Track Finishes Regular Season at Portland Twilight
May 15, 2016
In rainy conditions, the Zags raced for the final chances at qualifying marks for the NCAA West Preliminaries in Lawrence, Kan., on May 26-28. The third annual Portland Twilight has quickly grown to an elite meet that features several talented professional and unattached athletes, along with the collegiate field.
Molly Stroosma opened the meet for Gonzaga with a 2:18.06 finish in the women's 800 meters. The junior's time ranks eighth on the program's all-time list. She placed fourth in her heat and 25th in the event.
Zoe Urcadez concluded her phenomenal career at GU with a 4:45.47 finish in the women's 1,500 meters. The senior came in 13th in her heat and 29th overall.
"Good solid races for Zoe and Molly," Gonzaga women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. "Both finished with season bests and ran competitively in their heats. I'm so lucky to have worked with Zoe the last four years and sad to see her go. She has been instrumental in the growth of our women's program even when injury slowed her progression. She is an awesome young woman!"
In the men's 5,000 meters, Matthew Crichlow moved from sixth to fourth on the program's all-time list. His time of 14:16.14 was third in the race and the top collegiate finish. Kyle Branch ran the ninth-fastest 5,000-meter time in program history Sunday. He placed ninth at 14:32.21. Andy Thomas (14:36.55, 14th) and Danny Lunder (15:28.74, 24th) were the other Zag finishers.
Mason Villarma came in fourth in the men's 1,500 meters at 3:46.32. Zac Garrard was ninth with a time of 3:48.04. Sumner Goodwin (3:52.59, 17th), Ian Goldizen (3:55.73, 28th), Kellen Manley (3:55.89, 29th) and Graham Wendle (3:57.09, 32nd) wrapped up the Bulldog finishes in the event.
“All of our runners ran bold,” Director of GU Track Pat Tyson said. “They all got after it. We helped make a really wild and crazy 1,500 meters. They all were in the hunt. They put themselves in the Div. 1 competitive zone!
“I thought all Zag runners fought the good fight! We have so many young runners! We will feed off of this experience and come back a better more experienced competitive team!”
Shelby Mills and Kellen Manley sit in comfortable NCAA qualifying positions in their respective 3,000-meter steeplechase fields. As of Sunday night, Mills ranked fifth in the region and 11th nationally, while Manley was 40th. She ran a school-record 9:56.17 at the West Coast Invitational Thursday. Manley ran an 8:57.75 Thursday.
Mills is on the bubble for the 5,000 meters. She ranked 54th in the region after running the third-fastest time in program history, 16:25.81, at the Buc Scoring Invite. Crichlow was 53rd in the region in the 10,000 meters. The senior is the school-record holder at 29:45.54, ran earlier this season at the Mt. SAC Relays.
For each individual event contested at each of the Preliminary Round sites the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. NCAA Preliminary round entries will be announced on Thursday.
“So, we now wait for NCAA top-48 lists to be announced,” Tyson said. “Kellen will be in! Matthew must keep his fingers crossed. The quality of runners in the NCAA West just keeps getting better. I do know this, Patty and I are proud of these runners! They work so hard and put the time in! They learn so much about themselves.”
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