Bearcats Earn Rankings on NCAA National Performance List

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University track and field athletes have recorded performances this season that are nationally ranked on the NCAA Division III Performance List. As of May 3, the Bearcats have five marks that would qualify athletes for the NCAA Championships if they were held today, plus six other marks that are close to the current cutoff.

The NCAA Division III Championships will include men who have recorded the top 20 marks in each event this season plus women who have earned the top 22 marks in each event this spring.

Exactly what mark will be 20th in a men's event or 22nd in a women's event won't be known until the final national performance list is generated later this month. In the meantime, athletes throughout the nation will be working to improve their times and distances to solidify positions among the top competitors in their respective events.

Willamette athletes who currently rank among the qualifying group in at least one event are Jaela Dinsmore (Sr., Hines, OR/Burns HS), Theresa Edwards (Jr., Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS), Michaela Freeby (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) and Brandi Miller (Sr., Grants Pass, OR/North Valley HS).

Dinsmore is 15th in the women's 200-meter dash with a personal-record time of 25.10 seconds. She is 21st in the 100-meter dash with another personal record at 12.26 seconds.

Edwards ranks 18th in the women's 1,500-meter run, as she has registered a top time of 4:37.24, while Freeby is 17th in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a top time of 11:03.17. Miller holds the 21st position in the heptathlon. Her top score so far this season was 4,141 points at the NWC Multi-Event Championships.

Dinsmore also is within range of earning a qualifying time in a third event. She is 31st in the 400-meter dash with a top time of 57.54 seconds. She is .04 from her personal record and 0.23 away from the time of 57.31 that currently ranks 22nd.

Other WU athletes ranked among the top 35 competitors, but outside the qualifying cutoff at this time are Wyatt Briggs (Jr., Scio, OR/Scio HS), Ben Donovan (Sr., Minneapolis, MN/South HS), Max Faulhaber (So., Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS), Carson Kennedy (Fr., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS), Kit Kingstad (So., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) and Sally Venable (Sr., Ventura, CA/Foothill Technology HS).

Faulhaber and Briggs are both in the top 30 in the men's hammer throw. Faulhaber is 22nd at 181' 2", while Briggs is 29th at 177' 9". Donovan is 23rd in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a top time of 9:19.51. Kingstad holds 21st place int he men's 1,500-metr run with a time of 3:54.40.

Kennedy has achieved a score of 5,732 in the decathlon and is listed 30th in the nation. He is 212 points out of 20th place.

Venable is listed 32nd in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Her top time of the season is her personal record of 11:15.66. At the moment, 22nd place in the steeplechase is 11:07.48.

Although the Bearcats hope to improve their marks this weekend, there is one more meet on the Willamette schedule prior to the national selections. It is the West Coast Invitational, which will be hosted by the Bearcats at the Charles Bowles Track on May 12.

Jaela Dinsmore is ranked 15th in NCAA Division III in the 200-meter dash and is ranked 21st in the 100-meter dash.

Jaela Dinsmore is ranked 15th in NCAA Division III in the 200-meter dash and is ranked 21st in the 100-meter dash.