Zerzan Wins Race as Women's Team Takes Second, Men's Team Finishes Third, at Mike Hodges Invitational

OREGON CITY, ORE. -- Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) took first place individually, as she led the Willamette University women’s cross country team to a second place finish at the Mike Hodges Invitational, hosted by Clackamas Community College on Saturday, Oct. 14. In the men’s division, Willamette’s Ian Batch (Jr., Eagle, ID/Capital HS) completed the course in 16th place overall and in ninth place among all runners who scored, helping the Bearcats claim third place as a team.

Zerzan, who completed the 5-kilometer course in 16:25.11, won by 22.45 seconds over Dana Buchanan from the University of Oregon, who clocked in at 16:47.56. Zoe Nelson from the University of Oregon took third place in 16:49.69.

Oregon won the women’s team title with a score of 24. Willamette followed in second at 50 points, with the University of Washington taking third at 76. Mount Hood Community College was fourth at 133, Pacific Lutheran was fifth at 143, McMurry University (Texas) took sixth at 157, Lane Community College finished in seventh at 171 and Southwestern Oregon Community College was eighth at 187.

The Willamette women’s team was represented by its top five runners among the first 16 athletes to finish the women’s race. Jena Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) took 11th overall (10th among scorers) in 17:57.21 and Maddie Coffman (So., Boise, ID/Boise HS) claimed 12th place overall (11th among scorers) with a time of 17:57.93. Elizabeth Hart (Jr., Spokane, WA/Lewis & Clark HS) followed in 14th place (13th among scorers) at 18:03.98, while Edith Polanco (So., Salem, OR/McKay HS) took 16th place (15th among scorers) in 18:08.51.

Competitors in the women’s race ran approximately 120 meters less than 5 kilometers due to an error by the meet staff. Zerzan’s time of 16:25.11 counts for the race, but will be converted to 16:49.33 for a new Willamette record for the women’s team at the 5-kilometer distance. Zerzan set the previous record at the Charles Bowles Invitational at Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, Ore. on Sept. 30, 2006.

In the men’s race, Galen Rupp from the University of Oregon won the individual title in 18:40.66 for the 4-mile course. He led a Top 5 sweep by the Ducks, who registered a perfect team score of 15. Rupp was followed by teammates Shadrack Kiptoo in second place at 18:58.14 and Carlos Trujillo in third place at 18:58.79.

Oregon’s perfect score was followed by the University of Washington in second place at 67. Willamette’s score in third place was 89. Lane CC finished fourth with a score of 93, while the University of Portland was fifth at 116, McMurry took sixth at 151, Clackamas CC claimed seventh at 210, Southwestern Oregon CC was eighth at 244 and Pacific Lutheran took ninth at 259.

Batch completed the race for Willamette in 19:47.65. He was 16th overall, but seven of the eight runners in front of him who scored for their teams were from the University of Oregon. Lucas Nebert (Jr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) took 30th for the Bearcats (15th among scorers) with a time of 20:14.56, while Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (So., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) finished 34th overall (16th among scorers) in 20:18.21. A.J. Packard (Fr., Boise, ID/Capital HS) took 47 place for WU (24th among scorers) at 20:34.85 and Kyle Kotaich (Fr., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) was 48th (25th among scorers) in 20:35.12.

Willamette will compete at the Beaver Classic at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore. on Saturday, Oct. 21. The event will be held at Avery Park. Both WU teams will then compete at the Northwest Conference Championships at Pacific University in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Sarah Zerzan at Regional

Sarah Zerzan at Regional