Coffman, Mattox and Winger are Selected for NCAA Championships in Two Events Each

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Maddie Coffman (Jr., Boise, ID/Boise HS), Kimber Mattox (Fr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) and Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) of Willamette University each have been selected to compete in two events at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, set for May 21-23 at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. The trio of two-event competitors will lead a group of seven Willamette athletes who will participate in the National Championships.

Also earning the chance to compete for national titles were Katie Peterson (So., Independence, OR/Central HS) and Brooke Smith (Sr., Idleyld Park, OR/Glide HS) from the WU women's team, plus Jacob Monroe (Sr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) and Grant Piros (Sr., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) from the Bearcat men's team.

Coffman was chosen to compete in the women's 1,500-meter run and the women's 5,000-meter run. She is ranked ninth in the nation in the 1,500 at 4:34.24 and is third in the country in the 5,000 with a qualifying time of 17:02.33.

Mattox and Winger will join Coffman in the 5,000. Mattox registered a qualifying time of 17:12.28 and Winger qualified with a time of 17:16.40. Mattox and Winger also earned berths in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with automatic qualifying times. The top time for Mattox in the steeplechase was 10:38.05, while Winger recorded a time of 10:42.08. Mattox ranks sixth in the nation and Winger is seventh.

Peterson qualified for the National Championships in the javelin. Her best throw covered 138'7" at the Oregon Twilight on May 9.

Smith will compete in the heptathlon for the second consecutive season. In 2008, she placed seventh at the National Championships to earn All-America honors. This season, her qualifying score was 4,398 points.

Monroe will make his first trip to the NCAA Championships after qualifying in the hammer throw. Monroe's top distance this spring was a personal record of 184'6" at the Northwest Conference Championships. His throw is ranked fifth in the nation.

Piros earned his third trip to the National Championships in the javelin throw. He achieved All-America honors in 2008, when he took seventh place in NCAA Division III. This season, he recorded a personal-best throw of 203'0" at the NWC Championships. His throw ranks ninth in the nation.

Head Coach Matt McGuirk and his assistant coaches have led the Bearcats to an outstanding season this spring. The Willamette women's team and the Bearcat men's team both won Northwest Conference team titles, as the women claimed their eighth consecutive championship, while the men took first place for the sixth time in eight years. A total of 13 Bearcats achieved NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying marks.

Maddie Coffman (left) and Kimber Mattox (right) are two of the seven WU athletes chosen for the NCAA Championships.

Maddie Coffman (left) and Kimber Mattox (right) are two of the seven WU athletes chosen for the NCAA Championships.

Grant Piros received All-America honors in the javelin in 2008.

Grant Piros received All-America honors in the javelin in 2008.