Merchad Finishes 10th As Aggie Men Win At Willamette; Women Take Fourth

Oct. 3, 2004

SALEM, Ore. - Senior Will Merchad finished 10th overall leading three Aggies in the top 20 places and helping UC Davis to the team title at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Saturday at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore.

Freshman Kim Conley had her best race of the season for the UC Davis women, placing 10th over the 5-kilometer course and helping the women take fourth in the team standings. Both Aggie teams were racing consecutive weekends for the first time this season.

The men scored 70 points to edge Team XO, which was second with 72. Portland State was third, Washington placed fourth and Gonzaga was fifth. Idaho captured the women's race with 26 points while UC Davis was fourth with 149.

Merchad was timed in 24 minutes, 33.87 seconds on the 8-kilometer layout at Bush's Pasture Park as UC Davis had just a 20-second gap from its first through fifth runners. Jorge Murrillo was 16th overall in 24:42.26, Tony Ahr had perhaps his finest race as an Aggie and took 18th in 24:49.09 and Tim Helms was 22nd in 24:53.40. Matt Cooley closed the door for UC Davis, finishing 23rd in 24:53.93.

"The men ran outstanding," said head coach Jason Jaques. "They talked about putting the game plan down and going at it, and they enacted it. Our goal was to enact the game plan and close the gap from our first to fifth runners and we did that. Mission accomplished."

Freshman Patrick Parsel was 32nd in 25:00 while Chris Ferren-Cirino was 42nd in 25:09.21 as the Aggies placed their top seven runners in the top 50.

Conley, a true freshman for the Aggie women, picked off several runners down the stretch for her best finish of the year and helping UC Davis to fourth place. She was timed in 17:29.15 nearly a minute faster than her closest team.



Jaques said the UC Davis did not have the kind of day they were hoping for, but that Conley definitely shined.

"We did have a highlight with Kim Conley," he said. "She went for it, gunned it, held onto it and was able to finish."

Michelle Solone was 41st overall for UC Davis, finishing in 18:24.24, Eva Gut placed 44th in 18:31.70 and Lorin Scott was 45th in 18:35.48. Freshman Sarah Stacionis was 54th in 18:51.85 as UC Davis' fifth scorer.

Paul Kezes of Team XO won the men's race in 23:59.30 while Mary Kamau of Idaho finished first in the women's in 17:06.15.

UC Davis returns to action on Oct. 15 at the Sacramento State Open.

Bush's Pasture Park
Salem, Oregon


TEAM (Top 5): 1. UC DAVIS, 70; 2. Team XO, 72; 3. Portland State, 105; 4. Washington, 124; 5. Gonzaga, 169.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (winner plus UC Davis): 1. Paul Kezes, Team XO, 23:59.30... 10. Will Merchad, 24:33.87; 16. Jorge Murillo, 24:42.26; 18. Tony Ahr, 24:49.09; 22. Tim Helms, 24:53.40; 23. Matt Colley, 24:53.93; 32. Patrick Parsel, 25:00.50; 42. Chris Ferren-Cirino, 25:09.21; 63. K.C. Cody, 25:38.13; 124. Will Moroskji, 26:43.91; 133. Dylan Haas, 27:00.21; 151. Mike Weber, 27:35.23


TEAM (Top 5): 1. Idaho, 26; 2. Washington, 38; 3. Nevada, 130; 4. UC DAVIS, 149; 5. Oregon State, 159.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS(winner plus UC Davis): 1. Mary Kamau, Idaho, 17:06.15... 10. Kim Conley, 17:29.15; 41. Michelle Solone, 18:24.24; 44. Eva Gut, 18:31.70; 45. Lorin Scott, 18:35.48; 54. Sarah Stacionis, 18:51.85; 68. Erna Forgo, 19:02.09; 82. Katie Sheldon, 19:13.77; 84. Kelsey Kaiser, 19:19.19; 95. Carolyn Menard, 19:36.01; 121. Erica Gallegos, 20:17.58.