Zags Split Squads at Pre-Nationals and Inland Empire

Oct. 12, 2017

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Gonzaga women's and men's cross country teams will be breaking up their teams at the NCAA Pre-Nationals and Inland Empire Classic Saturday.

Seven Zag men, along with Jordan Thurston from the GU women's team, will represent the Bulldogs at the Pre-Nationals at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The course is home to the NCAA Championships again this season.

Thurston was a part of Gonzaga's historic 25th place finish at the 2015 National Championships in Louisville. She returns to the 6,000-meter course where she ran a 21:08.8 in the Zags' first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships. Jessica Mildes also makes the trip back, this time as an assistant coach, after she led GU with a 21:06.6 finish in 2015.

Phillip Fishburn, Bennett Gagnon, Peter Hogan, Max Kaderabek, Scott Kopcynski, Jake Perrin and Dillon Quintana will run for the Bulldog men at Tom Sawyer State Park. Gonzaga is coming off of a fifth place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Sept. 29. Perrin was 31st with a time of 24:13.2. Kaderabek crossed the line at 24:20.1 in 39th place. Hogan (24:24.1) and Gagnon (24:25.3) placed 42nd and 44th.

"Even with three veterans sidelined, I feel really good about our seven traveling to Louisville this weekend," Director of GU Cross Country Pat Tyson said. "These guys are ready to roll for the Zags! I'm so thankful for our depth!"

Thurston led the Zag women with a 39th place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. She finished with a time of 20:11.0. The senior placed sixth at last year's Pre-Nationals at 21:07.5, just 19 seconds behind first-place finisher. Kaderabek, Perrin and Quintana all ran for the GU men at the Pre-Nationals last season in Indiana.

"We will run the rest of our runners down in Lewiston at the Inland Empire Classic," Tyson said. "From these meets it will be our goal to see who we assemble to run in the West Coast Conference Championships in Oakland, Calif., two weeks from Friday!"

The Inland Empire Classic's field includes Lewis-Clark State, Washington State, Idaho, Calgary, Montana, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Spokane Falls, Eastern Oregon, Northwest Christian, Idaho State and Providence (Mont.).

The races will be run at the Lewiston Orchards once again this year in Lewiston, Idaho. This is the seventh appearance in the event for Gonzaga. The Zag men won the team titles in 2014 and 2015. Last year, GU placed second. Amanda Kiefer paced the Bulldog 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.

The men's race in Louisville begins at 7 a.m. Pacific Time. Thurston will follow at 7:45 a.m. Live video will be available from FloTrack on The Inland Empire Classic's women's 5K starts at 11 a.m., with the men's 8K after at 11:45.



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