Loftus Places 2nd in Steeplechase to Lead Strong Night at OSU High Performance

Patrick Loftus (So., Santa Rosa, CA/Sonoma Academy)
Patrick Loftus (So., Santa Rosa, CA/Sonoma Academy)

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Patrick Loftus (So., Santa Rosa, CA/Sonoma Academy) of Willamette University took second place and set a personal record in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase to lead a strong night for the Bearcats at the OSU High Performance Meet on Friday, April 29. The Bearcats set two personal records and two season bests. All of the action was at the Whyte Track & Field Center on the Oregon State University campus.

Loftus recorded a time of 9:17.96 in the steeplechase, breaking his previous top result of 9:21.56, set at the Willamette Invitational earlier this spring. He moved up from 27th to 22nd on the 2016 NCAA Division III performance list. He also advanced two spots up to eighth on Willamette's all-time list.

The men's steeplechase was won by Chris Mulverhill from University of Oregon. His winning time was 9:07.21. Kyle Levermore from Oregon was third in 9:21.94, and Jackson Darland, also from Oregon, was fourth at 9:24.03.

In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Taylor Ostrander (Sr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) of WU finished in fifth place with a season-best time of 10:47.17. Her time ranks seventh in NCAA Division III.

Ostrander lowered her previous top time by more than five seconds from 10:52.53. Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) placed eighth in 11:12.94 and Ami Boucher (Jr., Concord, CA/Northgate HS) was 10th in 11:15.79

Former Willamette athlete Michaela Freeby ('15) took fourth place in the women's steeplechase in 10:43.93. Brianna Nerud from University of Oregon won the event by 15.48 seconds with a time of 10:15.23.

Hannah Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) Hannah Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) set a personal record for the Bearcats in the women's 1,500-meter run. She completed the race in 4:33.08 to move into fifth place all-time at Willamette. Her previous best time was 4:35.04 at the Oregon Relays on April 15.

Swanson placed 10th out of 29 runners on Friday. She move up four spots nationally and is now 18th on the NCAA Division III list.

In the men's 5,000-meter run, Yonny Castillo (Sr., Hood River, OR/Hood River Valley HS) registered a season-best time of 14:56.36 while placing eighth. He was just 0.16 away from his personal record of 14:56.20, set at the 2015 Willamette Invitational.

Keith Carlson (Fr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) joined Loftus in the men's steeplechase for the Bearcats. Carlson earned a time of 10:02.31.

Jack Kobylka (So., Napa, CA/Vintage HS) ran for the Bearcats in the men's 1,500-meter run. He completed the race in 4:06.44.

The OSU High Performance Meet will conclude on Saturday, April 30. The Bearcats are scheduled to compete in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay, women's 100-meter dash, men's and women's 400-meter dash, and the men's discus.