Sunday, October 11, 2015

WEEKEND RECAP: Alaska Anchorage the team to beat in GNAC after showing at WWU Invite...

Sarah Inglis of Trinity Western
won the women's 6k at the
WWU Invite Saturday
(Paul Merca photo)
If there is one certainty that came out of Saturday’s Western Washington Invitational meet at Lake Padden Park, it’s that the Alaska Anchorage cross country teams are the class of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The #5 ranked Seawolves won the men’s division of the WWU Invitational, scoring a low of 37 points, while the Alaska Anchorage women finished second to Langley’s (BC) Trinity Western University.

Over the 10k distance, the Seawolves put four runners across the line in the top seven, led by winner Henry Cheseto, who ran 31:00, five seconds up on Trinity Western’s Declan White.

Host Western Washington, which was ranked #10 in the latest USTFCCCA Division II men’s poll, finished sixth with 160 points, behind Windsor (72), Trinity Western (82), the University of Victoria (99), and GNAC rival Simon Fraser (109).

Central Washington was 11th with 306, and Saint Martin’s was last in the 14-team field with 427.

The Vikings were led by Andrew Wise, who finished 14th in 32:03.

Central’s top runner was Alex Martinez in 66th place in a time of 34:01, while Josh Hunt was 120th in 35:39.

In the women’s 6k race, Trinity Western’s Sarah Inglis, who won the invitational section of the Sundodger Invitational last month, won in a time of 20:47.

Western Washington, which was ranked #18 in the women’s USTFCCCA D2 poll, finished fourth in the 13-team field with 133 points, was led by Taylor Guenther, who was 23rd in 22:32,  Central Washington was eighth with 184 points, as All-American Dani Eggleston was 21st in 22:28.  Saint Martin’s was 12 with 301 points, led by Larissa Kolasinski in 28th in 22:48.

The Vikings will host the GNAC Championships on the same Lake Padden Park course on October 24th.

NOTE:  The sports information office of Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vikings set to host WWU Classic Saturday in what may be a preview of the GNAC champs...

WWU's Taylor Guenther
(photo courtesy WWU)
In what may be a preview of the GNAC cross country championships in two weeks, many of its member teams will converge upon Lake Padden Park for Saturday’s Western Washington Classic in Bellingham, hosted by the Vikings.

For many of the schools competing, this is an opportunity to see the course that the GNAC championship meet will be contested, but more importantly, Saturday’s showdown in Bellingham will give those teams an idea on where they stand in what is essentially the last meet before the conference championship.

On the men’s side, the field is led by Alaska Anchorage, which is ranked #5 in the most recent USTFCCCA national Division II coaches’ poll.  They’ll be joined by #12 Simon Fraser and the host Vikings, who are ranked #18.

The women’s field is led by the Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage, ranked #7 in the country, along with Western Washington, which is ranked #10.  The field also includes 2014 NCAA qualifiers Central Washington and their All-American Dani Eggleston, who were ranked nationally early in the season, but fell out of the top 25 after a poor showing at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle last month.

With the great majority of GNAC schools in the field, the most notable team that will not compete at the Western Washington Classic is Seattle Pacific, whose women’s team moved up two spots in the national rankings to #17 after a third place finish at last weekend’s Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Oregon behind only Portland State and the University of Portland.

With the chances to do some damage in the championship part of the season, SPU head coach Karl Lerum is opting for quality over quantity. He has pulled the Falcons out of appearances at the Western Washington Invitational on Saturday and at the Emerald City Classic on October 17. The team will not race again until the GNAC Championships.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Washington women move into national top-10 in USTFCCCA coaches' poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The four major meets of last weekend in the Division I ranks—Notre Dame, Washington, Louisville, and Princeton—played significant roles in determining the national rankings in the latest USTFCCCA coaches poll released Tuesday.

The Washington Huskies (above/photo by Paul Merca), based on their second place finish at their own invitational meet last Friday, moved up five spots to the #10 spot, their highest national ranking since being ranked #4 in early October 2013.

New Mexico remains the country’s #1 women’s squad, followed by Colorado, Providence, Oregon and Michigan.

Other Pac-12 squads include #9 Stanford and the Huskies.  The only other Pac-12 school receiving votes was Cal, which dropped out of the national top 30.

On the men’s side, three Pac-12 schools dominate the national top 5, led by Colorado at #1, followed by Syracuse, Oregon, Stanford and Iona.

UCLA is ranked #20, followed by #22 Cal.  They’re the only other Pac-12 teams in the national top 30.

