Idaho's Butterworth, Gonzaga's Mills Fall In Steeplechase Semis - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Idaho's Butterworth, Gonzaga's Mills Fall In Steeplechase Semis At Nationals

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Shelby Mills was the first Zag to ever compete at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. Shelby Mills was the first Zag to ever compete at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Mills 21st As First Zag Ever At Nationals

by Gonzaga Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. – Shelby Mills made history for Gonzaga University Thursday. The redshirt sophomore became the first Zag to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, and placed 21st in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Mills crossed the line at historic Hayward Field at 10:39.23. She finished 11th in the second heat. Entering the event, Mills has the 22nd-fastest seed time in the 24-runner field, and the 11th-best in her heat. The second of the two heats produced the top five times in the 24-runner field. The top five times from each heat, along with the two fastest remaining times, advanced to Saturday's national final.

North Dakota State's Erin Teschuk had the fastest semifinal time at 9:53.93. Courtney Frerichs of Missouri-Kansas City had the second-best time at 9:54.07. Florida State's Colleen Quigley entered with the best seed time in the second heat (9:38.24); she finished at 9:54.12 Thursday. Michigan State's Leah O'Connor has the best seed time in the field at 9:35.33. She placed first in the opening heat at 9:55.58, the sixth-fastest overall in the semifinals.

In Austin, Texas, at the NCAA West Preliminary Round on May 29, Mills broke her own program record with a time of 10:11.37. She finished fourth in the second heat, and qualified with one of the top 12 times in the 48-runner field. The Snohomish, Wash. native was not an automatic qualifier from her heat, but she had the third fastest at-large time.

“Kind of a rough one today,” GU women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. “I think she was just overwhelmed by all of it. Sometimes being the first can be pretty hard. It will always be easier in the future. She is really tired too. It has been a long year of awesome performance after awesome performance, and today she carried the Gonzaga banner with honor. She is disappointed, but will bounce back.”

Going into the preliminaries, Mills had the 14th-best seed time at 10:18.42, the fourth fastest in her heat. Earlier this season, she shattered the program's previous school record by nearly 30 seconds at the Mt. SAC Relays.

“I'm very, very proud of her,” Ley said. “She has handled herself with grace and poise throughout the year. Sometimes when the climb has been so steep it can be pretty scary to look back. She will see things in perspective soon. So very blessed she is a Zag!”

Butterworth Places 19th At Nationals

by Idaho Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. - University of Idaho senior Alycia Butterworth finished 19th in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

Butterworth, from Parksville, B.C., finished in 10 minutes, 28.94 seconds as she wrapped up her collegiate career by advancing to the NCAA finale. North Dakota State's Erin Teschuk had the fastest qualifying time for Saturday's final with a 9:53.93. The five fastest times came from the second heat - the one into which Butterworth was seeded. The last time to qualify was 10:10.74 by New Hampshire's Elinor Purrier.

"I think I let nerves get to me," said Butterworth, who also said she felt out-of-sorts throughout her warm up. "I wasn't as calm as I wanted."

Once there was separation in the race from the frontrunners, staying in contention during the windy afternoon made the race even more difficult.

"They spread out quickly," coach Tim Cawley said. "Being stuck in no-man's land is made tougher when you're alone because of the wind."

Butterworth, who earned honorable mention All-American status, said that was a factor, but didn't use it as an excuse.

"I didn't have as much pep and bounce as I usually do," she said. "It just didn't go my way."

Still, Cawley said, "I was proud of her. She went out and gave it everything she had."

3000m National Championship Steeplechase Semifinals

 NameYrSchoolTime Heat (Place)   
1Erin TeschukJRNorth Dakota State9:53.93Q2 (1)   
2Courtney FrerichsJRUMKC9:54.07Q2 (2)   
3Colleen QuigleyJRFlorida State9:54.12Q2 (3)   
4Marisa HowardSRBoise State9:54.25Q2 (4)   
5Rachel JohnsonSRBaylor9:54.52Q2 (5)   
6Leah O'ConnorSRMichigan State9:55.58Q1 (1)   
7Emily RitterSRRider9:55.89Q1 (2)   
8Laura Rose DoneganSONew Hampshire9:58.95Q1 (3)   
9Maddie Van BeekSRNorth Dakota State9:58.97Q1 (4)   
10Victoria VoronkoSREastern Michigan9:59.09Q1 (5)   
11Heather DemorestSRMontana State10:04.43q1 (6)   
12Elinor PurrierSONew Hampshire10:10.74q2 (6)   
13Madelin TalbertJRLipscomb10:14.25 2 (7)   
14Tori GerlachJRPenn State10:14.79 1 (7)   
15Erin ClarkFRColorado10:15.83 1 (8)   
16Cornelia GriescheJRMiss State10:19.36 2 (8)   
17Katelyn GreenleafJRAlabama10:21.85 2 (9)   
18Sofie GalleinJREastern Michigan10:27.05 1 (9)   
19Alycia ButterworthSRIdaho10:28.94 2 (10)   
20Shannon KlenkeSRArkansas10:30.51 1 (10)   
21Shelby MillsSOGonzaga10:39.23 2 (11)   
22Elizabeth BirdSOPrinceton10:51.92 2 (12)   
 Jessica KamilosJRArkansasDNS 1,   
 Ingeborg LoevnesJROklahoma StateDNS 1,
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