Friday, June 9, 2017

Gonzaga's Troy Fraley continues historic run by becoming first Bulldog track All-American in steeple...

EUGENE—On yet another cloudy and cool day at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, Gonzaga junior Troy Fraley (above/photo by Mike Scott) became the first Bulldog in school history to earn an All-American certificate in track and field, as he finished seventh in the steeplechase at the NCAA Division I championships Friday.

Fraley broke his own school record that he set at last month’s Payton Jordan Invitational, as he ran 8:35.38, improving from the 8:39.30 he ran at the Stanford meet.

Fraley spent most of the 7.5-lap race in the middle of the pack, before joining in on very quick final lap. Louisville's Edwin Kibichiy eased to the national title with a time of 8:28.40, the fastest collegiate time this season. Georgetown's Darren Fahy was second at 8:31.08.

"A new school record! Troy made Zag Nation proud!”, said Gonzaga head coach Pat Tyson.  “He was happy, but not satisfied, he wants more! He fought hard and ran tough. Troy opens the door for Gonzaga men and women distance running to enter the national scene conversation! We are so excited in Eugene! Tears of joy by teammates, alumni, and those that comprise the Zag Nation! “

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers finished sixth in the 400 in his final race as a member of the University of Oregon track team, running 45.28 out of lane 8, as Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley ran 44.10 to take the crown.

Earlier in the meet, he ran the anchor on Oregon’s 4 x 100 relay team that finished sixth in 38.81, as Houston won in 38.34.

"It wasn't one of my best races," Chambers said. "It was just a learning experience, and I've got to move on. I did what I could do. I did what my body could do. No complaints; I gave it everything I had."

In the men’s 5000 finals, Colbert native John Dressel of Colorado finished eighth in 14:38.40, as the first mile was covered in a hair under 5:20, a very pedestrian pace for a championship race.

While Dressel ran 58.14 on the last lap, it didn’t really matter, as Stanford’s Grant Fisher dropped the hammer in the last 800, running 1:58.68, capped off by a last 400 of 55.76.

Seattle Prep grad Joe Hardy, who runs for the University of Wisconsin, was 15th in a time 14:43.50.

In the first day of the heptathlon, Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson stands twelfth wth a four-event score of 3251 points.

She ran 14.24 in the 100 hurdles, high jumped 5-4.25 (1.63m), threw the shot 38-2.75 (11.65m) and ran the 200 in 24.89.

Defending champion Kendell Williams from Georgia scored 3743 points to take the lead after the first day.

Brooks-Johnson resumes the heptathlon competition at 11:30 am.

Also competing in Saturday’s finale are Amy-Eloise Neale of Washington in the 1500 at 3:41 pm, and Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon in the 800 finals at 4:44pm. Feldmeier is listed on Oregon’s 4 x 400 relay, which ends the meet at 5:51pm and could be called upon.

NOTE:  The NCAA, Gonzaga University, and the University of Oregon contributed to this report.

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