West Regional: RecapNovember 10, 2007

Willamette University dominated the 2007 NCAA III West Regional Cross Country Championships Saturday at McIver State Park in Estacada. Despite weather forecasts calling for a complete washout of the day, the race was run under almost ideal conditions with sunny skies and race time temps hovering near 50 degrees. The course did have soft footing after overnight rain showers, but otherwise it was ideal conditions, as the quick times posted by the leaders attest to.

On the women's side, defending national champion, Willamette's Sarah Zerzan, led the entire way, finishing with a 20:51.65. Zerzan's was the fastest time in West Regional history as well as setting a new course record for the McIver course. This was the third straight victory at the West Regional for Zerzan, making her the third women to win three-straight West Regionals. Willamette teammate Maddie Coffman finished second with a time of 21:40.85. Puget Sound's Kenna Patrick was third (21:41.80). Amanda Phillips of host-school Lewis & Clark was fourth (21:42.85) and Puget Sound's Brittany Hodgson rounded out the top-five with a mark of 21:53.10.

For the women's team title, Willamette cruised to their fifth-straight title, with 43 points. All seven of their runners earned West-Region honors, finishing in the top-35 among individuals. Puget Sound earned the other automatic bid to the National Championships, placing second with 86 points.

The seven individual qualifiers for the NCAA III National Cross County Championships who were not members of the two winning teams were Lewis & Clark's Amanda Phillips, Pomona-Pitzer's Alicia Freese, Pacific (Ore.)'s Kelsey Owens, Lewis & Clark's Tmma Carleton, Linfield's Marci Klimek, Claremont's Evelyn Ross, and Colorado College's Jocelyn Jenks.

On the men's side, the West Region crowned a new champion as Occidental's Kevin Chaves finished ahead of defending champion Julian Boggs of Colorado College to win the race. Chaves finished with a time of 24:34.85, the third-fastest time in NCAA III West Regional Championship history. It has been 12 years since the West Regional had a repeat champion. Boggs finished second with a mark of 24:46.25. His teammate from CC, Alex Nichols, was third with a time of 24:54.75. Occidental's Alex Ramon was fourth with a 24:59.35. Ian Batch of Willamette was fifth with 25:04.65.

Willamette's men wrapped up the team title with 50 points. Just like the women, all seven Willamette runners finished in the top-35, earning All-Region honors. Willamette's final runner finished 19th overall in the field of 96 runners. Occidental earned the other team invitation to the National Championships with 72 points. Colorado College was third with 86 points.

The seven individual qualifiers for the NCAA III National Cross Country Championships who were not members of the two winning teams were Julian Boggs of Colorado College, Alex Nichols of Colorado College, Kiran Moorty of Colorado College, Francis Reynolds of Puget Sound, Shawn Pollard of Linfield, Nicholas Gallagher of Whitworth, and Harrison Wilson of Linfield.

The 2007 Men's and Women's NCAA III Cross Country National Championships will take place on Saturday, November 17, at the Skoglund Athletic Fields in Northfield, Minnesota. Additional at-large qualifiers and the official field for the race will be announced Sunday, November 11.

-Courtesy Lewis and Clark