The Bearcats showed up on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, with multiple athletes earning All-NWC Honors at the Northwest Conference (NWC) Championships.
Starting the weekend off on Friday, sophomore Keaton Beckmann jumped his way to second place in the long jump with a distance of 22’ 4.25”, behind George Fox University’s Cameron Seymours’ jump of 23’ 2”.
Junior Saige Swan earned second in men’s shot put with a distance of 47’6.26,” just barely behind the first place distance of 48’9” set by Pacific University’s Josh Huffman. Swan also earned a sixth place finish in men’s hammer throw with a distance of 152’2”.
Junior Hope Duenas placed third in the hammer throw with a distance of 138’ 7”, just inches from second place. Sophomore Jeidah DeZurney threw a distance of 136’7”, placing her in fifth. She also broke her personal record by a stunning 12 feet.
Senior Emily Evans finished in third place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a new personal record of 11:35.89, mere tenths of a second behind the second place finisher, Whitworth’s Ellie Shoop, who had a time of 11:35.37. Sophomore Isabel Duxbury finished in fourth place in the steeplechase with a personal record of 11:46.27. Sophomore Risa Shutz finished in the top 10 in the 10,000m run with a time of 41:30.34, earning seventh. Shutz fought hard to beat Lewis & Clark’s (L&C) Genevieve Serna by only 0.04 seconds, an exciting way to end day one of the competition.
The Bearcats kept up the winning energy on Saturday with more athletes earning NWC Honors and a few winning individual events as well. Duenas earned herself a first place finish in the discus event with a personal record of 147’6”. Her throw went above just being a personal record and placed her 12th in NCAA Division III (DIII) this year.
Also representing Willamette in the first place spot was senior Keith Carlson in the 5,000m race with a time of 15:11.85. Junior Michael Montague followed Carson in second place with a time of 15:26.13. Montague held his own in the 1,500m run with a time of 4:01.20, earning him a first place spot as well. Graduate student Rashaan Rogers earned All-Conference honors in the 400m hurdles with a time of 55.35. His time put him in second place and marked a new personal best.
Senior Hazel Carr placed second in the 1,500m race with a time of 4:47.70 for a new personal best time. The women’s team had two more top 10 finishes in the 1,500m run, with Duxbury taking sixth and junior Kyla Shade taking eighth. Beckmann achieved third with a 183’ 0” javelin throw, which was also a personal record for the sophomore. Closing out the All-Conference Honors for the Bearcats was the men’s 4 x 400m relay with a time of 3:26.39. First-year Matt Ihling, junior Connor Giannini and Beckmann fought hard to beat out Linfield and L&C, who finished in fourth and fifth, respectively, within less than a second of each other.
After a strong weekend, Willamette finished in fourth with 89 points, just one point behind Pacific University in third with 90 points. George Fox took the overall title with 212 points.
On the women’s side, the Bearcats finished in sixth place with 69 points, just behind Linfield with 72.5 points. George Fox’s women’s team claimed first place with 250 points. The next chance to cheer on the ever-improving Bearcats will be Friday, May 3 at Lewis & Clark University for the Portland Twilight meet. The track and field team will also compete at the Linfield Open at Maxwell Field in McMinnville, OR on Saturday, May 4.
Featured Photo: Senior Emily Evans finished in third place in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase while also setting a new personal best time of 11:35.89.
By: Christopher Oertell