Zerzan Qualifies for Nationals in 5,000-Meter Run at Willamette Invitational

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior distance runner Sarah Zerzan (San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships with a school record time of 16:28.54 to win the 5,000-meter run fon the first day of the Willamette Invitational at the Charles Bowles Track on Friday, April 6. Zerzan's time was under the automatic qualifying standard of 17:00.00 by more than 30 seconds. She also broke her own Willamette record, set last year at 17:14.57, by just over 46 seconds.

Zerzan has now achieved automatic berths into the National Championships in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs. She also has earned a provisional qualifying mark in the 1,500-meter run this season.

Willamette also registered a pair of second place finishes on Friday. Lucas Nebert (Jr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) took second for WU in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:35.58. Maddie Coffman (So., Boise, ID/Boise HS) added a second place finish in the women's 1,500-meter run, as she clocked in at 4:39.55. Her time made her a provisional qualifier for NCAA National Championships, as she finished under the standard of 4:40.20. Jena Winger (So., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) placed seventh in the women's 1,500 at 4:42.94.

Melinda Fahey (Jr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) of Willamette placed third in the women's hammer throw at 37.90 meters. The Bearcats also took fourth place in the event, as Brittany Farrer (So., Medford, OR/South Medford HS) threw the hammer 37.00 meters. WU's succes in the event also included Emilie Burger in sevneth place at 36.35 meters and Holly Winter (Fr., Dundee, OR/Newberg HS) in eighth place at 36.20 meters.

Willamette's Julio Vieyra (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) achieved a fifth place finish in the men's 1,500-meter run, which featured a field of 73 runners in five heats. Vieyra recorded a time of 3:53.32, which surpassed the NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 3:55.20.

The Willamette Invitational continues on Saturday, April 7. The remaining schedule includes all field events other than the hammer throw and all track events shorter than 1,500 meters. Saturday's action gets underway at 10:30 a.m. (PDT) in the field events and at 12 p.m. (PDT) in the running events.

Willamette Invitational - First Day Results

Sarah Zerzan qualified for the NCAA National Championships with a time of 16:28.54 in the 5,000-meter run at the Willamette Invitational.

Sarah Zerzan qualified for the NCAA National Championships with a time of 16:28.54 in the 5,000-meter run at the Willamette Invitational.