's women lead the way with 62 points. Other women's team scores are Linifeld in third at 43 points, George Fox in fourth at 39, the University of Puget Sound in fifth at 22, Lewis & Clark in sixth at 19, Pacific University in seventh at 17 and Pacific Lutheran University in eighth at 16.

In the men's standings, Willamette is third with 59 points. Whitworth holds first place with 79 points, while Linfield is second with 66. Completing the men's team standings are George Fox in fourth at 33 points, Puget Sound in fifth at 13, Pacific Lutheran in sixth at 12 and Lewis & Clark in seventh at 11.

NWC Championships
At Lincoln Park Stadium
Forest Grove, Ore.
April 24, 2009
NWC Championships
Preliminary Results Qualifying
for Saturday Finals
April 24, 2009
Kimber Mattox earned a school record and an NCAA automatic qualifying mark by winning the steeplechase in 10:38.05 at the NWC Championships.

Kimber Mattox earned a school record and an NCAA automatic qualifying mark by winning the steeplechase in 10:38.05 at the NWC Championships.

Grant Piros recorded a career-best throw of 203-0 to win the javelin at the NWC Championships.

Grant Piros recorded a career-best throw of 203-0 to win the javelin at the NWC Championships.