Zags Gain Experience in Idaho

Feb. 3, 2017

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MOSCOW, Idaho -- Gonzaga women's and men's track and field had several student-athletes compete at the Idaho Duals inside the Kibbie Dome Friday.

"We got some great competitive experience today at the Kibbie Dome," Director of GU Track and Field Pat Tyson said. "Running against most of the very best runners from Idaho, Montana, and Eastern Washington, our young runners came out the gate with some nice test efforts."

Bennett Gagnon won the men's 5,000 meters with a time of 15:27.47. Montana's Dillon May was second at 16:08.65.

"We had Bennett taste the 17-plus lap 5,000-meter race where he ran a tempo-paced 15:27.47," Tyson said. "He would get the win leading wire to wire."

Kyle Thompson was third in the men's mile. He crossed the line at 4:19.59. Ben Hogan came in sixth at 4:24.90. Henry Morris and Stefan Bradley were seventh and eighth at 4:26.03 and 4:26.77. Nathan Vanos placed 10th with a time of 4:28.00.

In the men's 3,000 meters, Forest Tarbath and Mitchell Beard placed third and fourth. Tarbath crossed the line at 8:45.80, while Beard was close behind at 8:50.89. Idaho's Nathan Stark came in first with a time of 8:09.32. Jerry Sicalo (8:54.76, 6th), Ciaran O'Leary (8:58.05, 8th) and Alex Heffelfinger (8:58.68, 9th) all placed in the top-10.

"The 3,000 meters showed our depth as five would break nine minutes," Tyson said. "Mitchell and Ciaran both finished with nice PRs."

Graham Wendle came in 10th in the men's 800 meters with a time of 2:01.30.

"I'm really proud of this team," Tyson said. "With the challenging weather conditions, we've really had to master the art of adapting these last six weeks."

In the women's mile, Jessica Mildes placed third with a time of 5:05.87. Katy Culver was ninth 5:20.22. Idaho's Kara Story came in first at 5:03.23.

Corrine Murray was fourth in the women's 3,000 meters at 10:27.83. Claire Manley and Megan Chucka were sixth and 10th at 10:44.13 and 11:08.39.

"Our highlights were Jess Mildes in the mile and Corrine Murray in the 3k with a big PR," GU women's head coach Patty Ley said. "She has returned after a fall internship much improved through a big base and with a new maturity as a racer. Claire Manley had another strong effort. We had several dealing with the dings and dents caused by trying to train in the snow and ice. But, while they took the edge off some performances today they will heal quickly and we should keep building towards a great outdoor season."

Molly Stroosma (2:30.72) and Sarah Hawley (2:31.41) were ninth and 10th in the women's 800 meters.

"We saw the return of field events for the Zags," Ley said. "We're just dipping our toe into this new arena. We haven't had much practice time, but all got legal marks and had solid efforts."

Gonzaga returns to the Dempsey Center in Seattle for the two-day Husky Classic on Feb. 10-11. It's the final opportunity for the Zags to qualify for NCAA Indoor National Championships.

"We now get ready to send a contingent of our elite runners to the Husky Classic next Friday and Saturday," Tyson said. "We've entered 13 men and we'll find out who gets accepted this coming Tuesday. Troy Fraley will definitely run the 3,000 meters with a goal of getting as close to 7:50 as he can. He is ranked eighth in the NCAA as of today, but knows he'll need another five-second drop to make the top-16 final list to compete at the NCAA Indoor National Championships."



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