McGuirk and Zerzan Receive West Region Awards for Track and Field Season

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year and Willamette junior distance runner Sarah Zerzan (San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) has been chosen NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, as selected by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the 2007 season. Two Coaches of the Year (men’s and women’s) and four Athletes of the Year (men’s and women’s, track events and field events) were honored in each of the eight regions in NCAA Division III.

McGuirk led the Willamette women’s track and field team to its sixth consecutive Northwest Conference championship this spring, as the Bearcats took first place at the NWC Meet by 133.33 points (257.33 to 124 for second place George Fox University). Ten athletes (plus a relay alternate) will compete for the Willamette women’s team at the NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships this week (May 24-26) in Oshkosh, Wisc.

It is the second time McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year. He was chosen West Region Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s track and field in 2005.

He has been selected NWC Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year all four years since moving up from assistant coach to head coach for the Bearcats (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007). He was named NWC Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

McGuirk has guided both of Willamette’s track and field teams to national rankings this season. The women’s team is ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA Poll for NCAA Division III, while the men’s team is
ranked 19th.

This past fall, he was chosen the 2006 NCAA Division III West Region Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. Willamette won the NWC Championship and placed 20th at the NCAA Division III National Meet. McGuirk also was selected NWC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for the third time last fall (2004, 2005, 2006). He was chosen NWC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2004.

Zerzan, who won the NCAA Division III women’s cross country individual national championship this past fall, will compete at the NCAA Track and Field National Championships in the women’s 5,000-meter run. She has the top time among the field of 18 athletes in the 5,000, after qualifying with a time of 16:28.54. Zerzan’s top time was earned at the Willamette Invitational on April 6, as she set the school record and the Charles Bowles Track record. She also qualified for the NCAA National Meet in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:31.72, but will not compete in the event as she concentrates on the 5,000-meter race.

Last fall, Zerzan was named NCAA Division III National and West Region Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. She also was selected as the USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Athlete of the Year and was chosen as the cross country nominee for the NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Honda. She was named Oregon Small College Female Athlete of the Year for 2006. She was the 2006 NWC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

Zerzan’s national championship completed a sweep of individual cross country titles at the NWC, West Region and NCAA meets in 2006. She also helped the Willamette women’s team claim the Northwest Conference and West Region team championships.

At the 2006 NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships, Zerzan took 11th place in the 1,500-meter run, as she competed in the event following just a week and half of practice after recovering from injuries suffered when she was hit by a car. She won the NCAA cross country title on Nov. 18, 2006, on a wet and muddy course at the Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio. She finished the 6-kilometer race in a time of 22:31 for a 20-second margin of victory.

USTFCCCA Outdoor Track and Field Regional Awards - Complete List

Willamette University Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III West Region Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year.

Willamette University Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been named NCAA Division III West Region Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year.