Willamette Men are #5, Bearcat Women are #16, in NCAA Power Rankings

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

SALEM, ORE. -- After winning the men's and women's team titles and finishing first in 17 events at the Northwest Conference Championships this past weekend, the Willamette University track and field teams are listed nationally on the NCAA Division III Power Rankings released by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on April 28. The Willamette men's team is ranked #5 this week, while the Bearcat women's squad is ranked #16.

Willamette moved up one position on each list, as the men's team advanced from #6 a week ago and the women's team improved from #17 last week.

The top-ranked men's team is Augustana College (Illinois) with 211.85 points. Second place is held by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 209.58, with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in third at 209.5. North Central College (Illinois) is fourth at 206.68, approximately one-half point in front Willamette in the #5 spot at 206.14.

Leading the women's power ranking is Washington University (Mo.) with 194.24 points. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is second at 189.72 and is followed by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in third at 189.54, the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in fourth at 187.42, and Tufts University (Mass.) in fifth at 183.12.

Each team's point total is the sum of points awarded in each event. A team selects up to two athletes per event, with each athlete counting in a maximum of three events, excluding relays. Only one relay team is selected in each relay event. Points are based on the best marks in each event this season.

The Willamette men's team has four athletes who have recorded a total of five NCAA provisional qualifying marks:

* Kyle Kotaich (Jr., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) in the 1,500-meter run at 3:54.79 (PQ)
* Jacob Monroe (Sr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) in the hammer throw at 184'6" (PQ)
* Brandt Nevin (So., Eagle Point, OR/Eagle Point HS) in the javelin at 194'2" (PQ)
* Grant Piros (Sr., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) in the javelin at 203'0" (PQ) and in the decathlon at 6,149 points (PQ)

Six athletes on the Bearcat women's team have achieved a total of 12 NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying results:

* Maddie Coffman (Jr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) in the 1,500-meter run at 4:34.24 (PQ) and in the 5,000-meter run at 17:02.33 (PQ)
* Jennifer Luecht (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) in the 400-meter dash at 57.23 seconds (PQ)
* Kimber Mattox (Fr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) in the 1,500-meter run at 4:38.25 (PQ), in the 5,000-meter run at 17:32.31 (PQ) and in the steeplechase at 10:38.05 (AQ)
* Katie Peterson (So., Independence, OR/Central HS) in the javelin at 133'3" (PQ)
* Brooke Smith (Sr., Idleyld Park, OR/Glide HS) in the heptathlon at 4,275 points (PQ) and in the javelin at 128'4" (PQ)
* Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) in the 1,500-meter run at 4:37.24 (PQ), in the 5,000-meter run at 17:16.40 (PQ) and in the steeplechase at 10:42.08 (AQ)

Willamette will host the WU Multi-Event on Sunday, May 3 and Monday, May 4. Action is set to get underway at 12 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday and at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Jacob Monroe recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 184-6 in the hammer throw to win the NWC title.