Sparks Finishes 7th in 400-meter Hurdles at OSU High Performance Meet

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

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Jewell Sparks (Sr., San Francisco, CA/Lick Wilmerding HS) from Willamette University earned seventh place in the women's 400-meter hurdles on the second day of the Oregon State University High Performance Meet on Saturday, April 28 at the Whyte Track and Field Center. Two other Willamette track and field athletes, Keaton Beckmann (Fr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Melissa Scott (So., Tustin, CA/Beckman HS) also competed at the High Performance Meet on Saturday.

Sparks registered a time of 1:03.51 while running in the first heat of the 400-meter hurdles. There were three heats overall, with the runners competing against time. Six of the top seven finishers ran in the first heat. Lindsay Asplund from Corban University was fourth overall after earning a time of 1:02.65 in the second heat. Sparks and Asplund were the only athletes outside of NCAA Division I to place in the top eight in the 400 hurdles. Willamette is a member of NCAA Division III and Corban competes in the NAIA.

The top three places went to runners from University of Oregon. Kyle O'Connor was first at 1:00.38, Khadeja Jackson took second at 1:01.14 and Madi Greenleaf was third at 1:01.48.

Sparks barely missed her season-best time of 1:03.46, which she recorded at the John Knight Twilight on April 7 at Western Oregon University. She is ranked 23rd in NCAA Division III with her top time.

Also on Saturday at OSU, Beckmann participated in the men's long jump and Scott competed in the women's 100-meter hurdles.

Beckman's top distance was 20' 6.25", which he achieved on each of his first two attempts. He did not advance to the finals of the long jump, which had a cutoff of 21' 9". Scott registered a time of 16.17 in the 100-meter hurdles.

On Friday, Hope Duenas (So., Covina, CA/Covina HS) of WU placed seventh in the women's discus throw. Her top distance at the meet was 136' 5". For the season, Duenas is ranked 10th in the nation in the discus with a top throw of 147' 2".

Several Willamette athletes will compete at the Oregon Twilight on Friday, April 4. The meet will be hosted by the University of Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.