By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette University registered a time of 10:55.12 in the second heat of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase on Thursday, May 24 at the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships to advance into Saturday's final. Swanson, who placed sixth in her heat, will be one of 14 competitors racing for the national title in the steeplechase. The top five runners in each heat, plus the athletes with the next four fastest times, advanced into the championship final.
Also on Thursday at the NCAA Championships, Hope Duenas (So., Covina, CA/Covina HS) competed for the Bearcats in the women's discus throw. She placed 20th in the nation. Her top mark of the day was 129' 4".
Marissa Mount of Whitworth University won the second heat of the women's steeplechase in 10:47.60. Hannah Roeske from Wheaton College (Ill.) was second at 10:48.00 and Jessie Cardin of Westfield State University (Mass.) was third in 10:49.86. Molly McCullough from Trinity University (Texas) placed fourth in 10:53.53 and Alison Lindsay of Washington University (Mo.) was fifth in 10:53.88.
Most of the 11 runners in the heat remained in the lead pack for about half of the race. Eventually, several runners gained a bit of separation. A bit later, Swanson moved briefly into third place and settled into fourth place. She was in the top five until Lindsay passed her shortly before the finish line.
The first heat maintained a slightly faster pace and was won by Kayla Leland of Whitworth in 10:41.12. Other automatic qualifiers from the first heat were Jenna Melanson from Masschusetts Institute of Technology in second at 10:41.37, Annie Rodenfels of Centre College (Ky.) in third at 10:41.39, Victoria Kingham of Williams College (Mass.) in fourth at 10:43.44, and Ellie Beiermann from Nebraska Wesleyan University in fifth at 10:44.37.
In addition to Swanson at-large qualifiers were MariKate Murphy of Cornell College (Iowa) at 10:46.89, Danielle Kulpins from Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) in 10:55.08, and Ellie Hawthorne from Wheaton College (Ill.) in 10:58.41.
The championship final in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase is scheduled for Saturday, May 26 at 11:45 a.m. CDT/9:45 a.m. PDT.
For Swanson, it is her fifth time competing at an NCAA Championship event. She placed 13th in 1,500-meter run at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She has competed at three NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Willamette at NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 26
Women's 3,000-meter Steeplechase, Championship Final, 11:45 a.m. CST/9:45 a.m. PST