Bearcats Win 11 Events at Willamette Opener to Start Season

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's track and field team won six events and the men's team added five wins, as the Bearcats started the 2014 season by hosting the Willamette Opener on Saturday, March 1 at the Charles Bowles Track. The Bearcats competed against Western Oregon University, the University of Portland and the University of Oregon Running Club.

Kylea Johnson (So., Onalaska WA/Onalaska HS) led the way by winning two events for the Willamette women's team. She took first place in the 100-meter dash in 12.82 seconds, just missing her career-best time of 12.81 seconds, set at the Willamette Invitational last season. She also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.65 seconds.

Also earning a victory on the track was Iris Dowd (Fr., Portland, OR/St. Mary's Academy), who placed first in the women's 5,000-meter run in 18:53.17. She led a quick 1-2-3 finish for the Bearcats, as Juliet Farnan (So., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) took second at 18:53.75 and Annette Marinello (Jr., Corvallis, OR/Philomath HS) was third at 18:53.80.

Three Bearcats achieved wins in the women's field events. They were Bekah Daniel (Jr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) in the long jump, Taylor Ottomano (Sr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) in the high jump, and Jossalyn Wright (Jr., Aumsville, OR/Cascade HS) in the discus.

Daniel set a personal record with her winning long jump distance of 17' 5.25", as she moved into a tie for 10th on WU's all-time list. The jump broke her previous top mark of 17' 0.75" set at the 2013 Northwest Conference Championships hosted by Willamette last spring.

Ottomano won the high jump by clearing 5' 2.25". She won by two inches over Alison Wood, who competed unattached. Wright claimed first place in the discus with a toss of 118' 10.75", as she won by just over seven feet. Second place was earned by Nikki Newton of Western Oregon at 111' 8.50".

Willamette's men registered wins in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.

In the 100, Dylan Jones (So., Santa Maria, CA/Ernest Righetti HS) crossed the finish line in 11.15 seconds to achieve first place. Teammate Tom Fiechtner (Sr., Poway, CA/Cathedral HS) was second in 11.31 seconds, and another Bearcat, Chris Luetjen (Sr., Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS) placed third in 11.32 seconds.

Fiechtner won the 200 with a time of 22.56 seconds. Jones garnered second place in 23.15 seconds, while Matt Paparella (So., Glendale, AZ/Ironwood HS) of Willamette was third in 23.17 seconds.

Field event winners for the Bearcat men's team were Max Faulhaber (Sr., Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS) in the hammer throw, Hans Lehndorff (So., Boulder, CO/Boulder HS) in the discus and Paul Schot (Fr., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS) in the long jump.

Faulhaber recorded the top throw of the hammer on his first attempt, as he earned a distance of 165' 10.50". He won by roughly five inches over Carraig Colahan from WOU, whose best attempt went 160' 10.25".

Lehndorff attained a top throw of 134' 2.50" in the discus. Schot prevailed in the long jump with a distance of 19' 6.75".

Other significant performances by the Bearcats:

Jeff Schreiner-McGraw (Jr., Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) earned a time of 1:59.15 in the men's 800-meter run, while Parris Joyce (So., Portland, OR/Catlin Gabel School) was timed at 1:59.23.

In the men's 5,000-meter run, Parker Bennett (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) was sixth out of 24 runners, as he finished the race in 15:24.06. Jacob Shafi (So., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) at 15:29.67 and Yonny Castillo (So., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) at 15:30.23 each set new personal records.

Tyler Higley (Jr., Aloha, OR/Aloha HS) was second in the men's shot put with a distance of 44' 10.25", surpassing his previous best of 44' 0.5" set last year.

Maura Forbush (Fr., Hollister, CA/San Benito HS) was second in the women's 100-meter dash in 13.04 seconds and in the women's 200-meter dash in 26.93 seconds.

Elisa Ahern (Jr., Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) trailed only Daniel in the women's long jump. Ahern went a distance of 16' 9.25" for a new personal-best mark.

Kelsey Engstrom (Jr., Clinton, WA/South Whidbey HS) achieved second place in the women's hammer with a top throw of 131' 0.25", while Meka Townsend (So., Okanogan, WA/Okanogan HS) was second in the women's javelin at 125' 5.75".

Up Next for Willamette:

The Bearcats will compete at the Lewis & Clark Triangular Meet on Saturday, March 8. The meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (PST).


2014 Willamette Opener
Charles Bowles Track
Salem, Ore.
Saturday, March 1

Bekah Daniel set a personal record of 17' 5.25" to win the women's long jump at the Willamette Opener.

Bekah Daniel set a personal record of 17' 5.25" to win the women's long jump at the Willamette Opener.