EUGENE—The Gonzaga men’s and women’s teams both placed second behind host Oregon at the annual Bill Dellinger Invitational meet held on Pre’s Trails at Alton Baker Park late Friday afternoon.
On a very warm day in Eugene, the Zag women had four runners in the top ten, led by 2014 NCAA track qualifier Shelby Mills (above,far left/photo courtesy University of Oregon), who was third over the 6k course in 20:31.
Amelia Evans was fourth in 20:31, followed by Jordan Thurston in sixth (20:55), and Julie Henling in ninth (21:22). Olivia Evans was the Bulldogs’ fifth runner in 14th at 22:16.
Oregon won the women’s team title with 23 points, followed by Gonzaga with 35 and Portland Sate with 78.
"It was a very dusty race," GU women's cross country Head Coach Patty Ley said. "There was lots of dirt on the legs, the face and in the teeth. But, it was really fun to watch the women run a strong controlled race. It was an awesome sight to see two Ducks and two Zags kicking down the last 100 meters. Amelia and Shelby shared the load and kept each other in the lead pack. Both felt they had never fully extended themselves and just got beat over the last few meters.
Alli Cash of Oregon won the individual title, running 20:28, followed by teammate Waverly Neer, who ran 20:30.
The men’s race was dominated by the Ducks, who scored a perfect 15 over the 8k course, led by reigning NCAA champ Edward Cheserek, who ran 24:27.
Matthew Crichlow was the first Zag across the line in sixth in 24:25, followed by teammate Troy Fraley in seventh in 24:49.
Freshman Scott Kopczynski was tenth in 25:24, followed by Kyle Branch in 12th (25:30), and Andy Thomas in 13th (25:39).
Gonzaga scored 46, with Portland State third with 85 points.
"The Zag men ran very tough," Director of Gonzaga Cross Country Pat Tyson said. "The temperatures were in the 90's. There were gnats hatching and flying along Pre's trails by the millions. There was also bark dust fouling the air. But, the Zag harriers mixed it up with sixth-ranked Oregon! As I said after the WSU meet, this is a very good Gonzaga team. We are going to continue to get better. We shadowed a great Oregon team and I am proud of the Men of Gonzaga!"
Gonzaga hosts the Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley next Saturday, which will also serve as the preview meet for the West Coast Conference championship which the Zags will host on October 31st.
Gonzaga’s recap is available here; the complete results of the Bill Dellinger Invitational are available here.
NOTE: The sports information offices of Gonzaga University and the University of Oregon contributed to this report.