Sparks Wins 400-meter Dash, Helps WU Finish 1st in 4 x 100-meter Relay

Jewell Sparks (Jr., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS)
Jewell Sparks (Jr., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Jewell Sparks (Jr., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) of Willamette University won the women's 400-meter dash with a personal-record time of 59.21 seconds at the Jenn Boyman Memorial Invitational, hosted by Linfield College on Saturday, April 1. Sparks also helped Willamette take first place in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay.

Spark ran the second leg on the relay unit, helping the Bearcats earn a time of 50.68 to hold off Lane Community College, which took second at 50.83. Also competing on Willamette's 4 x 100-meter relay team were Sallie Tucker (Fr., Buena Vista, CO/Buena Vista HS), Maura Forbush (Sr., Hollister, CA/San Benito HS) and Teneah Rushen (Jr., Portland, OR/Franklin HS).

In the women's 400, Sparks broke her previous top time of 59.50, set earlier this season at the Willamette versus Corban Dual. Sparks led a 1-2 finish for the Bearcats in Saturday's 400-meter event. Forbush grabbed second place for WU with a time of 1:00.37. Katie Emerson from Eastern Oregon University was third at 1:00.98.

Rushen took third place in the women's 100-meter dash and Sparks placed fifth in the women's 200-meter dash. Rushen's time in the 100 was 13.07 seconds, while Sparks registered a time of 26.69 seconds in the 200. Forbush was seventh in the 200 at 27.16 seconds.

Willamette's Hope Duenas (Fr., Covina, CA/Covina HS) placed second in the women's discus throw. Her top mark as 133' 3". Angie Turpen (Sr., Alsea, OR/Alsea HS) of WU finished seventh in the women's discus at 116' 2".

Elijah Hall-Crockett (Fr., Phoenix, AZ/Cesar Chavez HS) was second in the men's high jump at 6' 0". Austin Torres from Lane CC won the event at 6' 2".

WU hurdler RoShaan Rogers (Jr., Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) earned third place in the men's 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.42 seconds.

Sallie Tucker (Fr., Buena Vista, CO/Buena Vista HS) of Willamette placed third in the women's 400-meter hurdles at 1:09.74. In the women's 100-meter hurdles, Melissa Scott (Fr., Tustin, CA/Beckman HS) placed fourth for the Bearcats in 16.53 seconds.

The Bearcats received a fourth place finish by Jack Wellman (Jr., Alameda, CA/Alameda HS) in the men's 400-meter dash with a personal record time of 50.40 seconds. He broke is previous top mark of 50.61, which he set at the 2016 NWC Championships. In Saturday's race, Connor Giannini (Fr., Veradale, WA/Gonzaga Prep.) of WU placed sixth in the men's 400 at 51.25 seconds.

Orion Ewell (So., WR, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) was fifth and D'Angelo Guiton (Jr., Alameda, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS) was sixth for WU in the men's 100-meter dash. Ewell was timed at 11.63 seconds and Guiton completed the race in 11.72 seconds.

Brian Peck (Fr., Reno, NV/Reno HS) placed fourth in the men's triple jump for Willamette with a combined distance of 41' 5.00". Paul Schot (Sr., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS) of WU was fifth in the men's long jump with a top leap of 19' 9.00". He missed fourth place by one-half inch.

Turpen achieved sixth place in the women's hammer throw. Her top distance was 145' 9", just 10 inches from her personal-best of 146' 7", set at last year's Willamette versus Corban Dual.

Other Top Performances for Willamette

In the men's 4 x 100-meter relay, the Bearcats took third place in 43.42 seconds. Running on the relay team were Guiton, Wellman, Giannini and Ewell.

Hazel Carr (So., Seattle, WA/The Northwest School) set a personal record in the women's 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:55.53. Her previous career-best time was 4:58.31 at the 2016 Willamette Invitational.

Melissa Scott (Fr., Tustin, CA/Beckman HS) and Sam Coon (Fr., San Diego, CA/Point Loma HS) tied for sixth place in the women's pole vault. Each cleared 9' 8.50".

Giannini was seventh in the men's 200-meter dash in 23.13 seconds.

Racyne Parker (Sr./Jr., Klamath Falls, OR/Henley HS) registered a throw of 112' 10" in the women's javlein thorw. It was her top throw so far this season.

WU throwers Saige Swan (Fr., Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS) and Josh Martin (Fr., Medford, OR/St. Mary's School) earned similar marks in the men's shot put. Swan's top throw was 43' 6.50" and Martin's top result was 43' 3.75". Swan was marked at 133' 1" for his top distance in the men's discus throw.

Up Next on the Bearcats' Schedule

Willamette will compete at the John Knight Twilight at Western Oregon University on Friday, April 7. Field events will start at 1 p.m. (PDT) and events on the track will begin at 4 p.m.