Western Washington Athletics

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Western Washington University’s Sarah Porter was an NCAA Division II automatic national qualifier in the women’s 5,000 meters, bettering her own school record by over 20 seconds as she placed third in first-day action Friday at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational being held at Dempsey Indoor on the UW campus.

Porter’s time was 16:26.66, just three seconds off her personal best in either indoor or outdoor competition. Her previous indoor best was 16:47.07.

Placing first in 16:11.50 was Kara Goucher, representing NIKE, who is a two-time World Championships participant and 2008 Olympian with a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2007 Worlds. Oregon’s Bronwyn Crossman was second in 16:20.83 among the field of 17 runners.

The performance qualifies Porter for a fourth straight appearance at the NCAA II National Indoor Championships on March 11-12 at Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a two-time indoor All-American, placing fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2009, and was 15th in 2008.

Western’s only other Friday participant was Brooklyn Holton, who is 18th among 23 competitors following two events of the Pentathlon. She ran the 60 hurdles in 9.88 seconds and cleared 4-8 3/4 (1.44 meters) in the high jump.