Arizona State and the Huskies received votes, but finished outside the top 30.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Anna Patti takes second as Falcons finish third at Charles Bowles Invite...

SALEM, Oregon—Led by Anna Patti’s second place finish, the 19th ranked Seattle Pacific women’s cross country team finished third in the Cardinal section of the Charles Bowles Invitational at Bush’s Pasture Park Saturday.

Over the 5k course, Patti ran 17:36, five seconds behind Amanda Boman of Portland State, who took the lead early in the race and maintained it.

Behind Patti came a pack of five Falcons placing in the top 35—Sarah Macdonald (12, 18:06), Mary Charleston (28, 18:31), Chynna Phan (31, 18:36), Hannah Calvert (32, 18:40), and Lynelle Decker (33, 18:41).

Seattle Pacific's total of 105 points on a sunny, comfortable morning trailed only Portland State (75) and the University of Portland (100), both NCAA Division I schools.

Among the 16 teams that SPU beat in the 18-team field were Point Loma (fourth with 119 points) and Humboldt State (seventh with 163). That's significant, because they'll come up against them again on Nov. 7 in Monmouth, Ore, at the NCAA Division II West Regionals. On that day, the top five placers will earn trips to Missouri for the D2 nationals on November 21.

"That was super important today. We've got to beat good teams to get ourselves to the NCAA Championships,” said SPU assistant coach Audra Smith. "That has been our goal since we stepped on campus in the beginning of September. We had a handful of girls who had massive PRs – that is so encouraging.”

In the men’s 8k race, Seattle Pacific finished tenth with 262 points, as Humboldt State won with 43 points.  SeattleU’s B team, comprising of runners who did not run at the Washington Invitational, was third with 91 points, followed by D3 schools Puget Sound (111), Whitman (140), and Whitworth (184).

Tyler Shipley of Puget Sound, their D3 All-American, won in 24:34.

This was Seattle Pacific’s final regular season meet, as they will skip next week’s Western Washington Invitational and train through the next few weeks before the GNAC championship on October 24th in Bellingham.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Jason Schutz named new throws coach at Washington...

Although the school has yet to formally announce the hire, Jason Schutz (left/photo by Paul Merca) has been appointed as the new throwing events coach at the University of Washington, replacing TJ Crater, who left for a similar position at the University of Arizona.

Schutz comes to Washington from Cal State Northridge, where he coached for the last four seasons.

At Northridge, he developed Mariah Counts, who won the 2015 Big West title in the javelin, and scored for the Matadors in two other throwing events at the conference meet.  In addition to Counts, Monique Griffiths qualified in the discus and hammer for the NCAA West Preliminary round last season.

On the men’s side last season, his throwers scored in three of the four throwing events at the Big West championships.

Prior to CSUN, Schutz coached for two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. Hismain focus with the Panthers was the development of the team's discus, hammer, shot put and javelin throwers.  During Schutz’s tenure at PITT, the throws group improved dramatically.

Schutz joined the Panthers after serving a year as a volunteer assistant track and field coach at his alma mater, Colorado State. There, he helped oversee the training and development of 18 throwers in 2008-09. He worked alongside Brian Bedard, the head coach at CSU, who has accumulated over 24 years of coaching experience, and has coached 32 All-Americans and two national champions. Additionally, Schutz worked as a strength coach for the athletic department, assisting with the track and field team.

A 2008 graduate from Colorado State with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource management, he also minored in watershed science. During his collegiate career, Schutz was a three-time All-American, as well as an Academic All-American and team captain. He competed in the discus, hammer and weight throw events at the NCAA Championships. 

Additionally, Schutz qualified for three USATF Outdoor Championships in the discus throw. He was also a 2008 Olympic Trials participant in the discus, where he threw 190-4 (58.02m) and finished 16th.


McGee replaces Sheldon Blockburger, who left for a similar position at USC.

McGee joins an Arizona staff that has a heavy Northwest connection, starting with associate head coach James Li, and assistant coaches Crater, Francesca Green, and Tim Riley, not to mention volunteer coach Bernard Lagat.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Cal State Northridge and the University of Arizona contributed to this report.

Cuffe and Cheserek win Washington Invitational, while Oregon sweeps team titles...

SEATTLE—In one of the first major tests for the West Coast’s top collegiate teams, the Oregon Ducks swept the second annual Washington Invitational cross country meet at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill Friday afternoon.

