SPRINGFIELD, Oregon--Walla Walla native Aaron Nelson (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) was a surprising winner of the men's 8k race at the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon at the Springfield Golf Club.
After staying with the lead pack, Nelson pulled away from heralded Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek, and multiple All-Americans Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson to win in a time of 23:55 over the 8,000-meter course.
The host Ducks took the team title with 32 points, ahead of a surprising Boise State squad in second with 39 points, followed by the Huskies in third at 87 points.
Former Seattle Prep standout Drew O'Donoghue-McDonald, competing for Boise State, finished seventh, just ahead of Gonzaga's Willie Milam, as they both clocked 24:23.
The next group of Huskies all came across in a pack between the 25th and 30th spots. Junior Aaron Beattie was first up in 25th-place in 24:48. Sophomore Tyler King was four seconds after Beattie in 26th. Sophomore Meron Simon was 28th in 24:56, then the freshman duo of Andrew Gardner and Sumner Goodwin finished 29th and 30th in 24:57 and :58. Redshirt freshman Blake Nelson (33), sophomore Jacob Smith (35), and sophomore Tim Cummings (37) all had top-40 finishes as well.
Washington’s depth was even more impressive than its final score indicated, as two unattached Huskies also finished in the top-20. Sophomore Izaic Yorks was 15th overall in a time of 24:36, and true freshman Colby Gilbert was 20th in 24:43.
For the Zags, Nick Roche in 17th (24:40), Kyle Branch in 42nd (25:15), Troy Fraley in 45th (25:23), and Matt Crichlow in 50th (25:31) rounded out their scorers, as they finished fifth with 121 points.
According to the release from Gonzaga University, their two best runners, senior Brent Felnagle and sophomore Conor McCandless, have been ruled out for the WCC championship meet. They have been sidelined all fall with injuries and will redshirt according to coach Pat Tyson.
SeattleU was tenth in the 11-team field with 274 points, led by Gus Arroyo's 72nd place finish in 26:08.
Courtesy of media partner RunnerSpace.com, here's a video interview with Nelson:
In the women's 5k race, the collegians were surprised by Camas HS junior Alexa Efraimson, as the bronze medalist in the 1500m at the IAAF World Youth Championships this summer out kicked Boise State's Emma Bates to win in 16:35.
Competing in her first race in a Washington uniform, freshman Amy-Eloise Neale took third in 16:48, followed by Katie Flood in fifth in 16:54.
Katie Knight and Maddie Meyers went 9-10 in 17:06, followed by Gonzaga alum Lindsey Drake in 11th in 17:09.
Eleanor Fulton rounded out the Washington scorers in 13th in 17:18, as the Dawgs took the team title ahead of Oregon, 30-52, with Boise State third at 63.
Gonzaga was seventh with 186 points, led by Lauren Bergam's 24th place finish in 17:39.
SeattleU was eighth with 223 points, as senior Lauren Hammerle led the Redhawks across the line in 40th place in a time of 17:59.
In Salem, Oregon, the Seattle Pacific women took second in the 5K Cardinal race at the Charles Bowles Invitational hosted by Willamette University with 94 points, just behind defending GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage, who scored a low of 34 points.
The Falcons were led by Sarah Macdonald's 12th place finish in 18:23, followed by Anna Patti in 13th at 18:25.
Whitworth was sixth with 139 points, with the University of Puget Sound ninth at 225. Whitman was 11th at 327 points, while Pacific Lutheran was 14th at 398, and Saint Martin's 17th in the 18-team field with 541.
Michaela Freeby of Willamette won the race in 17:31.
In the men's Cardinal 8k race, Alaska Anchorage took the team title in a runaway, scoring 30 points.
The University of Puget Sound was fifth with 162, with Seattle Pacific ninth at 231, Whithworth 13th at 299, Saint Martin's 14th at 300, and Pacific Lutheran 16th with 388 points.
PLU's Alan DenAdel finished eighth in 25:04, while Joshua Seekatz was UPS's top runner in 11th at 25:16.
Turner Wiley led Seattle Pacific in 16th at 25:29.
NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, Seattle University, and Willamette University contributed to this report.