Track and Field Athletes are Set for 2013 Season
|Published by Willamette University Cross Country and Track and Field|
Mar 1st 2013, 6:00am | 387 views
SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University track and field teams enter the 2013 season hungry to bring the Northwest Conference team titles back to Salem. WU won NWC men's team championships five years in a row from 2002 through 2006, and also won in 2009. The WU women's team claimed nine consecutive titles from 2002 through 2010.
Willamette graduated several national caliber athletes from last spring. Even so, the Bearcats should be strong after picking up talented freshmen to help fill the losses.
Most of the returning athletes as well as the freshmen will have their first chance to compete when the Bearcats host the Willamette Opener on Saturday (March 1). Action is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. with the men's hammer throw and will continue through the morning and much of the afternoon.
All events except the hammer throw will be held at the Charles Bowles Track inside McCulloch Stadium. The men's and women's hammer throw will be held behind the Math Learning Center at 1850 Oxford Street.
In addition to Willamette, participating teams include Oregon State University, New Hope Christian College, University of Portland, Western Oregon University and Whitworth University. Live Stats will be available.
Top Returning Athletes for Willamette
On the men’s side, Kit Kingstad (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) is the defending champion in the 1,500-meter run in the NWC and is looking for a return trip to the NCAA Division III Championships. He is third on WU’s all-time list at 3:50.23.
Parker Bennett (Jr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) is the defending NWC champion in the 5,000-meter run. His top time last season was 15:03.59. Bennett also won the 2012 NWC Cross Country individual championship, while placing sixth in the West Region and competing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Last year, Max Faulhaber (Jr., Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS) just missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the hammer throw. He is currently third on WU’s all-time list at 181' 2", three spots ahead of Wyatt Briggs (Sr., Scio, OR/Scio HS) at 177' 9". Faulhaber and Briggs will continue to help the Bearcats in the throws.
For the women's team, Theresa Edwards (Sr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) is the defending conference champion in the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run. She earned her fastest 800 time of the season at the NWC meet in 2:18.45.
Edwards finished 18th at the 2012 NCAA Championships in the 1,500. She recorded her best time in the 1500 at the John Knight Twilight in 4:37.24.
Michaela Freeby (So., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) won the conference title in the steeplechase during 2012 with a time of 11:08.91 to lead a 1-2-4 finish by the Bearcats.
Freeby will look to distance herself from the crowd after placing 13th at the NCAA Championships in 10:57.24, which placed her third on WU's Top 10 list. She also will be a force in the 800-meter run, the 1,500-meter run or the 5,000-meter run.
Elisa Ahern (So., Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS), Bekah Daniel (Jr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS) and Taylor Ottomano (Jr., Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) make for a very strong group of jumpers on the women's team.
Ahern was the NWC triple jump champion in 2012 with a winning distance of 36' 1.50". She moved into fifth place on Willamette's all-time list. Daniel recorded a top distance of 35' 10.50" in the triple jump last season to claim sixth on the all-time list. During the 2011 season, Ottomano was sixth in the NWC in the long jump with a leap of 16' 4.25".
Five Bearcats Compete at NCAA Championships in 2012
Last spring, both Willamette teams finished in second place at the Northwest Conference Championships, as the Bearcats won six women's events and four men's events. Five Bearcats competed at the NCAA Championships, and Jaela Dinsmore '12 earned All-America honors by taking fifth place in the women's 100-meter dash.
NWC Meet is Set for Charles Bowles Track in 2013
The 2013 NWC Championships will be hosted by Willamette on April 26-27 at the Charles Bowles Track. Willamette is proud to be hosting the championship meet, and the Bearcats look forward to the advantage of participating on their home track.