Zerzan Achieves Provisional Standard in 1,500-Meter Run at Willamette Opener

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

(TRACK & FIELD) SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the 2007 season by hosting the Willamette Opener on Saturday, March 3 at the Charles Bowles Track at Bush’s Pasture Park. Willamette, which has won five consecutive Northwest Conference titles in both men’s and women’s track and field, excelled at the Willamette Opener, as the Bearcats qualified many of their athletes for the 2007 NWC Championships.

In addition, Willamette’s Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) achieved the provisional standard for the NCAA Division III National Championships in the 1,500-meter run. Zerzan took second place in the event with a time of 4:39.96 (provisional mark - 4:40.20; automatic mark - 4:32.50). First place in the women’s 1,500 went to Brianna Anderson-Gregg of Eugene Health & Performance, who reached the finish line in 4:37.59. Last year, Zerzan took 11th place in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Division III National Championships in her first competition after being hit by an automobile earlier in the spring. She won the NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country individual national title this past fall.

Overall, the Bearcats won 10 events at the Willamette Opener, which included several college teams, as well as runners from area clubs. In addition to Willamette, other Northwest Conference teams competing were George Fox University and Whitworth College. The meet also included runners from Oregon State University, the University of Portland and Mount Hood Community College.

Three Willamette athletes each won two individual events. The Bearcats also had four athletes place first in one event apiece. The list of first place finishes also included a victory by WU's 4x100-meter relay team.

Andrea May (Sr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) won the women’s 100-meter title in 12.53 seconds and took first place in the women’s 200-meter race with a time of 25.77 seconds. She edged out Patrice Pierre from the University of Portland in both events, claiming a margin of victory of just three one-hundredths of a second in the 100-meter dash and 0.37 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

Melinda Fahey (Jr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) earned first place in both the discus and the hammer. She threw the discus 126’3” and recorded a distance of 128’6” (39.16 meters) in the hammer throw. Fahey’s toss in the hammer was just short of the NCAA Division III provisional standard of 40.0 meters.

For the men’s team, Drew Lackman (So., Gig Harbor, WA/Gig Harbor HS) won titles in the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. He completed the 110-meter race in 15.52 seconds, as he won by 0.28 seconds over current Willamette and former high school teammate Garrison Coy (So., Gig Harbor, WA/Gig Harbor HS), who took second in 15.80 seconds. In the 400-meter race, Lackman reached the finish line in 56.14 seconds. Coy finished second again, as he clocked in at 58.13 seconds.

Hannah Vietmeier (Fr., Shoreline, WA/Shorewood HS) took first place in the women’s 5,000-meter run (18:33.90). Other Bearcat athletes winning one individual title apiece were Joel Flachsbart (Sr., Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) in the men’s 800-meter run (2:00.48), Lucas May (Jr., Portland, OR/Franklin HS) in the men’s 1,500-meter run (3:59.26) and Jacob Monroe (So., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) in the men’s hammer throw (156’1”). Monroe also took second place in the discus at 138’4”, and was third in the shot put with a throw of 44’ 3 1/4”.

The women’s 4x100-meter relay team claimed first place, after clocking in at 49.70 seconds. Autumn Schmeck (Fr., Beaverton, OR/Aloha HS), who ran the first leg of the 4x100 relay, tied for second place in the pole vault (9’3”), claimed fourth place in the 100-meter dash (12.83 seconds) and finished sixth in the 200-meter dash (26.76 seconds).

Willamette has added a home meet to its schedule on Saturday, March 10 (time TBA). The Bearcats were originally scheduled to compete at the Lewis & Clark College meet, also on March 10.

Men's Results; Women's Results

Sarah Zerzan

Sarah Zerzan