By Eric Del Prado
The Willamette University Track and Field team started their season on Saturday, March 3, in the Willamette Open. The event was hosted by Willamette and took place on Charles Bowles Track.
Sophomore Hope Duenas won the women’s discus throw and came in second in the women’s hammer throw. She won the discus with a throw of 133’00”. This was just short of her personal record, which happens to be tenth longest in Willamette history. Her hammer throw of 151’00” was good for fifth all time in Willamette history.
Duenas was pleased with her performance.
“I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from the first meet as an individual. The only thing I knew for certain was that I needed to go out there and just throw, and considering this I think the first meet went really well. I was excited to see how well we would do as a team, especially the throwers, because of all the time we put in together during preseason,” said Duenas.
Senior Jewell Sparks came in second place in the women’s 400-yard dash with a time of 59.21 seconds. Senior Hannah Swanson came in third in the women’s 1500-meter run, completing the race in 4:43.91. Junior Emily Evans came in second and sophomore Kyla Shade came in third in the women’s 5000-meter run with times of 19:26.70 and 19:43.70, respectively.
First Year Keaton Beckman also had a strong start to his Willamette Career. He won the men’s long jump with a jump of 22’1.” Sophomore Elijah Hall-Crockett came in third place in the men’s triple jump with a jump of 41’7.25.” Beckman came in second in the men’s 200-meter dash running the race in 22.81 seconds. Sophomore Connor Giannini came in third place in the event, finishing with a time of 22.87 seconds. Sophomore Michael Montague set a personal record in the 1,500-meter run, completing the course in 15:27.48 which was good for third place. Sophomore Brian Peck also set a personal record. He ran the 110-meter hurdles in 16.50 seconds which was good for second place. He also tied a personal record in the long jump, with a jump of 19’9.75.” Sophomore Josh Martin came in second in the men’s hammer throw with a throw of 137’.75.” Fellow sophomore thrower Saige Swan also set a personal record in his third place finish in the hammer throw, throwing it 127’10.25.”
The Bearcats are looking forward to competing in the Chico State Invitational at California State University, Chico.
Duenas and the rest of the Bearcats are looking forward to the season.
“I think like any season we are really anxious and eager to compete because we want to see that the work that we’re putting in is paying off,” Duenas said. “As an individual I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself for the rest of the season, especially considering the bar I’ve already set for myself right out of the gate.”