Willamette Invitational will Feature Over 1,000 Entries

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette Invitational in track and field continues its long-standing tradition this season as one of the largest college meets on the West Coast. Action will be held at the Charles Bowles Track in Bush's Pasture Park (near the intersection of Mission St. and Winter St.) on Friday and Saturday (April 2-3). The event joins the Stanford Invitational and the Oregon Relays as featured college track and field competitions each spring.

This year, the Bearcats will host 42 college teams and running clubs, with a total of 701 athletes and 1,056 entries. Several field events and the distance running events will be completed on Friday.

Field events open with the men's and women's hammer throw and the women's and men's pole vault on Friday at 3 p.m. (PDT). The hammer throw will be held at 1850 Oxford SE behind the Math Learning Center. The pole vault and all other events will be held at the Charles Bowles Track.

The first running event will be the women's 10,000-meter run at 4:15 p.m. (PDT). The men's 10,000-meter run will be next followed by the slower heats in the men's and women's 1,500-meter run, and 5,000-meter run.

The Charles Bowles Celebration of Distance, featuring the fastest heats in the men's and women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, 1,500-meter run and 5,000-meter run, will be contested on Friday night. The Celebration of Distance will begin with the women's steeplechase at 7:30 p.m. and will conclude with the fastest heat of the men's 5,000 at 8:45 p.m.

Saturday's schedule includes the remaining field events, starting at 10 a.m., as well as the shorter track events and the relay races. Running events will begin at 12 p.m., with the final event set for 4:30 p.m.

As always, the Willamette Invitational will feature many quality competitors throughout the meet and the host Bearcats will be represented in a wide range of events. The level of competition will be some of the best the Willamette teams will face all season.

In the running events, athletes will compete against the clock, with multiple heats scheduled for events with large numbers of entries. The throwing events, long jump and triple jump will have three attempts per athlete, with the top competitors advancing to the finals.

The meet typically includes many entries in virtually every race and nearly every throwing event. This year is no exception.

In the men's 200-meter dash, there are 48 entries who will compete in six heats. The men's 800-meter run has 46 entries in five heats, the men's 100-meter dash has 43 entries in six heats, the women's 200-meter dash features 40 entries in five heats and the women's 100-meter hurdles has 34 runners in five heats.

Several of the distance events also will include large groups of runners. The men's 1,500 will have 66 competitors in four heats, while the men's 5,000 will feature 65 runners in two heats and the women's 5,000 will include 64 runners in two heats. The men's 10,000 has 39 entries and the women's 1,500 has 42 entries in three heats.

The Celebration of Distance will be held at the WU Invite for the third year in a row. Two years ago during the Celebration of Distance, Willamette received NCAA provisional qualifying marks from Ian Batch (Sr. in 2008) in the men's 5,000 and from Jena Winger (Jr. in 2008) in the women's 5,000.

Last year, WU registered four NCAA provisional qualifying times at the Celebration of Distance: Kyle Kotaich (Jr. in 2009) in the men's 1,500, plus Maddie Coffman (Sr. in 2009), Jena Winger (Sr., in 2009) and Kimber Mattox (Fr. in 2009) in the women's 5,000.

Willamette relies on a hard-working group of officials and volunteers to keep the meet running smoothly each season. Among those returning to help again this year are the Salem Track Club and the Certified Track and Field Officials.

Parking near Bush's Pasture Park will be in high demand. Fans should check the parking areas on both sides of the park, as well as nearby areas in Salem.

The Willamette University parking lot near the Sparks Center requires a parking permit until 4 p.m. on Friday, but is open to the public the remainder of Friday and on Saturday. The Sparks Center lot is located at the intersection of Bellevue and 12th Street, roughly two to three blocks from Bush's Pasture Park. Parking at Salem Hospital is not available and is only for hospital personnel and related business.

Willamette Invitational


Schedule for Friday, April 2

Field Events (Three attempts followed by Finals)
3:00 p.m. - Men’s Hammer (Women to follow) at 1850 Oxford SE (Behind the Math Learning Center)
Moved to Saturday at 4:30 p.m. - Women's Pole Vault (Men to follow) on the infield at McCulloch Stadium

Running Events
4:15 p.m. - Women’s 10K
5:05 p.m. - Men's 10K
5:50 p.m. - Women's 1500m - C section
6:00 p.m. - Women’s 1500m - B section
6:10 p.m. - Men's 1500m - D section
6:20 p.m. - Men’s 1500m - C section
6:30 p.m. - Men’s 1500m - B section
6:40 p.m. - Women's 5000m - B section
7:05 p.m. - Men's 5000m - B section

Charles Bowles Celebration of Distance (Fastest Heats)
7:30 p.m. - Women’s 3000m Steeplechase - A section
7:50 p.m. - Men’s 3000m Steeplechase - A section
8:05 p.m. - Women’s 1500m - A section
8:13 p.m. - Men’s 1500m - A section
8:20 p.m. - Women’s 5000m - A section
8:45 p.m. - Men’s 5000m - A section

Schedule for Saturday, April 3

Field Events (Three attempts followed by Finals)
10:00 a.m. - Men’s Javelin (Women to follow)
10:00 a.m. - Men’s Shot Put (Women to follow)
10:00 a.m. - Women’s High Jump (Men to follow)
10:00 a.m. - Men’s Long Jump (Triple Jump to follow)
10:00 p.m. - Women’s Long Jump (Triple Jump to follow)
12:30 p.m. - Men’s Discus (Women to follow)
4:30 p.m. - Women's Pole Vault (Men to follow) on the infield at McCulloch Stadium

Running Events
(NOTE: Fastest heats run first on Saturday)
12:00 p.m. - Women’s 4 x 100m Relay (2 heats)
12:10 p.m. - Men’s 4 x 100m Relay (2 heats)
12:25 p.m. - Women's 100m Hurdles (5 heats)
12:55 p.m. - Men's 110m Hurdles (4 heats)
1:20 p.m. - Women's 400m (4 heats)
1:35 p.m. - Men's 400m (4 heats)
1:50 p.m. - Women's 100m (4 heats)
2:05 p.m. - Men's 100m (6 heats)
2:25 p.m. - Women's 800m (3 heats)
2:40 p.m. - Men's 800m (5 heats)
3:10 p.m. - Women's 400m Hurdles (3 heats)
3:25 p.m. - Men's 400m Hurdles (3 heats)
3:45 p.m. - Women's 200m (5 heats)
4:00 p.m. - Men's 200m (6 heats)
4:20 p.m. - Women's 4 x 400m Relay (2 heats)
4:30 p.m. - Men's 4 x 400m Relay (2 heats)

MEET INFORMATION
Willamette Invitational
April 2-3
At Charles Bowles Track
LIVE STATS
Willamette Invitational
April 2-3
At Charles Bowles Track
Jennifer Luecht is one of the top sprinters for the Bearcats.

Jennifer Luecht is one of the top sprinters for the Bearcats.

Neal Howard of Willamette is among the NWC leaders in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash this season.

Neal Howard of Willamette is among the NWC leaders in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash this season.