Winner Aisling Cuffe (l) of Stanford battles Washington's
Maddie Meyers with 1k to go (Paul Merca photo)
In the women’s 6k race, a group of 20 established themselves up front early on the first of three laps of the Jefferson Park course, before it whittled itself down to nine entering the final lap.  Among those in the group of nine were a group of four runners from Oregon—Alli Cash, Maggie Schmaedick, Waverly Neer and Frida Berge; Washington’s Maddie Meyers and Charlotte Prouse; Hannah Everson of the Air Force; and, Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe and Vanessa Fraser.

On the final lap, Cuffe, Meyers, and Cash broke away, but Cuffe, who sat out all of the 2014-15 cross country and track seasons with injuries, broke away to claim the individual win in 19:41, four seconds ahead of Cash, with Meyers third in 19:50.

Schmaedick (19:51), Everson (19:51), Neer (19:57), and Prouse (20:01) finished 4th through 7th.

Natalie Shields-Connolly (20:04) and Carrie Jube (20:08) of BYU were 8-9, with Fraser of Stanford tenth in 20:08.

The Ducks won with 36 points, followed by the Huskies with 59 and Stanford with 60.

Gonzaga was sixth with 200, led by Jessica Mildes (20:26) while Eastern Washington was seventh at 205, led by defending Big Sky champ Sarah Reiter, who was 16th in 20:16..  

Washington State was ninth with 234 points, led by CharLee Linton in 34th (20:36), while SeattleU was 12th with 314 points, led by Lila Rice in 57th (21:06).

UCLA's Lane Werley & Stanford's Joe Rosa stalk Oregon's
Edward Cheserek with a kilometer to go. Cheserek won
in 23:16 (Paul Merca photo)
In the men’s 8k, defending NCAA cross country champion Edward Cheserek of Oregon was content to let a large group of runners do the work, eventually working his way to the front by the second lap, before moving away from Stanford’s Joe Rosa over the last kilometer to win in 23:16.

Rosa (23:21), Lane Werley of UCLA (23:22), Jack Keelan of Stanford (23:23), and Patrick Corona of Air Force (23:24), did most of the front running, finishing second through fifth.

Washington State’s John Whelan (23:35) was also among the leaders for a good portion of the race, before he faded to 13th place.

In a very spirited team race, Oregon won with 52 points, followed by Stanford with 69 and BYU third with 70.

UCLA, which had two runners in the lead group for most of the race was fourth with 117.

The Huskies, who ran without Colby Gilbert for the second straight meet with a leg injury, were sixth with 146 points, led by Izaic Yorks’ 16th place finish (23:37).

The Cougars were eighth with 189, led by Whelan’s 13th place.

Gonzaga was ninth with 205, led by Troy Fraley in 20th (23:40).  SeattleU was tenth with 332 led by Nathan McLaughlin in 65th (24:29), while Eastern Washington was 11th with 333 points, led by Alex Kimsey in 74th (24:37).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Washington Invite one of four big invitationals on the national docket this weekend...

All five Washington Division I schools return to action Friday afternoon, as the Washington Huskies host the West Coast’s biggest cross country invitational, the Washington Invitational at the Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill.

Action gets underway Friday at 3:15 pm with the women’s 6k, followed by the men’s 8k at 4 pm.

The Washington Invitational is one of four major races this weekend involving nationally ranked teams with the results playing a key role along with regional championship finishes in who gets into the national championship meet in Louisville in November.

Besides Washington, the Notre Dame Invite, the Princeton Inter-Regional meet, and the Greater Louisville Classic will have nationally ranked squads entered.

The men’s field looks especially deep and competitive, with four highly ranked squads and two more receiving votes out of the 11 teams competing. No. 2-ranked Stanford and No. 5-ranked Oregon will be challenged by 11th-ranked UCLA and 12th-ranked BYU. 

The Huskies are receiving votes in the most recent national poll, as is perennial NCAA qualifier Portland, though according to the entry list posted by the host Huskies, freshman Tristan Peloquin from Gig Harbor, who won the open section of the Sundodger two weeks ago, will not race for the Pilots, who are opting to redshirt him. Adding more to the Northwest feel will be Gonzaga, Seattle U., and Eastern Washington.

Washington, who will be led by Sundodger champ Izaic Yorks, will have some added motivation with the entry of Pac-12 rival Washington State, who defeated the Dawgs two weeks ago at Sundodger, and bumped them out of the USTFCCCA national top 30. Conversely, the Cougs are trying to prove to the voters that their victory over the Huskies two weeks ago was not a fluke.

Reigning NCAA champion Edward Cheserek (above/photo by Paul Merca) of Oregon is obviously the one to watch, though the Ducks may be young behind King Edward.  Stanford is scheduled to run Sean McGorty, who was 20th at the NCAA champs last season, along with twins Joe and Jim Rosa.

