By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University athletes Hope Duenas (So., Covina, CA/Covina HS) and Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) are ready for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships to get underway in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The meet will be held from May 24-26 inside Roger Harring Stadium at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.
Duenas qualified for the NCAA Championships in the women's discus throw. She earned her qualifying mark at the Willamette Invitational on March 24 with a toss of 147' 2". The throw set a personal record and moved her into second on Willamette's all-time list. She is 16th on the NCAA Division III performance list for the 2018 season. Duenas won the Northwest Conference discus title this spring.
The women's discus is scheduled to begin with two preliminary flights starting at 1:30 p.m. CST/11:30 a.m. PST on Thursday. Duenas is set to throw during the first flight. Athletes with the top nine preliminary marks will advance to the finals, which will be be held shortly after the conclusion of the prelims.
Swanson will compete in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. She registered her top time of 10:44.86 at the NWC Championships on April 20. She placed second in the NWC and ranks 11th on the NCAA performance list. Swanson also participated at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2016, when she placed 13th in the 1,500-meter run. She has competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships three times.
This is the first season that Swanson has competed in the steeplechase for the Bearcats. Her NCAA qualifying time ranks fifth on Willamette's all-time list.
Competition in the women's steeplechase is slated to begin with two preliminary heats starting at 5 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST on Thursday. Swanson will run int he second heat. The top five finishers in each heat, plus the athletes with the next four best times, will advance to the final, which is set for Saturday at 11:45 a.m. CST/9:45 a.m. PST.
Willamette at NCAA Championships on Thursday, May 24
Women's Discus, Flight #1, 1:30 p.m. CST/11:30 a.m. PST
Women's 3,000-meter Steeplechase, Heat #2, 5 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST