Former Cal State star excelling at Queens

For four years at Cal State San Bernardino, Tanya Zeferjahn of Hesperia was called the best cross country runner in the history of the Coyotes program.

Now, she can be called national champion.

This past Friday, Zeferjahn – competing for Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., — captured the NCAA Division II 10,000 meter championship with a time of 35:38.46, finishing four seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

Sarah Waple, director of sports information for Queens, said Zeferjahn was the 10th seed in the field of 18 runners.

“Zeferjahn ran an even pace with a pack of 12 through the first 5,000 meters. The pack then was paired down to five over the next 3000 meters. When Kimi Shank of Missouri-Southern pulled away with 800 meters to go, Zeferjahn responded to her move.

“It wasn’t until the bell lap with 400 meters remaining that Zeferjahn took control of the race with a surge that saw her quickly open up a two-second gap on Shank. Zeferjahn was then able to solidly secure her first NCAA national title with a closing 35-second 200 meter kick to win…” Shank was timed in 35:42.93. Tori Tyler and Alia Gray of Chico State finished fourth and sixth in the event respectively.

Zeferjahn also qualified in the 5,000 meters but elected not to run after her big win in the 10,000.

Zeferjahn was an all-American for the Coyotes in 2004, finishing among the top 30 runners as the first woman to reach the NCAA Division II cross country national championship meet since cross country begat at CSUSB in 1984.

She is a graduate student at Queens, working toward her master’s degree in business administration.

Last month at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, PA., Zeferjahn finished eighth in the 10,000 meters in 35:36.23, but more importantly, she eclipsed the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying standard for the national championship meet by 14 seconds (35.50).

Earlier this year, Zeferjahn won the Carolinas Conference 10,000 meter run to earn all-conference honors. She  was also named the Southeast Region Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association.

Zeferjahn graduated from CSUSB in 2006 after setting team records at 5,000 meters (18:28.1) and 6,000 meters (21:59). She earned all-CCAA conference honors three times, NCAA all-West Region honors four times and was an NCAA all-American in 2004, finishing 28th in the national championship meet.

She was the CSUSB athletic department’s co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice, maintaining a 3.89 grade point average in business administration with an emphasis in environmental management. She was twice an ESPN-The Magazine/CoSIDA District 8 academic all-region first team selection in track/cross country and was an NCAA Division II Track& Cross Country Coaches Assn. scholastic all-American.

Zeferjahn is a 2002 graduate of Hesperia High School. Her parents are Randy and Debbie Zeferjahn

Share this

Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Former UCR coach honored

Former UC Riverside Head Volleyball Coach Sue Gozansky, who retired last fall after nearly four decades as the face of Highlanders volleyball, was honored this week with the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in the Donald S. Shondell Contemporary Division for 2009.

In the letter informing Gozansky of her selection, Cecile Reynaud, chair of the nominating committee, wrote:

 “Your coaching career has been nothing short of remarkable over the last 39 years . . . Your services as a long time FIVB instructor, your publications contributing to the knowledge of coaches at all levels, and your national championships at the University of California Riverside set you apart from many others in the coaching profession. Your qualities in leading young women and setting a great examples as a positive role model have truly been appreciated. You have dedicated a large part of your life giving back to our sport, and it has not gone unrecognized by your coaching peers or players.”

The award was presented at the USA Volleyball meetings in Minneapolis at the 64th Annual Boyce Awards Banquet.

Share this

Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Long Beach State wins Commisioner’s Cup; UCR sixth

Long Beach State has won the 2008-09 Big West Conference Commissioner’s Cup.  The Cup is the second for the 49er program in the 11-year history of the Cup.  The 49ers won four conference titles and averaged 110 points over the 14 conference sports in which they compete. The Cup is presented to the institution with the best overall results in the conference’s 18 sponsored sports championships.

    Cal Poly placed second in the Cup standings, the highest finish in the program’s history.  The Mustangs averaged the second-most points over the spring season which included a softball championship, a second place finish in women’s track and field and third place finishes in women’s tennis, baseball and men’s track and field.

    UC Irvine placed third for the second consecutive year.  The Anteaters won titles in men’s soccer and baseball and also won the inaugural women’s water polo tournament title.  The Anteaters also had second place finishes in men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and men’s golf.

    Despite four conference crowns, UC Santa Barbara placed fourth in the 2008-09 standings, its lowest finish in the history of the Cup.  UC Davis placed fifth, its highest finish and won a conference title in men’s golf.  UC Riverside climbed out of the cellar spot from a year ago to finish in the sixth spot this season.  The Highlanders claimed their first women’s cross country title in the fall to lead the way.

    To determine the champion for the Commissioner’s Cup, total points are summed and divided by the number of championships in which each institution competes.  Each sport champion is also given a 20-point bonus.  The Commissioner’s Cup is then awarded to the school with the highest average.

Share this

Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email