Zags Post Promising Day in Pullman

Jan. 21, 2017


PULLMAN, Wash. -- Gonzaga women's and men's track had several stellar finishes at the Washington State University Indoor Open Saturday.

Sammy Truax won the men's mile with a time of 4:24.54. The sophomore had the fastest time in the 58-runner field. Four other Zags placed in the top-10; Ben Hogan (5th, 4:28.21), Phillip Fishburn (6th, 4:28.95), Graham Wendle (7th, 4:30.00) and Stefan Bradley (9th, 4:31.51).

"Sammy Truax won the fastest heat of the mile in a slowly paced 4:24.54," Director of GU Track Pat Tyson said. "It was still an excellent, competitive and dominant effort for the sophomore from Central Catholic of Portland! Freshman Ben Hogan won his debut race wearing the Gonzaga jersey in a personal best 4:28.21. Considering we've been primarily training on the treadmill and getting on a bus at 6:45 a.m., traveling down to Pullman, and then beginning our warmup followed by spiking up and racing, I am incredibly impressed!"

Daniel Thompson was second in the men's 3,000 meters. The freshman's time of 8:55.57 was slightly ahead of teammates Alex Heffelfinger (8:59.68) and Ciaran O'Leary (9:05.41) in fourth and sixth.

"Great racing by freshman Daniel Thompson," Tyson said. "It was a personal best by 15 seconds! The young man from Central Catholic really looked confident as he went from seventh to second over the last 1200. A terrific confidence booster for him! Freshman teammate Alex Heffelfinger closed strong passing two Washington State Cougars to finish fourth. Great racing by the young Bulldogs!"

Julie Henling led a pack of Zags with a third-place finish in the women's 3,000 meters. The senior crossed the line at 10:47.33. Lauren Bourgeois (10:57.78) and Monica Ripple (11:04.55) were right behind in fourth and fifth place.

In the women's mile, Katy Culver paced four Bulldogs in the top-10. She came in fourth at 5:21.34. Amelia Evans (5:31.55), Corrine Murray (5:31.88) and Claire Manley (5:32.44) were eighth, ninth and 10th.

The GU women's 4x400-meter relay team placed fifth with a time of 4:25.00. The Zag quartet was Sarah Hawley, Claren Fraher, Molly Stroosma and Megan Glenski. The Gonzaga men's 4x400-meter relay team of Nathan Vanos, Coby Eastwood, Hogan and Bradley was also fifth at 3:43.42, winning their heat.

Earlier in the day, Fraher was seventh in the women's 800 meters at 2:25.67.

"Katy Culver once again had one of the stronger performances in the mile," GU Head Coach Patty Ley said. "She was joined as a placer by Julie Henling in the 3000, where she took it out aggressively and then was passed in the late stages of the race. Lauren Bourgeois and Monica Ripple were other standouts in the long race. Both just maintained quality intensity throughout the race and fought hard for their places.

"We dropped Emily Anderson (200 and 400) and Amelia Evans (800 and Mile) down from their usual distances to work on some speed. Both responded well to the challenge and will benefit down the road."

Gonzaga returns to the Dempsey Center in Seattle for the UW Invitational next Friday and Saturday. Live video and results will be available on

"We saw improvements from all the women this week, and are hoping for a bit of a break from the weather to get them outside and have the chance to do something a bit faster," Ley said. "We're looking forward to keeping those improvements coming."

"I love this team and the culture that is continually setting high standards in all we do," Tyson said. "Now we get ready for an intense set of distance racing next week at the UW Invitational! We are on fire!"



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