Freeby Reaches Finals in 3,000-Meter Steeplechase at NCAA Championships

Dinsmore Lowers Personal Record in 200-Meter Dash, Barely Misses Finals

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

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Michaela Freeby (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) of Willamette University set a personal record time in the preliminary heats of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase to advance to the finals at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, May 24.

Freeby placed sixth in her heat in 10:57.24 and was 13th overall in the prelims.

She completed the race 0.20 faster than her NCAA qualifying time of 10:57.44, which she recorded at the West Coast Invitational on May 12.

A total of 14 runners advanced to the women's steeplechase finals -- the top five finishers in each heat, plus the next four fastest times. The finals will be held on Saturday, May 26 at 1:45 p.m. (PDT) on the final day of the championships, which are being held at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

Freeby ran in the first heat, which was won by Keri Lambert from Amherst College (Mass.) in 10:43.71. Alyssa Penning from Calvin College (Mich.) won the second heat in 10:46.78.

In the women's 200-meter dash, Willamette's Jaela Dinsmore (Sr., Hines, OR/Burns HS) lowered her personal record to 24.62 seconds during the preliminary heats, but barely missed the finals by 0.04. She placed third in her heat and was 11th overall.

Dinsmore reduced her career best by 0.15. Her previous top time was 24.77 seconds at the Gregory Invitational on May 18.

In the process of establishing a new personal record, Dinsmore barely missed setting a Willamette record as well. She completed the 200-meter dash just 0.02 from the Bearcats' fastest time ever of 24.60 seconds, set by Sonda Strong in 1989.

The third heat of the 200, which included Dinsmore, was won by Nevada Morrison from Wartburg College (Iowa) in 24.34 seconds. Morrison had the nation's top qualifying time of 23.84 seconds earlier this season.

Dinsmore kept up with Morrison for most of the race. Jordanne Greenup from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was second at 24.54 seconds and Dinsmore was third at 24.62 seconds. Ariel Robinson from Millikin University (Illinois) also finished in 24.62 to take fourth place. Dinsmore edged out Robinson by 0.003 when the times were extended to three decimal places.

Other heat winners were Mary Mahoney from Mount Union College (Ohio) in 24.08 seconds and Tiarra Goode from Birmingham Southern College (Ala.) in 24.00. The winner from each of the three heats in the 200, plus the next six fastest finishers, advanced to the finals.

Faith Burt from Wartburg College (Iowa) gained the last spot in the finals at 24.58 seconds, as she earned a 0.005 margin on Tiffany Davis of Denison University (Ohio), who also finished in 24.58 seconds. Burt and Davis both ran in the first heat.

Dinsmore, who qualified for the NCAA Championships in two events, will be among the sprinters participating in the 100-meter dash prelims on Friday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. (PDT).

Three other Willamette athletes competed for the Bearcats on the first day of the NCAA Championships.

Theresa Edwards (Jr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) finished in 18th place in the women's 1,500-meter run. Her time in the preliminary heats was 4:44.31. Just a few minutes later, Kit Kingstad (So., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) competed in the preliminary heats of the men's 1,500-meter run and took 16th place overall in 3:57.56.

The top four finishers in each of two heats, plus the next four fastest times, reached the finals in each of the 1,500-meter competitions.

Brandi Miller (Sr., Grants Pass, OR/North Valley HS) held 17th place at the end of the first day in the heptathlon with a score of 2,645 points after four events. She placed eighth in the 200-meter dash in 26.22 seconds and took ninth in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.20 seconds. She was 12th in the shot put at 32' 2.75" and tied for 21st in the high jump at 4' 7.75".

Both of Miller's times on the track established new personal records. Her previous top time in the 200-meter dash was 26.36 seconds and her previous best result in the 100-meter hurdles was 15.35 seconds.

During Thursday's competition in the heptathlon, Miller's top event score was 815 points in the 100-meter hurdles. She accumulated 778 points in the 200-meter dash.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

2012 NCAA Division III
Track and Field Championships
At Claremont, Calif.
May 24-26, 2012
Photo Gallery

Freshman Michaela Freeby advanced to the finals in the women's steeplechase with a time of 10:57.24 in the prelims.

Freshman Michaela Freeby advanced to the finals in the women's steeplechase with a time of 10:57.24 in the prelims.

Jaela Dinsmore achieved a personal record of 24.62 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

Jaela Dinsmore achieved a personal record of 24.62 seconds in the 200-meter dash.