Bennett Finishes Sixth, Freeby is Ninth, at NCAA West Regional

Willamette Earns Third Place in Women's Standings, Men Place Fourth

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

INDEPENDENCE, ORE. -- Parker Bennett (Jr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) of Willamette University placed sixth in the men's race and Michaela Freeby (So., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) from Willamette finished ninth in the women's race to lead the Bearcats at the NCAA West Region Championships, hosted by Willamette on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Oak Knoll Golf Course.

The Willamette women's team placed third in the team standings, while the Bearcats men's team took fourth place. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) won both team titles.

Claremont claimed the women's team championship with a score of 40 (3-4-5-13-15). Lewis & Clark College achieved second place at 94, and Willamette earned third place at 127. Occidental College (Calif.) was fourth at 142 and Colorado College took fifth at 177.

In the men's team standings, Claremont placed first with a score of 34 (1-2-5-7-19). Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) placed three runners in the top 10 on its way to second place at 68. University of La Verne (Calif.) placed third at 93 and Willamette was fourth at 166. Whittier College (Calif.) attained fifth place at 204, edging out Lewis & Clark on a tie-breaker. L&C finished sixth, also at 204.

The top two teams in each race earned automatic bids to the NCAA Division III National Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 17 at the LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Teams placing third through fifth in each race are eligible for at-large bids, which will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Based on their individual finishes, Bennett from the Bearcat men's team and Freeby from the Willamette women's team have clinched individual bids to the NCAA National Championships even if Willamette does not receive team bids.

Zorg Loustalet from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the 8-kilometer men's race in 24:38.18. Bennett Naden of CMS was second at 24:38.33, just 0.15 behind Loustalet. Colin Smith from Occidental was third at 24:39.34, while Alex Johnson from Pomona-Pitzer placed fourth in 24:41.64.

Brian Sutter of CMS was fifth in 24:41.64. Bennett registered a time of 24:48.54 to earn sixth place for Willamette.

Other top 10 finishers were Rafer Dannenhauer from CMS in seventh at 24:49.35, Alexander Johann of Pomona-Pitzer in eighth at 24:50.48, Benjamin Girodias of Pomona-Pitzer in ninth at 24:51.14, and Matt Klein from University of Puget Sound in 10th at 24:51.22.

Earning All-West Region honors for Willamette by placing among the top 35 runners in the men's race were Bennett and Nathan Conrad (Fr., Bothell, WA/Bothell HS). Conrad placed 30th with a time of 25:39.11.

Jacob Shafi (Fr., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) of Willamette finished 40th in 25:51.70. Ben Beeler (So., San Francisco, CA/Archbishop Riordan HS) was 47th in 26:04.13 and Daniel Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) was 49th in 26:10.73.

Lenore Moreno from La Verne took first place in the women's 6-kilometer race with a time of 20:40.24. Second place went to Melissa Skiba of California Lutheran University in 20:46.09.

Bridget Blum led a 3-4-5 finish for CMS by taking third place in 21:17.40. Teammates Allison Barnwell in 21:19.43 and Sara Mostatabi in 21:26.75, claimed fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Evie Borchard from the University of California-Santa Cruz finished sixth with a time of 21:28.47. Annie Lydens of Pomona-Pitzer was seventh at 21:29.98, while Emily Thomas from Lewis & Clark was eighth in 21:31.40. Freeby was ninth for Willamette in 21:36.31 and Erin Morrow from Colorado College was 10th at 21:41.48.

Freeby received All-West Region honors for the Bearcats. Also earning All-West Region recognition for WU were Theresa Edwards (Sr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) in 14th place at 21:52.06, Juliet Farnan (Fr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) in 31st at 22:33.26, and Stevie Gildehaus (Jr., Spokane Valley, WA/University HS) in 35th at 22:40.93.

Amanda Tamanaha (Sr., Honolulu, HI/Saint Andrews Priory HS) of Willamette placed 38th with a time of 22:41.69.


NCAA Division III
West Region Championships
Hosted by Willamette University
At Oak Knoll Golf Course
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery - Men's
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Photo Gallery - Women's
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Parker Bennett of Willamette placed sixth in the men's 8-kilometer race.

Parker Bennett of Willamette placed sixth in the men's 8-kilometer race.

Willamette's Michaela Freeby finished ninth in the women's 6-kilometer race.

Willamette's Michaela Freeby finished ninth in the women's 6-kilometer race.