Zerzan Named All-Academic Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year

By Ryan Borde, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110, rborde@willamette.edu

(CROSS COUNTRY) SALEM, ORE. -- Eight Willamette University cross country athletes, six from the women’s team and two from the men’s team, have been named to the 2006 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division III All-Academic Cross Country Teams. Leading the way for the Bearcats was junior Sarah Zerzan (San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS), who was named the All-Academic Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA.

The All-Academic Athlete of the Year is awarded to the highest finisher at the NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships who meets the minimum qualifications for All-Academic individual honors (a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA). Zerzan, who carries a 3.96 GPA, won the DIII Cross Country National Championship on November 18, held at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, completing the 6,000 meter course in 22 minutes, 31 seconds.

Other WU women honored were senior Elizabeth Hart (Spokane, WA/Lewis & Clark HS), junior Katrina Brett (Longview, WA/Mark Morris HS), and sophomores Maddie Coffman (Boise, ID/Boise HS), Ali Maki (Shorview, MN/Mounds View HS), and Jena Winger (Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS).

With their six runners earning All-Academic status, the WU women tied Grinnell College for the most student-athletes honored.

A total of 185 student-athletes earned DIII All-Academic Women’s Cross Country individual honors. Middlebury College (Vermont), which won the DIII women’s team title, was the DIII All-Academic Women’s Cross Country Team of the Year. Middlebury’s team GPA was a 3.46.

The two WU men earning DIII All-Acadmic Men’s Cross Country individual honors were senior Travis Harris (Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS), and junior Lucas Nebert (Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS). Calvin College (Michigan) was named the DIII All-Academic Men’s Cross Country Team of the Year. The Knights had a cumulative team GPA of 3.43.

Pomona-Pitzer senior Will Leer, was the DIII All-Academic Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Leer, who finished seventh at the DIII Championships, has a 3.527 GPA. A total of 108 student-athletes earned DIII All-Academic Men’s Cross Country individual honors.

Sarah Zerzan

Sarah Zerzan