Thurston Runs to All-Conference Finish at WCC Championships
Oct. 28, 2016
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Gonzaga women's cross country's Jordan Thurston ran to an All-West Coast Conference finish at Tecolote Shores Park Friday.
Thurston paced the GU women with fourth-place finish. She finished the 6,000-meter course at 20:58.7. It's the junior's second straight All-Conference finish after placing seventh at last year's WCC Championships in Spokane with a time of 21:20.4. Thurston is the seventh All-WCC Bulldog runner under women's Head Coach Patty Ley.
As a team, the GU women placed fourth with 139 points. The Portland women rallied for the conference title. The Pilots edged out BYU by two points, 42-44. San Francisco was close behind with 47 points. Portland's Lauren Larocco led for the majority of the race, crossing the line in first at 20:27.8.
Jessica Mildes and Katy Culver followed in 29th and 30th. Mildes crossed the line at 22:25.0, just ahead of Culver's time of 22:25.6. Julie Henling was 42nd at 23:09.2, while freshman Lauren Bourgeois rounded out the Zags' scoring in 49th. She finished her first WCC Championships at 23:28.4.
“What a day here in San Diego,” Ley said. “Jordan came from seventh to fourth over the last 800. For a kid who told me she was too slow to sprint as a freshman, she sure got after it today. The ladies ran exceptionally well over the last 1,500 meters to overtake LMU and garner that fourth place finish. They have developed each meet and this was a very good team performance that shows that development.
“Katy ran a very strong race moving up to Jess and then both worked together to maintain position and catch a couple of key points. Julie kept surging and pushing throughout and picked up valuable places as well. Olivia stepped in a hole early and fought through, but was personally disappointed. She will be back at regionals. Overall it was a good day, continuing to work at becoming a consistent contender. But, this is a year that is exceptional on the women's side of the conference with three awesome teams who are going to make a mark at the national level this year.”
On the men’s side, the GU men got out to a fast start, led after the first split, was second at the second split, was in the top three for the majority of the race, before placing fourth. The Zags placed in the top four for the fifth straight season.
Dillon Quintana led Gonzaga with a 16th place finish. He crossed the line at 25:04.6, just four seconds off of All-WCC honorable mention pace. It was a new personal record for the redshirt junior over an 8K course by nearly 17 seconds.
Max Kaderabek wasn’t far behind in 25th place at 25:22.3. Jake Perrin and Sumner Goodwin were 30th and 31st. Perrin ran his first conference championships as a freshman with a time of 25:34.4. Goodwin’s time was 25:40.7. Kellen Manley placed 36th at 26:00.0.
BYU placed five runners in the top seven to ease to defend its conference title. The Cougars’ 24-point total beat out Portland’s 45. San Francisco was third at 92. Gonzaga had 123 points.
“BYU and Portland showed why they are two of the Top-10 teams in America,” Director of GU Cross Country Pat Tyson said. “San Francisco had the individual winner, thus a one-point start to their team total, which was the difference. We got out and mixed it up early in the slow tempo first 2K start, and then BYU and Portland went to work.
“Dillon shadowed the lead pack for 5K and still hung on to be our top finisher. Max said he was a bit flat, but still solid as our number two runner. Jake gained valuable experience as a freshman today. Ultimately, we had greater expectations, but my take is this was the toughest WCC meet in history! We are a young team with everyone, but Ian Goldizen, back plus Troy Fraley for the WCC Championships next season in San Francisco. Not trying to get too far away though, as our 11th-ranked NCAA West Regional team will head to Sacramento to attempt to crack into the top 10. I really like this team! I really believe in this team!”
Gonzaga heads to the NCAA West Regionals on Nov. 11, in Sacramento, Calif. Live video and results from Haggin Oaks Golf Course will be available on GoZags.com.
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