Thurston Places Sixth at NCAA Pre-Nationals
Oct. 15, 2016
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Jordan Thurston continued her phenomenal season for Gonzaga women's cross country with a sixth place finish at the NCAA Pre-Nationals at the LeVern Gibson Cross Country Course Saturday.
Competing against some of the nation’s best, Thurston had her first-place unbeaten streak come to an end, but had an impressive finish nonetheless. She finished the 6,000-meter course at 21:07.5, just 19 seconds behind first-place finisher Annemarie Schwanz of Fresno State. Thurston, which led the race early, now has three first-place finishes and a sixth place finish at a national meet heading into the West Coast Conference Championships.
“Well Jordan's string of wins was broken, but still a great race from her,” GU women’s Head Coach Patty Ley said. “She was with the lead until about 4,500 meters when it strung out a bit. We will be working on covering that little surge and some quicker work. But, I’m pleased with her race. She is fired up and wants more. She really knows there is more to her, which is really fun to hear and see that.”
Jessica Mildes was the next finisher for the Zag women in 40th place. The senior crossed the line at 22:13.1. The Gonzaga women came in 14th place. Katy Culver was 66th place at 22:35.3, while Olivia Evans (22:56.8) and Julie Henling (23:13.4) placed 88th and 106th.
“Jessica was pretty flat today and just struggled to turn over, but she battled throughout,” Ley said. “I saw solid racing today with each of the ladies engaged throughout looking for more bodies to pass. Katy and Lauren (Bourgeois) were especially active passing and moving from group to group. Olivia continues to come on well in the last third of the race.”
The GU men had an unlucky day with a 31st place outcome. Scott Kopczynski and Sumner Goodwin both failed to finish due to injuries suffered in the race, while Kellen Manley had his bib ripped off during a fall that ended in him getting spiked up by other cleats. Manley managed to finish the race in 222nd at 26:15.6.
Max Kaderabek once again led the Bulldog men. He finished with a time of 24:59.1 in 62nd place. Dillon Quintana came in 122nd place at 25:24.7. Jake Perrin was 127th, crossing the line at 25:26.7, and Kyle Thompson finished the race at 26:25.5 in 229th place.
“Max aced it today,” Director of GU Cross Country Pat Tyson said. “We had some injuries in Terre Haute. Kellen went down in the first 600 meters with spike wounds, but managed to finish! Goodwin went down at 2K mark in a collision and hurt his back. Then, Kopczynski went down at 6K with knee pain. I've never had a team with so much bad luck! But, we still beat Nebraska, Utah Valley, Arizona State, Harvard, Iowa, Indiana State, Lehigh, North Texas, Bowling Green and Youngstown State. We have to find some positive!”
In Lewiston, Idaho, at the Inland Empire Championships, the Gonzaga men came in second led by a sixth place finish from Quentin Purtzer. He finished the 8k course at 24:31. Ian Goldizen was close behind in eighth among Div. I runners at 24:48. Henry Morris was 14th with a time of 25:09. Sammy Truax and Zac Garrard rounded out the Zag scoring in 19th and 22nd at 25:16 and 25:21.
Amanda Kiefer paced the GU women with a 22nd-place finish among Div. I runners. She finished the 5k course with a time of 18:34, easily breaking her personal record over that distance. Kate Wagner was right behind in 23rd at 18:37. Megan Glenski’s time of 18:50 placed her 28th. Elena Slavoski (19:04) and Jenny Albrecht (19:06) were 31st and 32nd.
As a team, the Bulldog women were fifth. Idaho edged out Montana for the team title.
“We were fortunate to have a perfect running weather day in Lewiston, no wind, cool, and the rain held off,” Gonzaga women’s assistant coach Rachel Jaten said. “We were looking forward to this meet because the course is fast and the race comes at a good time in the season to hit some personal records. Of our 16 Lady Zags, 13 had 5k cross country PR's. This was our focus as our top-seven were competing in Indiana. Kate won the biggest PR award today beating her previous best time by a minute and 16 seconds. Of our Div. 1 rivals we finished fifth place, yet had the smallest time gap from our first to fifth runner. Overall, it was a great day!”
Gonzaga begins postseason action with the West Coast Conference Championships on Oct. 28. This year’s conference championship will be run at Tecolote State Park in San Diego, Calif. The women’s 6k race starts at 10 a.m., followed by the men’s 8k at 11 a.m.
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