Freeby Advances to Finals of Steeplechase at NCAA Championships

Sets Personal Record of 10:37.36 in Prelims

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

LA CROSSE, WIS. -- Sophomore Michaela Freeby (Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) of Willamette University qualified for the finals of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2013 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships by taking second place in her preliminary heat on Thursday, May 23 at Roger Harring Stadium.

Freeby achieved a personal record time of 10:37.36 and finished just .23 behind Heat #2 winner and defending national champion Keri Lambert from Amherst College (Mass.). Freeby took more than one-half second off her previous top time of 10:37.91, set at the West Coast Invitational on May 11.

Lambert registered the best time of the prelims at 10:37.13. Alyssa Smith from SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) won Heat #1 in 10:38.47.

The top five runners in each heat plus the next four fastest times advanced to the finals, which will be held on Saturday, May 25 at 1:45 p.m. CDT/11:45 a.m. PDT.

Taylor Ostrander (Fr., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS), who also represented Willamette in the steeplechase, finished 22nd overall with a time of 11:22.31. Ostrander was the only freshman competing in the event.

Freeby is making her second consecutive trip to the NCAA championship finals in the steeplechase. Last year, she took 13th place as a freshman.

Also competing for Willamette on Thursday were Kit Kingstad (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) in the men's 1,500-meter run and Carson Kennedy (So., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS) in the decathlon.

Kingstad took 17th place in the 1,500 with a time of 3:55.89. It was the second consecutive year that Kingstad competed at the NCAA Championships in the 1,500. He earned 16th place in 2012.

In the decathlon, Kennedy was 18th after five events with 2,659 points. He tied for 10th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.39 seconds, tied for sixth in the high jump at 6' 0", and was eighth in the 400-meter dash in 51.57 seconds. He threw 32' 10.25" in the shot put and did not register a distance in the long jump.

The final five events in the decathlon will be held on Friday, May 24, starting with the 110-meter hurdles at 2 p.m. CDT/12 p.m. PDT. A 30-minute break will follow each event, with the discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run completing the multi-event competition.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

2013 NCAA Division III
Track and Field Championships
At Roger Harring Stadium
La Crosse, Wis.
May 23-25

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Michaela Freeby set a personal record of 10:37.36 during the preliminary heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Michaela Freeby set a personal record of 10:37.36 during the preliminary heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase.