By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Jacob Shafi (Sr., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) took first place in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, to lead the Willamette University Bearcats on the first day of the 2016 Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships on Friday, April 22 at Lewis & Clark College.
Bressler completed the women's steeplechase in 10:56.20. She won by 0.14, as she held off Kellyn Roiko of Whitworth University, who took second place in 10:56.34. Emily Evans (Fr., Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS) of Willamette placed seventh in 12:04.54.
Shafi led a 1-2-5 finish for the Bearcats in the men's steeplechase. He placed first in a personal record time of 9:26.70, lowering his previous best by 5.80 seconds. Shafi ran 9:32.50 at the 2014 Willamette Invitational to establish his earlier career best.
Juliet Farnan (Sr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) of Willamette placed third in the women's 10,000-meter run in 38:08.24, while Jeremiah James (So./Fr., WR, Salem, OR/South Salem HS/Chemeketa CC) placed sixth in the men's long jump with a top mark of 21' 7.25".
Farnan was part of a virtual three-way tie for first place during much of the reace. Over the final five laps, Allison Wood of Whitworth moved into the lead, followed by Kori Groenveld form Lewis & Clark College in second and Farnan in third. Wood won the race in 37:35.55 and Groenveld took second in 37:46.86.
James recorded his best jump and tied his personal record with his first attempt during the prelims, matching his leap of 21' 7.25" at the John Knight Twilight on April 8. Four of his five remaining attempts on Friday were between 21' 2.50" and 21' 6".
In addition, several of the Bearcats earned qualifying times during preliminary heats on Friday in order to compete in the championship finals on Saturday.
The second day of the NWC Championships will begin with the women's shot put, men's discus, men's pole vault and men's triple jump starting at 10:30 a.m. (PDT). The first events on the track will be the women's 4 x 100-meter relay at 12 p.m. and the men's 4 x 100-meter relay at 12:05 p.m.
Advancing to Finals for the Bearcat Women's Team:
Kylea Johnson (Sr., Onalaska, WA/Onalaska HS), 100-meter dash, 12.52 seconds; 200-meter dash, 25.85 seconds (PR).
Maura Forbush (Jr., Hollister, CA/San Benito HS), 200-meter dash, 25.94 seconds; 400-meter dash, 58.40 seconds.
Jewell Sparks (So., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS), 400-meter hurdles, 1:06.18 (PR).
Advancing to Finals for the WU Men's Team:
RoShaan Rogers (Fr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS), 110-meter hurdles, 15.72 seconds (PR); 400-meter hurdles, 1:00.37 seconds.
Jack Wellman (So., Alameda, CA/Alameda HS), 400-meter dash, 50.68 seconds.
Parris Joyce (Sr., Portland, OR/Catlin Gabel School), 800-meter run, 1:58.20.
Jack Kobylka (So., Napa, CA/Vintage HS), 800-meter run, 1:56.67 (PR).
Whitworth topped the women's team standings at the end of the first day with 79 points. George Fox University was second with 69 points, while Linfield College was third at 39. Lewis & Clark was fourth at 29, with Pacific University in fifth at 21 and Willamette in sixth at 18. University of Puget Sound was seventh with 10 points and Pacific Lutheran University was eighth with 8 points.
George Fox led the men's team standings with 76 points. Whitworth was second with 62 and Linfield was third with 36. Pacific Lutheran held fourth place at 30, with Willamette and University of Puget Sound tied for fifth at 25. Lewis & Clark was seventh with 15 points and Pacific was eighth with 4 points.