Kopczynski and Fraley Place First at Pelluer Invitational

April 14, 2018

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's Scott Kopczynski and Troy Fraley won the respective events at the 46th annual Pelluer Invitational at Eastern Washington's Roos Field Saturday.

"It was a blustery cold day over Eastern Washington University," Director of GU Track and Field Pat Tyson said. "The meet proved to be a very good experience for most of the young men. Our goal was to get some good speed workout races in, including the often never run 4x800-meter relay. We entered four different races, winning three of them, and the fourth race was won by redshirt unattached freshman Alex Walde with a personal best 9:42.67 in the steeplechase."

Kopczynski led a top-four sweep by the Zags in the men's 1,500 meters. GU had eight of the Top-10 times in the event, paced by Kopczynski's 3:49.88. His time ranks seventh on the program's all-time list. Mason Villarma (3:50.79), Brandon Pollard (3:51.48) and Stefan Bradley (3:54.00) were second, third and fourth.

In the men's 5,000 meters, Fraley had the winning time of 15:19.19. Coby Eastwood came in fifth at 16:11.47.

"We ran Troy in a workout controlled tempo 5,000-meter race wearing training shoes," Tyson said. "He would easily win, but said it was nice to get the rust off his legs, but the headwind was something. Troy has not worn a jersey since the NCAA Finals last June."

Gonzaga placed first and second in the men's 4x800-meter relay. The Zags' A quartet finished at 7:47.43, while the B team was 7:51.98.

"We had a fun time ending the afternoon running three teams in the relay," Tyson said. "It is my belief that the team of Graham Wendle (2:00.47), Bradley (1:58.53), Kopczynski (1:53.29), and Mason Villarma (1:54.97) would win with a school record time."

Five Bulldogs placed in the Top-10 in the women's 800 meters led by Claire Gillett's second place finish at 2:24.03. Sarah Hawley was fourth with a time of 2:29.66.

Katherine Gustafson came in second in the women's steeplechase with a time of 12:14.86. In the men's steeplechase, Ben Hogan placed second at 9:43.53.

In her first attempt in the event, Caroline McCarthy crossed the line in third in the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 18:39.81. Erin Boyle was sixth at 19:31.41.

In the women's 1,500 meters, Ally Legard was fifth at 4:53.39. Elena Slavoski (4:54.27) was close behind in sixth.

"Fun meet over at Eastern," Gonzaga women's head coach Patty Ley said. "Sprinkles of rain off and on, but not too bad. Wind was more the nemesis this weekend. We saw some really good racing, some improvements despite the conditions.

"The 1500 highlighted the day with season and personal bests for virtually every woman. Ally and Elena led the charge just being aggressive throughout and chasing hard up front. That set the tone for the rest of the crew as they followed with those improvements. It was a fun meet, and seeing the improvements. We're hoping for just a bit more break on the weather this next weekend."

A select group of Zags will travel and split up for the Bryan Clay Invitational and Mt. SAC Relays in southern California Thursday and Friday. Another group of GU runners will compete at the Spokane Memorial Open at Spokane Falls Community College Friday and Saturday. Live results will be available from the Bryan Clay Invitational and Mt. SAC Relays on GoZags.com.

"We'll bring 14 young men and three young women to the prestigious meets in the Los Angeles area," Tyson said. "Good things are cooking for the distance runners of Gonzaga. That, despite the ugly weather conditions we have face this spring."



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