Loftus Runs 3,000-meter Steeplechase in 9:07.23 at West Coast Invitational

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

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, Ore. -- Patrick Loftus (So., Santa Rosa, CA/Sonoma Academy) of Willamette University completed the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase in a personal record time of 9:07.23 during the West Coast Invitational on Thursday, May 12 at the Charles Bowles Track. Loftus advanced an impressive 15 spots on the NCAA Division III performance list for the 2016 season, and is now ranked ninth in the nation.

When the regular season ends late next week, the top 20 athletes in each men's event will qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships.

Loftus also moved up three spots into fifth place on Willamette's all-time list. He lowered his previous career-best time by 10.73 seconds from 9:17.96, which he recorded at the OSU High Performance on April 29.

At the West Coast Invitational, Loftus took fifth place behind Lucas Updike of Team Run Eugene and three runners from Gonzaga University. Updike won the race with a time of 8:50.19.

Kylea Johnson (Sr., Onalaska, WA/Onalaska HS) won the women's 100-meter dash and the women's 200-meter dash for the Bearcats. She earned a time of 12.56 seconds in the 100 and was timed at 25.98 seconds in the 200.

Teneah Rushen (So., Portland, OR/Franklin HS) placed second in the women's 100 and fourth in the women's 200, while setting two personal records. She finished the 100 in 12.63 seconds, lowering her previous top time by 0.26. She earned a time of 26.63 in the 200, an improvement of 0.06. Both of her previous top times were at the 2016 NWC Championships.

In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Jewell Sparks (So., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) of Willamette took second place and set a personal record at 1:05.59. Her time was just 0.06 away from 10th place on the Bearcats' all-time list. Sparks took more than one-half second off her previous best result of 1:06.18, set at the NWC Championships on April 22.

Maura Forbush (Jr., Hollister, CA/San Benito HS) of WU tied a personal record in the women's 800-meter dash, as she took first in the event in 2:16.16. She matched her time in the 800 at the John Knight Twilight on April 8.

Sparks, Rushen, Forbush and Johnson ran unopposed in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay. They recorded a time of 49:18 seconds.

Hans Lehndorff (Sr., Boulder, CO/Boulder HS) earned quality results for the Bearcats in the men's discus and the men's shot put. He registered a top distance of 149' 8.75" in the discus to take third place. He was second in the shot put at 51' 3.75". It was the third consecutive meet where Lehndorff has earned a mark of over 50 feet.

The women's 1,500-meter run included 12 entrants and was won by Willamette's Olivia Mancl (Jr./So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) in 4:40.97. Taylor Ostrander (Sr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) of WU registered a time of 17:19.08 in the women's 5,000-meter run for a season-best result. She took sixth place out of 16 runners.

Jack Wellman (So., Alameda, CA/Alameda HS) placed first in the men's 400-meter dash. He achieved a time of 51.88 seconds.

Other Results for the Bearcats

Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) earned a time of 4:49.66 in the women's 1,500-meter run. Juliet Farnan (Sr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) completed the women's 5,000-meter run in a season-best 18:05.57.

Jack Kobylka (So., Napa, CA/Vintage HS) was timed at 1:56.74 in the men's 800-meter run. He barely missed his personal record of 1:56.68 which he set at the 2016 NWC Championships.

Yonny Castillo (Sr., Hood River, OR/Hood River Valley HS) and Keith Carlson (Fr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) competed in the men's 10,000-meter run. Castillo concluded the race in 32:19.19. Carlson, running in his first competitive 10,000, recorded a time of 33:13.68.

A select group of Bearcats will compete at the University of Portland Twilight on Sunday, May 15. The meet will be held at Lewis & Clark College, with action getting underway at 5:45 p.m. (PDT).