Zerzan Finishes First among Collegiate Runners at Mike Hodges Invitational

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

OREGON CITY, ORE. -- Sarah Zerzan (Sr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) finished first among all collegiate runners, leading the Willamette University women's cross country team to a fourth place team finish at the highly-competitive Mike Hodges Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13. The Willamette men's team earned a third place finish.

"Our kids ran great," Willamette Head Coach Matt McGuirk said. "We had three runners under 18 minutes in the women's race, which we've never had before, and the next four runners were close together."

McGuirk said that the men's team got off to a slow start, but "our guys moved up well" to achieve their third place finish.

"It was a really good day," McGuirk commented. "We got what we were looking for."

Zerzan trailed only Amy Begley of the Nike Oregon Project and Dana Buchanan, who ran unattached. Zerzan's time for the 5-kilometer course was 17:07.05. She led three Willamette runners who completed the race in under 18 minutes. Maddie Coffman (Jr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) took 18th among collegians with a time of 17:50.25 and Jena Winger (Jr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS) placed 19th with a time of 17:55.42.

The University of Oregon won the women's team title with a score of 28. Zoe Nelson led the Ducks with a second place collegiate finish in 17:23.76. She was fourth overall. Sarah Pearson followed next for Oregon, as she took sixth overall and fourth among college runners in 17:28.13.

Begley's winning time in the women's race was 15:49.52. Buchanan's second place finish was in 17:02.76. Zerzan and Nelson were followed by Kamila Bocian of Portland State University in fifth with a time of 17:24.27.

In the men's race, Willamette's Ian Batch (Sr., Eagle, ID/Capital HS) placed 10th overall and seventh among the collegiate runners. His time over the 4-mile course was 19:51.99. First place overall went to Jordan McNamara, running unattached, who was timed at 19:15.11. The top collegiate finisher was Andrew Wheating from the University of Oregon, who clocked in at 19:26.89 for second place overall.

Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (Jr., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) was the second WU runner to reach the finish line. He ran the race in 20:09.60 and was 21st overall, 11th against the collegiate field. Taylor Roholt (So., Albuquerque, NM/Sandia Prep) of Willamette was 27th overall (15th) at 20:20.33 and Lucas Nebert (Sr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) provided the Bearcats with 28th place overall (16th) in 20:20.92.

Willamette will compete again on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Beaver Classic, hosted by Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. Race time is set for 9:45 a.m. The Bearcats will run a select group of athletes in Corvallis, with the team's Northwest Conference runners resting until the NWC meet on Oct. 27 at Willamette Mission State Park near Wheatland, Ore.

MIke Hodges Invitational - Men's Results
Mike Hodges Invitational - Women's Results

Zerzan was the top collegiate finisher at the Mike Hodges Invitational with a time of 17:07.05.

Zerzan was the top collegiate finisher at the Mike Hodges Invitational with a time of 17:07.05.