Track Dominates Distance at Spokane Falls
April 22, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Gonzaga women's and men's track programs ran in Spokane for the final time this season at the Spokane Memorial Open Friday and Saturday.
Brianna Vasquez improved her third-best time in program history in the women's 200 meters at 26.86.
"We had another great day weather wise and just a nice compact meet with good solid races," GU women's head coach Patty Ley said. "It was very nice for a meet following a big travel trip last weekend. A lot of those who traveled last week were feeling the fatigue of the trip and were a touch disappointed with times, but still competed very well."
"Great last couple of days from Jenny, who ran her first track 5k last night and came back today for a win in the 1500," Ley said. "She was followed to the line by Kelly who finished impressively. Kate Wagner took it out well, but a cramp jammed her stride and she struggled a bit to the finish. Could be a great race for her next weekend if we can get past that."
In the men's 1,500 meters, Scott Kopczynski crossed the line at 3:51.53, the ninth-fastest time on the GU all-time list. Conor McCandless came in second with a time of 3:52.45, while Stefan Bradley (4:00.79) and Max Kaderabek (4:04.95) were third and fourth.
"We had a nice 1-2-3 finish in Heat 1 of the 1500," Director of GU Track Pat Tyson said. Scott's time was a personal best by nearly three seconds, and the third-best ever by a freshman."
Troy Fraley ran the 10th-fastest 5,000-meter time in program history Friday night. He cruised to the event win with a time of 14:23.12. Dillon Quintana (14:47.59), Kyle Thompson (14:49.53) and Phillip Fishburn (14:52.49) placed third, fourth and fifth.
"Rarely do you see 10 guys break 15 minutes for 5,000 meters at the Spokane Falls Oval," Tyson said. "With Troy leading a controlled first 3,000 meters, the Kalispell, Mont. native would lead five Bulldogs and unattached redshirt Zag Kellen Manley to such a feat. Troy's time is one of the fastest times in recent memory at this meet. Several Zags would get personal bests! It was a great atmosphere on a beautiful spring twilight evening!"
In the women's 5,000 meters Friday night, Jordan Thurston coasted to a 25-second victory with a time of 17:24.75. Katy Culver was second at 17:49.64. Amelia Evans and Julie Henling were third and fourth with times of 17:56.60 and 18:09.38.
Henry Morris won the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase. His time of 9:24.56 was not far off his personal record of 9:16.89, run last month at the UCLA Distance Carnival.
"Molly Stroosma recorded a strong second place finish in the 800 and was very controlled doing so," Ley said. "With the 1-2-3-4 finish last night of Jordan, Katy, Amelia and Julie -- all in all the ladies had a nice weekend in Spokane."
"Sumner easily won his heat of the 800," Tyson said. "He was coming off a 29:54.06 showing at Mount SAC last week, and was working on a race featuring speed work."
Next Saturday, the Zags make the short trek to Pullman, Wash., for the Cougar Invitational.
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