Freeby Wins Steeplechase, Ostrander is Second, at Willamette vs. Corban Dual

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) and Taylor Ostrander (So., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS) achieved the top two places in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase during the Willamette vs. Corban Dual on Thursday, March 20 at the Charles Bowles Track.

Freeby won the steeplechase in 10:44.52, just 11 seconds off her personal record of 10:33.34, set when she took fourth place at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships.

Ostrander placed second on Thursday with a personal-best time of 10:46.21. She took nearly 16 seconds off her previous top time of 11:02.01, registered at the Gregory Invitational in Naperville, Ill., last spring.

Freeby and Ostrander are ranked #1 and #2, respectively, on this season's NCAA Division III performance list.

In the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Jacob Shafi (So., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) of Willamette set a personal record and won the race in 9:33.53. He reduced his previous best time by 25 seconds from 9:58.85 at last year's Northwest Conference Championships.

Shafi currently ranks second on the NCAA performance list, trailing only Paul Lewis from Albion College (Mich.), who owns a time of 9:32.86.

On Thursday, Shafi was followed by Craig Boekenoogen of Corban, who took second place at 10:16.05. Michael Underwood (Fr., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS) was third at 10:33.25.

Elisa Ahern (Jr., Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) won two events. She took first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.76 seconds, to finish well in front of Chelsea Reifschneider of Corban, who was second in 16.24 seconds.

Ahern also won the triple jump with a combined distance of 35' 7.25". Taylor Ottomano (Jr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) was second at 30' 10.50".

Overall, the WU women's team won nine events on Thursday.

Joining Freeby and Ahern with a victory on the track were Kylea Johnson (So., Onalaska WA/Onalaska HS) in the 200-meter dash, and Juliet Farnan (So., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) in the 10,000-meter run.

Winners in field events were Ahern, Ottomano in the high jump, Jossalyn Wright (Jr., Aumsville, OR/Cascade HS) in the shot put, Kaeleigh Thorp (Jr., Sam Leandro, CA/Encinal HS) in the discus, and Meka Townsend (So., Okanogan, WA/Okanogan HS) in the javelin.

Johnson won the 200-meter dash in 26.69 seconds. She won by .30 over Taylor Deskins from Corban, who took second in 26.99 seconds. Audrey Taylor (So., Portland, OR/La Salle HS) from WU was third at 27.30.

Farnan's winning time in the 10,000 was 40:52.89. Iris Dowd (Fr., Portland, OR/St. Mary's Academy) was second in 40:56.61.

Ottomano successfully cleared the bar at 5'1.75" to win the high jump. Maya Bowton (So., Spokane, WA/Ferris HS), also from Willamette, took second at 5' 0.50".

Wright prevailed in the shot put with a distance of 35' 9.25". She was followed by teammate Kelsey Engstrom (Jr., Clinton, WA/South Whidbey HS) in second at 35' 3.25". Marisa Hamilton (Fr., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) of WU placed third at 33' 10.75".

In the discus, Thorp triumphed with a career-best toss of 124' 8.25". She extended her personal record by more than five feet from a throw of 119' 2" at the Lane Preview last Friday.

The Bearcat men's team won five events on Thursday. In addition to Shafi's victory in the steeplechase, Willamette also triumphed in the 400-meter dash, 10,000-meter run, 4 x 400-meter relay, and shot put.

Jeff Schreiner-McGraw (Jr., Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) won the 400-meter dash in 51.26 seconds. Parris Joyce (So., Portland, OR/Catlin Gabel School) of WU was second at 52.22 seconds.

Daniel Swanson (Jr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) led three Bearcats to the finish line in the 10,000. He was was timed at 34:26.74. Nathan Conrad (So., Bothell, WA/Bothell HS) was second at 34:26.78 and Yonny Castillo (So., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) was third at 34:26.79.

The 4 x 400-meter relay was won by Willamette's top team of Matt Paparella (So., Glendale, AZ/Ironwood HS), Schreiner-McGraw, Joyce and Tom Fiechtner (Sr., Poway, CA/Cathedral HS)  with a time of 3:28.53. The second relay team for WU followed at 3:41.33, while Corban took third and fourth.

Tyler Higley (Jr., Aloha, OR/Aloha HS) took first place in the shot put for Willamette. His top distance was 46' 9.50", just 2.25 inches from his personal record. Hans Lehndorff (So., Boulder, CO/Boulder HS) placed second at 43' 0.50" and Cameron Ciano (So., Half Moon Bay, CA/Junipero Serra HS) was third with a personal record of 40' 6.25".

Also for the Willamette men's team:

Fiechtner placed second in the men's 200-meter dash in 22.70 seconds. The winner of the event was Michael Trofimchik for the Warriors at 22.16 seconds.

Yasu Miyakawa (So., Atami, Japan/Hawaii Preparatory Academy) was second in the men's 110-meter hurdles. Kyle Croft of Corban was the winner at 16.35 seconds, while Miyakawa finished in 16.82 seconds.

Lehndorff earned second place in the discus with a throw of 133' 7.50". Higley was third with a personal-best distance of 121' 10.50", breaking his previous mark of 117' 9" earlier this month at the Lewis & Clark Tri Meet. Dane Walker of Corban won the discus on Thursday at 153' 1.75".

Up Next for the Bearcats

The Willamette Invitational will be hosted by the Bearcats on Saturday, March 29. Each year, it is one of the largest collegiate track and field meets on the West Coast. Action is slated to begin with the field events at 9:30 a.m. (PDT).


Willamette vs. Corban Dual
Charles Bowles Track
Salem, Ore.
March 18-20, 2014

Michaela Freeby took first place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:44.52.

Michaela Freeby took first place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:44.52.