Mattox is Chosen as a Finalist for Ad Rutschman Award

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University three-sport athlete Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, Ore./Bend HS/Cornell Univ.), who competes for the Bearcats in track and field, cross country and soccer, has been chosen as one of five finalists for the 2009 Ad Rutschman Small College Women's Athlete of the Year Award. Mattox was nominated by Willamette as part of the selection process for the Oregon Sports Awards.

The Ad Rutschman Small College Women's Athlete of the Year and other award winners will be announced during the 58th Annual Oregon Sports Awards Show, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, Ore. The event will get underway at 7 p.m. (PST).

A broadcast of the Oregon Sports Awards Show will be provided by Comcast SportsNet on a tape-delayed basis at 8 p.m. (PST) on Monday, Feb. 1.

Mattox earned All-America honors by placing sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:31.42 at the 2009 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She also placed 12th in the nation in the 5,000-meter run by recording a time of 17:44.12.

She never competed in track and field until the spring of 2009. Even so, she helped Willamette win the Northwest Conference team title, while earning NWC Women's Athlete of the Meet honors.

Mattox won individual NWC championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run, while placing third in the 1,500-meter run. She registered an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships with her winning time of 10:38.05 in the steeplechase. She won the 5,000 in 17:48.32 and earned a time of 4:38.25 in the 1,500.

Her highly successful season also earned her the 2009 NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year Award, presented by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

“Kimber had a remarkable season and proved to be a tremendous competitor in her first-ever season of track competition," said Matt McGuirk, head coach of track and field and cross country at Willamette. "Her NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase was a Willamette record in that event. Kimber also had NCAA provisional marks in the 1,500 and 5,000.”

During the fall of 2009, Mattox competed for the Willamette women’s soccer team and cross country team.

In cross country, she placed sixth at the Northwest Conference championships with a 6-kilometer time of 22:33.50. She took 15th place at the NCAA Division III West Regional and missed individually qualifying for Nationals by one place (1.45 seconds).

As a midfielder on the soccer team, she played in 19 of 20 games (she missed one game due to cross country) and had 18 starts. She ranked fourth on the team with 1,698 minutes played. She earned a solid reputation with through her tremendous work rate, as she helped Willamette control the ball in the midfield. She also recorded one goal and one assist.

"Kimber -- a soft spoken, ever humble, die-hard athlete -- continues to impress me," said Head Coach Hillary Arthur of the WU women's soccer team. "As a starter for the women's soccer team, Kimber had the fourth highest number of minutes played and would have competed for a close second in number of minutes had she not missed a home game to run in the conference championship for cross country. She is a very unique athlete with a tremendous capacity to achieve."

In addition to Mattox, nominees for the Ad Rutschman Small College Women's Athlete of the Year Award are Annie Hess, track and field athlete at Concordia University (Ore.), Jessica Ramback, soccer player at Concordia, Kristen Shielee, basketball player at George Fox University, and Jacki Speer, basketball player at Southern Oregon University.

Kimber Mattox placed sixth in the nation in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was 12th in the 5,000-meter run.

Kimber Mattox placed sixth in the nation in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was 12th in the 5,000-meter run.

Kimber Mattox placed sixth in the NWC in cross country.

Kimber Mattox placed sixth in the NWC in cross country.

Kimber Mattox played in 19 games for the Willamette women's soccer team in 2009.

Kimber Mattox played in 19 games for the Willamette women's soccer team in 2009.