On the women’s side, Washington, which is ranked #15 in the USTFCCCA poll, looks to try and upset #4 Stanford and #5 Oregon, but can’t overlook #23 BYU, which won the Erik Anderson Invitational in Spokane two weeks ago.

Eastern Washington, led by reigning Big Sky champ Sarah Reiter, looks to mix it up with the powerhouses of the West Coast, as the Eagles appear to enter the core group together for the first time this season after sitting several veterans out of their first two meets.

In Division II, Seattle Pacific is the only Washington school in action this weekend, as they head to Salem, Oregon to compete in the Charles Bowles Invitational hosted by Willamette University.

Anna Patti, who won the women’s open section of the Sundodger, looks to win her fourth straight race of the season, after winning twice in Alaska.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Washington women ranked #15 in latest USTFCCCA coaches poll, while men drop out of top 30...

Washington cross country All-American Maddie Meyers
was second at the Sundodger Invitational on September 19th
(Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—The Washington Husky women’s cross country team, who were idle last weekend, dropped one spot to number 15 in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches poll, released by the organization Tuesday.

New Mexico remains the country’s #1 women’s team, followed by Colorado, Providence, Stanford, and Oregon.

The only other Pac-12 teams ranked in the Division I top 30 is Cal at 30.

On the men’s side, the Huskies dropped out of the national top 30 from the previous poll, where they were ranked #28 after losing the Sundodger Invitational for the second year in a row to Washington State.

The country’s top five men’s teams are Colorado, Stanford, Syracuse, Wisconsin, and Oregon.

Other Pac-12 schools ranked include #11 UCLA, #18 Arizona State, and #25 Cal.

The Huskies host the Washington Invitational Friday at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill, with the men’s race featuring #5 Oregon, #11 UCLA, #12 BYU, and a revamped University of Portland team that was third at the NCAA meet last year

Portland could have Gig Harbor HS frosh Conner Peloquin, the surprise winner of the Sundodger open meet available, though coach Rob Conner indicated at the Sundodger meet that he planned to redshirt Peloquin this season.

On the women’s side, the two nationally ranked teams confirmed to face the #15 Huskies for the Washington Invitational are #5 Oregon and #23 BYU.

All five Washington Division I schools will be in attendance at the Washington Invitational, which starts at 3:15 with the women’s 6k and 4pm for the men’s 8k.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Wildcat women finish 14th at Stanford; Vikings sweep SMU Open...

At Saturday’s Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, the Central Washington women’s squad finished 14th in the 30-team women’s collegiate race comprised of Division I and II schools at the Stanford Golf Course.

The Wildcats were led by their All-American Dani Eggleston, who bounced back from a sub par performance at last week’s Sundodger Invitational in Seattle and finished 35th in 21:48, as Erin Teschuk of North Dakota won in 20:07.

Megan Rogers (58, 22:16), Erin Chinchar (71, 22:33), Alexa Shindruk (140, 23:34), and Jayna Inderbitzin (149, 23:41) rounded out the Wildcat scorers.

Stanford won the women’s team title with 44, followed by Cal Poly/SLO (66), and UC Davis (187).

On the men’s side, the Wildcats finished 25th with 748 points, with Jonathan Lafferty in 144th leading the way, covering the 8k course in 25:58.

Sean McGorty of the host Cardinal won in 23:07, and led the team to victory with 63 points, with Chico State second at 68, and Cal Poly/SLO third at 100 points.

In Lacey, the Western Washington men’s and women’s squads swept the team titles at the SMU Open meet Saturday with the #18 ranked men scoring a perfect 15, while the women scored 16 points to easily outdistance the host school.

The men’s 8k was won by the Vikings’ Isaac Derline, who ran 25:43, and led a procession of nine other runners in the blue and white of Western Washington.

Jasper Heckman was SMU’s top finisher in 15th in 27:01, while Hanson Lee of Central Washington was the Wildcats’ top finisher in 20th in 27:35.  Central’s teams consisted of athletes who did not make the travel squad to Palo Alto for the Stanford Invite.

The women’s 5k was won by Brittany Grant of Western Washington in 17:49. as the Vikings had the first four placers, and 10 of the top13.

Larissa Kolasinski was SMU’s top finisher in fifth in 18:41, while Kaitlyn McKinney was Central’s top runner in 16th at 20:26.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington, Central Washington, and Saint Martin’s contributed to this report.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quiet weekend for Washington's nine D1 and D2 schools, with only Central Washington and St. Martin's in action...

