Gonzaga Ends First Meet with Seven Top 10 Finishes
Sept. 1, 2015
COLFAX, Wash. -- The Gonzaga women's and men's cross country teams opened their 2015 seasons at the Clash of the Inland Northwest Tuesday. The Zag men placed five runners in the top 10, while the women were led by fifth and the sixth place finishes from Julie Henling and Amelia Evans.
Troy Fraley was seven seconds from a first place finish over the 6,000-meter course, leading GU by crossing the line in second. The junior's time of 17:42.13, was just behind Lewis-Clark State's Sam Atkin's 17:35.17.
The Bulldogs' Matthew Crichlow came in fifth at 18:00.74. Scott Kopczynski opened his promising collegiate career with a time of 18:09.12. The freshman led a trio of Zags from eighth to 10th. Kyle Branch (18:12.13) and Vince Hamilton (18:12.50) placed ninth and 10th.
"We had five guys in the top 10 in an early season 6K tempo workout," Director of Gonzaga Cross Country and Track Pat Tyson said. "I'm pleased with the Men of Gonzaga. Troy ran tough up front and Matt Crichlow led a wave of Blue and White Zag jerseys. It all followed a hard week of training in challenging conditions caused by the horrific fires. This is a good team that beat a very good young Washington State team!"
Henling's fifth place time was 13:58.95 on the 4,000-meter course. Evans was right behind at 14:05.06. Olivia Evans crossed the line in 15th with a time of 14:29.75. Idaho's Kinsey Gomez won the women's race at 13:40.33.
"Great to get a meet in today," GU women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. "We are platooning our top ladies a bit, and with some having classes today, we left a number at home. That gave some ladies a chance to step up and compete. Julie led that group, and she has been the story already this year. She finished as our number one, just in front of Amelia Evans, who was excited to have another teammate joining the front pack.
"Olivia Evans, Megan Chucka and Claren Fraher also ran nice openers and have shown improvement from last year. Our newcomers were led by Kelly Gilbert who was our number four. While we didn't win any of the duals, we kept the scores relatively close. I was pleased that our `second tier' stayed competitive, and are showing great growth as we strive to build a program that is excellent year-after-year."
The Zags have the Bill Dellinger Invitational up next hosted by the University of Oregon. The races will take place at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, Ore., on Sept. 11. The women's 6,000-meter race begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 6:55.
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