By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University student-athlete Hope Duenas (Jr., Covina, CA/Covina HS) registered a personal record toss of 148' 11" in the women's discus throw at the 2019 West Coast Invitational, hosted by the Bearcats at Charles Bowles Track on Saturday, May 11. She earned her best mark on her second throw, as she moved into 11th place on the NCAA Division III performance list.
Duenas attained her previous personal record throw of 147' 6" while winning her second consecutive discus title at the 2019 Northwest Conference Championships on April 27. She entered last weekend in 12th place on the NCAA Division III performance list, but fell to 15th place prior to the West Coast Invitational. Her new personal record and 11th place national ranking give her an excellent chance to qualify for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Student-athletes in NCAA Division III have until May 16 to register times and marks before selections are made for this year's NCAA Championships. The top 20 student-athletes in each individual men's event and the top 22 student-athletes in each women's event will qualify, along with the top 16 relay teams in each relay event. The NCAA Championships will be held at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, from May 23-25.
Duenas, who won the women's discus on Saturday, was one of four Willamette track and field competitors who set personal records during the West Coast Invitational. Also achieving a personal record were Emily Evans (Sr., Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS) in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Avery Mickelsen (Fr., Ephrata, WA/Ephrata HS) in the hammer throw, and Michael Montague (Jr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) in the men's 3,000-meter steeeplechase.
Evans completed the women's steeplechase in 11:26.49. She sliced more than nine seconds off her previous top time of 11:35.89, set at the 2019 NWC Championships. She has lowered her personal record by 30.43 seconds this spring.
Mickelsen established a top mark in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 132' 1". She improved by close to eight feet over her previous top result of 123' 3" at the 2019 NWC Championships.
Montague lowered his personal record in the men's steeplechase to 9:27.41. His previous top time of 9:27.71 was set at the 2019 NWC Championships on April 26.
Willamette's Adrian Schnee (Fr., Kalispell, MT/Glacier HS) competed in the women's high jump and the women's 400-meter hurdles. She cleared 5' 0.25" in the high jump and ran the 400 hurdles in 1:06.73, as she finished just 0.29 away from her personal record.
Hazel Carr (Sr., Seattle, WA/The Northwest School) and Isabel Duxbury (So., Seattle, WA/University Prep) of Willamette finished near each other in the women's 1,500-meter run. Carr earned the third-fastest time of her career at 4:49.34, while Duxbury registered her second-fastest time in 4:50.90.
The West Coast Invitational was an opportunity for student-athletes in all three NCAA Divisions and the NAIA to earn qualifying times for their respective national championships. Although each event featured a limited number of athletes -- only the women's 1,500-meter run had more than one heat -- the range of teams represented was significant.
NWC student-athletes competed for Willamette, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield College, Pacific University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, and Whitworth University. Other competitors from the Pacific Northwest represented Gonzaga University (Wash.), University of Portland, Portland State University and Western Washington University. Participants traveling longer distances were those representing the Air Force Academy (Colo.), University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Rocky Mountain College (Mont.).