Mattox, Donovan and Castillo Win NWC Titles on First Day of Championships

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Willamette University runners Kimber Mattox (Jr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.), Ben Donovan (Jr., Minneapolis, MN/South HS) and Leo Castillo (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley) each won a Northwest Conference title on the first day of the NWC Track and Field Championships on Friday, April 22 at Maxwell Field.

Mattox won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Donovan took first in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Castillo beat the field in the men's 10,000-meter run.

In the women's steeplechase, Mattox achieved a winning time of 10:43.26. She won the race by 7.54 seconds over Tonya Turner, who finished second in 10:50.80. It was the second fastest time of the season for Mattox. She earned an NCAA Division III automatic qualifying time of 10:23.34 at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 14.

On Friday, Mattox led a 1-4-5-6 finish for the Bearcats in the steeplechase. She ran near Turner for much of the race, but pulled away over the final two laps.

Sally Venable (Jr., Ventura, CA/Foothill Technology HS) was fourth in 11:39.87. Sarah McSweeney (Jr., Petaluma, CA/Casa Grande HS) was fifth with a time o f 11:49.06 and Amanda Tamanaha (So., Honolulu, HI/St. Andrews Priory School) was sixth at 11:52.96. Venable and Tamanaha earned personal record times.

Donovan won the men's steeplechase with a time of 9:22.17. Tyler Dudley from Whitworth University placed second at 9:30.37 and Alex VanSlyke of Linfield College was third in 9:34.76. Nicholas Rebol (Sr., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS) of Willamette placed fourth in 9:36.32.

As with Mattox, Donovan's time was his second fastest this spring. His top time of 9:18.22 was earned at the Mt. SAC Relays and was an NCAA provisional qualifying time.

Castillo took first place in the 10,000 by reaching the finish line in 31:17.13. Second place went to Aaron Jenkins of Whitworth in 32:31.50, while Nate Smith (Jr., Colorado Springs, CO/Air Academy HS) of Willamette was third in 32:48.61. Overall, Willamette earned a 1-3-6-8 finish.

Earlier this year, Castillo registered an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 30:38.01 as he won the 10,000 at the Willamette Invitational.

Alisha Till (So., Richland, WA/Richland HS) of WU placed sixth in the women's 10,000-meter run. She completed the race in 40:10.90, as he lowered her personal record by more than one and a half minutes.

In the women's high jump, Taylor Ottomano (Fr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) competed for the Bearcats and took fourth overall. The winner of the event was Jheri Gates from Whitworth University with a height of 5'5.25". Ottomano also placed sixth in the long jump at 16'4.25".

Four Bearcats placed in the top eight in the men's pole vault.

Colby Takeda (Sr., Mililani, HI/Iolani School) was fifth after clearing 13'2.25". Brandt Nevin (Sr., Eagle Point, OR/Eagle Point HS) also cleared 13'2.25" and placed sixth on fewer attempts. Conor Foley (Jr., Somers, MT/Flathead HS) and Spencer Clemmer (Jr., Sacramento, CA/Elk Grove HS) tied for eighth, as both vaulters were successful at 12'8.25".

Nate Dillow from George Fox University won the pole vault at 14'8" on jumps. Chester Holt of Pacific Lutheran University, who also cleared 14'8", took second.

Freshman Manta Dircks (Hilo, HI/Kamehameha HS) of WU tied for sixth place in the long jump at 21'5.50". Tyalor Hikson of Pacific University also jumped 21'5.50". David Dillow of GFU won the event at 21'9.50" on jumps with Luke Mathews of Whitworth placing second also at 21'9.50". All of the top eight finishers went over 21 feet.

The Bearcats earned third and fourth place in the men's discus throw. David Oppat (Sr., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) was third with a distance of 151'6". Josh Clothier (Sr., Walla Walla, WA/Walla Walla HS) took fourth with a throw of 149'10". Carter Comito of Whitworth won the discus with a meet record throw of 178'5".

Ginny Hodges (So., San Francisco, CA/St. Ignatius College Prep) placed fifth for Willamette in the women's discus. Her best distance was a personal record of 111'9".

In the men's javelin, Nevin placed sixth with a toss of 171'8". Alexander Hymel from Whitworth set a meet record with a throw of 216'6". Katie Peterson (Jr., Independence, OR/Central HS) of WU placed seventh in the women's javelin with top result of 125'0".

Team Standings

Leading the men's team standings at the end of the first day was Whitworth with 108 points. Willamette was second with 73.50 points and was followed by George Fox in third at 45 points. Linfield College was fourth with 19 points, while Pacific Lutheran was fifth at 115, Pacific was sixth at 8.50 and the University of Puget Sound was seventh with four points.

George Fox led the women's standings with 84 points. Whitworth held second place with 51 points and Willamette was third with 46 points. Linfield was next in fourth place with 30 points, Pacific Lutheran was fifth with 22, Lewis & Clark College was sixth with 12, and Puget Sound and Pacific were tied for seventh with nine points each.

Advancing from Preliminaries (Women):

200m dash - Jaela Dinsmore (Jr., Hines, OR/Burns HS), 25.93; Samantha Nhim (Jr., Tigard, OR/Southridge HS), 26.53
400m dash - Samantha Nhim, 1:00.09; Jaela Dinsmore, 1:00.82.
800m run - Theresa Edwards (So., Lake Tappa, WA/Bonney Lake HS), 2:21.17; Erynn Rebol (So., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS), 2:21.58; Stevie Gildehaus (So., Spokane Valley, WA/University HS), 2:22.12.
100m hurdles -
Brandi Miller (Jr., Grants Pass, OR/North Valley HS), 15.49.
400m hurdles - Brandi Miller, 1:07.29.

Advancing from Preliminaries (Men):

100m dash - Neal Howard (Jr., Seattle, WA/Ballard HS), 11.18.
200m dash - Paul Winger (Jr., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake HS), 22.55.
400m dash - Paul Winger, 50.53; Tom Fiechtner (Fr., Poway, CA/Cathedral HS), 50.94.
800m run - Ryan McLaughlin (Sr., Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS), 1:58.14.
110m hurdles - Trevor May (Sr., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS), 15.57; Evin Colignon (Sr., Poulsbo, WA/Charles Wright Academy), 15.72.
400m hurdles - Matt Merritt (So., Aurora, OR/North Marion HS), 59.16.

Action Resumes:

Saturday, April 23, 10:30 a.m.
Northwest Conference
Track and Field Championships
At Maxwell Field
McMinnville, Ore.
April 22-23, 2011
Leo Castillo won the NWC championship in the men's 10,000-meter run on Friday.

Leo Castillo won the NWC championship in the men's 10,000-meter run on Friday.