Clothier and Uhlich Set Personal Records in Field Events at NWC Championships

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Willamette University athletes Josh Clothier (Jr., Walla Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) and Natalee Uhlich (Fr., Yamhill, OR/Yamhill-Carlton HS) achieved personal records in field events on the first day of the Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships on Friday, April 23. Clothier registered his career-best throw in the discus, while Uhlich earned her top throw in the javelin.

The first day of the NWC Championship also included successful results for the Bearcats on the track.

Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell University) won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Ben Donovan (So., Minneapolis, MN/South HS) won the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase (see related article).

In the six women's events with preliminary heats (sprints, 800m, hurdles), Willamette advanced eight runners filling 11 spots in the finals. The Bearcats advanced 10 men's runners who will fill 14 spots in finals of the six men's events that featured preliminary heats. Willamette also will be represented in the men's and women's 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs on Saturday.

Clothier's personal record in the men's discus covered 152' 5". His previous best was 144' 8" at the Charles Bowles Spring Break Classic earlier this season. Clothier placed fifth at the NWC Championships on Friday. Ron Whitley of Whitworth University won the event with a distance of 166' 2".

Uhlich threw the javelin 124' 6" to set her personal record, as she placed fourth in the event on Friday. Her previous top throw this season was 115' 4". Beth Stam of George Fox University won the women's javelin with a toss of 143' 3".

Christina Edholm (Sr., Pleasanton, CA/Foothill HS) of Willamette placed sixth in the women's discus with a distance of 108' 2". Edholm also will compete in the shot put and the hammer throw on Saturday.

The Willamette women's team also received an eighth place finish from Tina Patel (Sr., Bend, OR/Summit HS) in the 10,000-meter run. She clocked in at 39:32.40 to finish in front of more than half of the 19 runners entered in the event.

Clothier was one of two Bearcats to score points in the men's discus. David Oppat (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) placed seventh with a throw of 147' 10" to tie his career best.

Brandt Nevin (Jr., Eagle Point, OR/Eagle Point HS) and Evin Colignon (Jr., Poulsbo, WA/Charles Wright Academy) placed in the men's javelin. Nevin took fifth place at 171' 9" and Colignon was seventh with a toss of 164' 6".

In the men's 10,000-meter run, Willamette's Kevin Aubol (Fr., Ellensburg, WA/Ellensburg HS) placed seventh. He recorded a time of 33:42.18 for a new personal record.

Jennifer Luecht (Sr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) reached the finals in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash. She has won seven NWC championships in the sprints and relays during her career.

Other Willamette highlights in the women's preliminary heats included three Bearcats reaching the finals in the 800-meter run. WU's finalists were Theresa Edwards (Fr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS), Kaitlin Greene (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) and Erynn Rebol (Fr., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS).

Brandi Miller (So., Grants Pass, OR/North Valley HS) of WU advanced to the finals in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.

Four Bearcats gained slots in the finals of the men's 200-meter dash. They were Paul Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake HS), Neal Howard (So., Seattle, WA/Ballard HS), Tristan Bodding-Long (Sr., Woodinville, WA/Woodinville HS) and Nate Dick (Sr., Stanfield, OR/Stanfield HS/So. Oregon Univ.).

Howard and Dick also advanced to the finals in the 100-meter dash, while Winger and Bodding-Long reached the finals of the 400-meter dash. WU sent at least two men to the finals in all six races with preliminary heats.

The Bearcats had three athletes register the top time of their respective events in the prelims.

Luecht finished her preliminary heat in the 400-meter dash in 59.62 seconds to lead the field. Winger registered the fastest prelim time in the men's 400 at 50.27 seconds, while Andy Meuser (Sr., Portland, OR/Woodrow Wilson HS) had the top time in the men's 400-meter hurdles at 57.01 seconds.

Whitworth led the men's team standings after the first day with 105 points. Linfield College was second with 48.50 points, followed by Willamette in third at 45. George Fox University was fourth with 44.50 points, the University of Puget Sound was fifth at 11, Lewis & Clark was sixth at 10 and Pacific Lutheran University was seventh with eight points. Pacific University did not score on Friday.

The women's team standings were topped by George Fox with 60 points. Whitworth and Linfield were tied for second at 53 points and Willamette was fourth with 32 points. Puget Sound held fifth place at 31 points, with Pacific Lutheran in sixth at 23, Lewis & Clark in seventh with 15 and Pacific in eighth with six.

FIRST DAY RESULTS

2010 NWC Track & Field Championships
Spokane, Wash.
April 23-24, 2010

NWC CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE
2010 NWC Track & Field Championships
Spokane, Wash.
April 23-24, 2010
Paul Winger won his heat and advanced to the finals in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash.

Paul Winger won his heat and advanced to the finals in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash.

Brandi Miller reached the finals in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.

Brandi Miller reached the finals in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.