By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Willamette University athletes set seven personal records in a series of strong performances at the prestigious San Francisco State University Distance Carnival on Friday, April 1. Five of the personal records were on Willamette's all-time top 10 lists.
A select group of eight Bearcats competed at the Distance Carnival.
Olivia Mancl (Jr./So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) led the way by placing sixth out of 139 entrants in the women's 1,500-meter run with a personal record time of 4:30.85. She moved from fourth up to third on WU's top 10 list, while improving her top time from 4:32.12.
Hanna Hermansson from Marymount California University won the women's 1,500 in a meet record of 4:22.63. Berenice Cleyet-Merle from California Baptist University placed second at 4:29.71.
Haley O'Connor from Club Northwest was third at 4:30.49 and Stephanie Stuckey of Western Oregon University was fourth in 4:30.59. Juliana Mount of Oregon State University took fifth at 4:30.68, just 0.17 in front of Mancl. Miranda Salvo from University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) was seventh at 4:30.99.
Mancl's time in the 1,500 ranks second in NCAA Division III this season and is first in the Northwest Conference. She owns the top time in Division III this year in the 5,000-meter run at 16:46.99, which she recorded at the Willamette Invitational last weekend.
Hannah Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) also set a personal record for the Bearcats in the women's 1,500. She was timed at 4:36.90 and placed 27th, as she took more than a second off her previous top time of 4:38.04. Swanson moved onto the Willamette all-time list in 10th place. She ranks eighth in Division III and is second in the NWC this year.
Taylor Ostrander (Sr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) also earned a personal record at SFSU with a time of 37:00.02 in the women's 10,000-meter run. She took 18th place out of 52 participants.
Ostrander moved up two spots on WU's all-time list and is now fifth. She is third this year in NCAA Division III and has the top time in the NWC. She lowered her previous best time by more than a minute from 38:18.48, which she registered at the 2015 NWC Championships.
In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, two Bearcats set personal records on Willamette's top 10 list.
Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) registered a time of 10:52.58, lowering her previous best from 10:59.31. She placed 22nd out of 56 runners at the Distance Carnival. She remained in fifth place on WU's all-time list. Ami Boucher (Jr., Concord, CA/Northgate HS) placed 28th after completing the race in 11:05.22. She moved from ninth to seventh on the Bearcats' all-time list, while lowering her top time by 13.76 seconds.
Bressler's time in the steeplechase ranks second in Divisoin III and is first in the NWC this season. The time by Boucher ranks fourth in the nation and is second in the NWC.
Yonny Castillo (Sr., Hood River, OR/Hood River Valley HS) set a personal record of 32:01.88 in the men's 10,000-meter run. His previous best time was 32:18.46 at the 2015 NWC Championships. His time on Friday ranks 13th in Division III and is third in the NWC this year.
Willamette's Jacob Shafi (Sr., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) competed in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase. He achieved a time of 9:39.44.
Patrick Loftus (So., Santa Rosa, CA/Sonoma Academy) also set a personal best for the Bearcats with a time of 4:00.75 in the men's 1,500-meter run. He reduced his previous best by 2.74 seconds. Loftus now has the fastest time in the NWC this season.
Another group of Willamette track and field athletes will compete at the Jenn Boymann Memorial Invitational at Linfield College on Saturday, April 2. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (PDT).