Six Bearcats Qualify for NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

By Robert McKinney and Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications

SALEM, ORE. -- Six athletes from Willamette University have qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the NCAA announced today. The championships will be held on May 22-24 at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Selected from the Willamette men's team were Jordan Loos (Jr., Springfield, OR/Thurston HS) in the javelin throw and Kit Kingstad (Sr., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) in the 1,500-meter run.

Qualifying from the Bearcat women's team were Taylor Ostrander (So., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS) and Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, plus Meka Townsend (So., Okanogan, WA/Okanogan HS) in the javelin throw and Bekah Daniel (Sr., Jr. elig., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) in the triple jump.

Freeby and Kingstad will be making a third trip to the NCAA Championships. Last year, Freeby took fourth place in the steeplechase, after placing 13th in the steeplechase in 2012. Kingstad was 16th in the 1,500-meter run two seasons ago and placed 18th in the 1,500 last year.

Ostrander has qualified to compete for the second consecutive year. In 2013, she placed 22nd in the steeplechase.

The top 20 men and the top 22 women on the national performance list in each event were selected for the NCAA Championships. After official declarations of intent to compete were received by the NCAA any open spots in an event were filled with the next highest result.

Loos is making the trip to the NCAA Championships after taking first place in the javelin at the Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships on April 26.

For Loos, his conference-winning throw of 214' 7" also set a new school record at Willamette. That distance was good enough to place him third on the national performance list.

Kingstad ranks 20th in Division III in the 1,500-meter run after notching a season-best time of 3:50.72 at the Oregon Twilight on May 9.

Ostrander also achieved her best qualifying result at the Oregon Twilight, notching a time of 10:40.86 to rank fifth in Division III. It represents a personal record for Ostrander, who moved into third on Willamette's all-time list.

Freeby will look to build on her personal-best time of 10:33.34 set last year at the NCAA Championships.

She ranks seventh on the national performance list in 2014 with a time of 10:44.52 after winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Willamette vs. Corban Dual on March 20.

Townsend is set to make her first ever appearance at the NCAA Championships after finishing last year just one position away from qualification.

Her throw of 138' 8" in the javelin at the Northwest Conference Championships was good enough for second place, and propelled her into 14th place on the national performance list.

Daniel will be competing for a national championship for the first time. She qualified in the triple jump with a distance of 38' 6.75", while setting a Willamette record just a few days ago on Thursday, May 15 at the West Coast Invitational. She is tied for 17th on the NCAA performance list.

Earlier this season, Daniel went 37' 8" to win her second consecutive NWC title, as she earned what stood as her personal best until Thursday's record performance.

COMPLETE LIST

2014 NCAA Division III
Outdoor Track and Field
Championships

Men's Qualifiers
Women's Qualifiers

Michaela Freeby has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the third year in a row.

Michaela Freeby has qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the third year in a row.

Kit Kingstad will be competing in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Championships for the third year in a row.

Kit Kingstad will be competing in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Championships for the third year in a row.