Willamette Rolls to NWC Cross Country Team Titles

Bearcats' Hollingshead Wins Men's Championship; Freshman Zerzan Finishes Fourth in Women's Race

Spokane, Wash. — Willamette University raced to convincing victories in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships held at Wandermere Golf Course on Saturday morning.

Senior Aaron Hollingshead (pictured left) led a dominating Willamette finish in the men’s race, outdistancing men’s runner up Doug Blackburn from Whitworth 25:39.7 to 25:49.00. The Bearcat men captured seven of the top ten places in the 8K race.

Puget Sound’s Frank Prince was third (25:59.40), followed by four other Bearcat runners.

Willamette’s men scored 23 points to easily defeat second place UPS, which finished with 52. Whitworth was third with 99 points.

Willamette’s women placed five runners in the top 12 to finish with 36 points. Host Whitworth College was well behind in second place with 81 points. Puget Sound rounded out the top three with 93 points.

Bearcat freshman Sarah Zerzan was the top finisher for the Bearcat women as she took fourth place overall with a time of 21:48.90. Right behind Zerzan were junior Molly Phmister (5th place, 21:56.40), senior Katie Pierce (6th place, 21:57.70), senior Kari Holbert (9th, 22:02.70) and sophomore Danya Rumore (12th, 22:15.50).

Rumore battled Pacific freshman Sarah Smith for the lead over the first two thirds of the race, but Smith pulled away for an upset victory.

In the men’s race, Blackburn led at the one-mile mark, but Hollingshead pulled ahead soon after and was never threatened. Blackburn and Prince battled closely for second place until Blackburn pulled away over the final 1,000 meters.

The top Bearcat finishers included sophomore Travis Harris (4th, 26:13.60), freshman Ian Batch (5th, 26:14.40), senior Natahn O’Brien (6th, 26:17.40), sophomore Nick Symonds (27:27.50), junior Carlos Ruiz (9th, 26:41.50), senior Brendan Brown (10th, 26:44.30) and sophomore Daniel Yeager (13th, 26:50.00).

The Northwest Conference will now compete at the NCAA West Region Championships November 13th at Prado Park in Chino, California. Individual and team berths to the NCAA Championships will be decided at the regional meet.

Aaron Hollingshead

Aaron Hollingshead