Cross Country | Saturday, December 15, 2007
Zerzan Receives Second Nomination for NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Award
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior cross country runner Sarah Zerzan (San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) has been nominated for the second year in a row for the NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Award, sponsored by Honda. The prestigious award is given to a female student-athlete who “demonstrates superior athletic achievements and embodies the ideals of team contribution, scholastic endeavor and school and community involvement.” Only 11 student-athletes, one from each of 11 women’s sports, are nominated for the award each academic year.
Zerzan won back-to-back NCAA Division III individual national championships in cross country in 2006 and 2007. She became only the third athlete to repeat as the women's champion in the 27-year history of the NCAA Division III National Championships.
In the fall of 2007, she was undefeated against all collegiate opponents. She claimed this year's national title on Nov. 17 at the NCAA National Championships, hosted by St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. She won the 6-kilometer race in 20:54 for a 23-second margin of victory. She won her first national title by 20 seconds at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, on Nov. 18, 2006.
Zerzan also helped Willamette place ninth in the team standings at the 2007 NCAA National Championships, while earning All-America honors for the third consecutive season. As a team, WU was 14th in the nation in 2005 and 20th in 2006.
Her list of individual titles includes winning three NCAA West Regional crowns (2005, 2006, 2007) and two Northwest Conference championships (2006, 2007). This year, she was the only women's runner at the NWC, West Regional and National meets to finish 6 kilometers in under 21 minutes, which she accomplished at all three meets. She helped Willamette continue its championship winning streaks at the NWC Meet (sixth title in a row) and at the West Regional Meet (fifth title in a row).
In track and field, she took second place in the women's 5,000-meter run at the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championships. She was 11th in the 5,000-meter run at the 2006 National Championships. This past spring, she won the Northwest Conference title in the 1,500-meter run, helping Willamette claim the team title.
Zerzan was named NCAA Division III National Female Athlete of the Year in cross country in 2006 and 2007 and has been the NCAA Division III West Region Athlete of the Year in cross country twice (2006, 2007) and track and field once (2007).
She also earned First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors in the combined category of cross country/track and field for the 2006-07 academic year. She has achieved a 3.93 cumulative grade point average while majoring in Chemistry (Biochemistry track). She plans to attend medical school next year.
The winner of the 2007-08 NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman of the Year Award will be chosen following the completion of the winter and spring athletic seasons. The award will be presented by the American Honda Motor Company on June 23, 2008 at Columbia University in New York City.