WWU Vikings

Steen second in women’s 3,000 steeplechase national final

Western Washington University’s Katelyn Steen placed second in the final of the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday, May 22, at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at Grand Valley State University Stadium.

Steen was clocked in 10:13.93, less than a second off her school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference record time established five weeks ago.

Winning the race was Hillsdale’s Emily Oren in 9:54.43. She led the entire way, extending her lead throughout. Oren’s younger sister, Molly, was third in 10:16.93.

Placing eighth in 10:28.79 was Central Washington’s Dani Eggleston.

“(Steen) went right out with the leader and ran pretty close to her personal best, so I was very pleased,” WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell said in a news release. “She had a little trouble with the second barrier and that’s where Oren gained two or three strides and began to gradually pull away.”

Steen, who will run in the 5,000 final on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT, placed fourth at nationals in the steeplechase last year. She is making her second outdoor national appearance and sixth overall, also going three times in cross country and once in indoor track.

Steen, who won her qualifying heat Thursday in 10:25.32, was ranked second nationally entering the meet with a time of 10:13.01.

The Vikings’ Ryan Macdonald finished 10th in the men’s discus with a mark of 176-6 and Travis Milbrandt did not reach the finals in the men’s 110 hurdles, placing fifth in his heat and 16th overall in the preliminaries.

MacDonald entered the meet ranked sixth nationally in the discus at 177-4, and Milbrandt was 14th in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.21. Both the mark and time were WWU and GNAC records.

“Ryan was one spot from advancing to finals after his third throw, and Travis would have had to run a major p.r. to reach the final,” Halsell said. “Both competed well.”

On Saturday, WWU’s Katie Reichert will compete in the women’s javelin at 8 a.m. PT, John Haskin and Slater Hirst in the men’s javelin at 11:15 a.m., Haley O’Connor in the 1,500 at 11:25 a.m, and Alex Donigian in the 100 at 12:35 p.m.

Reichert is ranked third nationally in the javelin with a personal-best effort of 165-7. Last year, she placed second at nationals with a mark of 165-2, just one inch behind champion and teammate Bethany Drake. Reichert was seventh in 2012.

Donigian has the nation’s third best time of 10.27 in the 100, but also has run a wind-aided school record 10.22 at the Mt. SAC Relays. He placed fifth at nationals last spring.

Hirst placed fourth nationally in the javelin in 2014 with a school-record mark of 216-7, and Haskin, who has thrown a personal-best 212-3 this spring, was eighth. Haskin enters ranked 13th in the country and Hirst 14th.

O’Connor came to the meet ranked 17th in the 1,500 with a school-record time of 4:29.71.

Donigian won his 100 heat Thursday in 10.50 and was seventh overall. O’Connor was sixth in her heat and 11th overall in 4:32.21.

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