Track Closes Regular Season at Portland Twilight

May 12, 2017

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Gonzaga at the Portland Twilight
FIRST GU EVENTS: 3:45 p.m. (Women’s 400m Hurdles), 4:55 p.m. (Men’s 800m)
- Thirty Gonzaga student-athletes close their regular seasons at the Portland Twilight Saturday.
- Created as a chance for NCAA teams to have a final opportunity to qualify for their National Championships, the Portland Twilight has grown to attract college and professional athletes from across the US and Canada, including nine Rio Olympians.
- The Portland Twilight is contested at Lewis & Clark College’s Griswold Stadium.
- The Eldon Fix track is home to the Portland Track Festival and is a fantastic setting for fast performances in mid-May under ideal racing conditions and the stadium lights.
- Added events this year for both men and women: Steeplechase and Shot put.
- The meet is officiated and sanctioned by Oregon USATF.
- Last year in rainy conditions, 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.
- Zoe Urcadez concluded her phenomenal career at GU with a 4:45.47 finish in the women’s 1,500 meters.
- 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. He placed ninth at 14:32.21.
- 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.
- Forty-Eight runners compete in each event at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas. The Zags have just one more meet to hit qualifying marks.
- After his incredible performance at the Payton Jordan Invitational, Troy Fraley tops the nation in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
- Jessica Mildes is currently 23rd in the West Region in the 10,000 meters. Her time of 34:13.96 would have easily qualified for regionals last season, as the 32nd best time in the region. The 48th-fastest time in the region last year was 34:50.62.
- Mildes is 61st currently in the 5,000 meters at 16:25.08. The 48th-best time currently in the region is 16:17.29.
- Sumner Goodwin is 60th currently in the 10,000 meters at 29:54.06. The 48th-best time currently in the region is 29:46.30.
- Jake Perrin is 61st currently in the 5,000 meters at 14:04.82. The 48th-best time currently in the region is 14:00.74.
- Troy Fraley ran the NCAA’s fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time this season at the Payton Jordan Invitational.
- Fraley shattered his own school record with a time of 8:39.30 at the Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.
- He finished second in his heat behind professional runner Brandon Doughty (8:38.69). Pro runners Anthony Rotich and Michael Jordan had the top times in the first heat at 8:36.39 and 8:38.47.
- Fraley is the lone collegian in the country under eight minutes and 40 seconds so far this season.
- Fraley was one of the last entries invited into the field of 25 runners at the prestigious Payton Jordan. He then finished fourth overall, beating out Olympic Trial runners, the Venezuelan national record holder, and the third-place finisher from the U.S. Cross Country Championships.
Off to Portland Twilight (West Coast Invitational) today after finals. Like this past winter, we have had to adapt and focus big time on the classroom these last few days. You can see that exhausted look in the athletes’ eyes, but you can see light in the tunnel as well. We’ll take in the “Last Chance” opportunity to punch that ticket to the NCAA Division 1 West first round! Nice group of runners will be competing in the classic 5000-meter race! Sub-14:00 guarantees a spot in the top-48, thus competing at the University of Texas in two weeks. That means 67 pace, 4:28 mile pace for 12.5 laps! The 25-lap 10K race will end the twilight setting at Lewis & Clark. Our top gun is Max Kaderabek. With a personal best of 30:10.68, expect laps at 72 or 4:44 mile pace for the 6.2-mile race. This would lead to a sub-30:00 time, 29:40.0 would punch the ticket to NCAA’s! Zac Garrard leads the four middle distance runners wearing the Gonzaga jersey in the metric mile. Garrard has been nursing an Achilles tendon but knows this is his last chance to move on to the elite NCAA round in Austin. If he can hold together, Garrard has a chance to crack 3:44.50 which should be the number that moves him on.
Looks like it will be back to rainy weather and hoping to avoid the wind. Excellent fields bode well for PRs and season’s bests. I am anticipating strong performances from all, but looking most closely at the 5000 where Jess is looking to attack her school record, Jordan is ready for a great race after a slow start, and Katy is chasing a sub-17 mark for the first time. In the 1500, Claren has been looking really good lately and hoping for a dip down into the 4:30s for her. In the 800, looking for GU career ending PRs for Emily and Molly. And, Bri is chasing school records in the 400 and 200. Lots of good things can and will happen!



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