This weekend is a quiet weekend for Washington’s nine Division I and II schools, with all five Division I schools taking the weekend off, and only Central Washington and Saint Martin’s in action.

Central Washington hopes to bounce back from last weekend at the Sundodger in Seattle, where the women’s team, which was nationally ranked going into the meet, finished seventh in the open section, behind Western Washington (1st) and Seattle Pacific (4th). That race took the Wildcats out of the national D2 top 25, and boosted the Vikings and Falcons to a top 25-ranking, with Western shooting up to #10.

NCAA All-American Dani Eggleston (above/photo courtesy CWU Athletics) finished 19th at Sundodger in 22:08, after finishing fifth in last year’s race in 21:58.

Meanwhile, Saint Martin’s will stay at home and host the SMU Open meet Saturday against primarily D3, community college and club teams on their campus course in Lacey.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Huskies stay ranked in USTFCCCA top 30; major shuffling in D2 poll puts Vikings and Falcons in...

NEW ORLEANS—The USTFCCCA released its NCAA Division I and II cross country polls on Tuesday and Wednesday, and while there wasn’t much movement in the Division I ranks, the decks were shuffled significantly in the women’s Division II poll.


The Washington women’s team (Eleanor Fulton, Lindsey Bradley, Kaylee Flanagan & Charlotte Prouse/photo by Paul Merca) remained at #14 in the national women’s poll after winning the Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park last Saturday.

Voters kept New Mexico #1, followed by Iowa State, Colorado, Georgetown, and Stanford in the national women’s top five.

Other Pac-12 schools in the national top 30 include Oregon (7), and Cal (30).

On the men’s side, the Huskies took a hit after losing the Sundodger for the second consecutive year to Washington State, dropping to #28 from #21, but it was not enough to take them out of the top 30. Conversely, the Cougars’ win over Washington was not enough to garner any votes.

Colorado and Stanford remain 1-2 in the national poll, followed by Syracuse, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma State.

Other Pac-12 school in the national top 30 include Oregon (6), UCLA (12), Arizona State (21), and Cal (29).


There was a lot of shuffling in the women’s national rankings, particularly among schools from the state of Washington, as both Western Washington (10) and Seattle Pacific (18) leaped into the national top 25 after being unranked.

The Vikings made their first top-10 appearance since 2010 by winning the open section of the Sundodger Invitational, by defeating among other schools, #11 Cal Baptist, #18 Seattle Pacific, and former #10 Simon Fraser.

The Sundodger results were costly in the eyes of the voters to both GNAC members Simon Fraser and Central Washington, as both squads are no longer ranked in the national top 25 after sub-par performances at Lincoln Park.

Hillsdale (Michigan) remains the nation’s #1 team.

On the men’s side, Western Washington moved up one spot to #18 in the national top 25.  Simon Fraser’s second place finish in the open section of the Sundodger moved them up to #14 from #21.

Adams State (Colorado) is the country’s #1 men’s team.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Both Gonzaga squads take second in WCC Preview/Erik Anderson Invitational...

SPOKANE—The Gonzaga women's and men's cross country teams both finished second at the West Coast Conference Preview/Erik Anderson Invitational Saturday at Plantes Ferry Park.

The Zags took advantage of the short trip to Plantes Ferry Park with strong showings.  Troy Fraley and Maggie Jones led the charge for the Bulldogs, with Jones finishing second in 21:26 over the 6k course.

Sophomore Jordan Thurston was the Zags’ second runner across in 21:27 to take third, while Jessica Mildes was eighth in 21:40.

The Eastern Washington women, which were missing a number of key athletes, finished third, led by Katie Mahoney’s 14th place finish in 22:04.

BYU won the women’s team title, scoring a low of 43 points, with Gonzaga second with 44, Portland 49, Idaho 100, Pacific 140 and Eastern Washington 156.

Alice Jensen of BYU took the individual title in a time of 21:19.

In the men’s 8k race, Dallin Farnsworth of BYU led six Cougars in the top ten, winning in a time of 24:20.

Gonzaga’s top runner was Troy Fraley in third in 24:25, with Matthew Crichlow finishing eighth in 24:38.  Gonzaga’s Casey Adams, competing unattached was 10th in 24:55, while former Washington Husky Sumner Goodwin was 14th in 25:11, as he competed unattached while sitting out a year before he becomes eligible to run for Gonzaga.

Stephen Bottoms was Eastern Washington’s top finisher in 21st in 25:35.

BYU easily won the team title with a near perfect score of 18, with Gonzaga second with 43, and Eastern Washington third with 86.

This meet was a preview of next month’s WCC championship meet, which will be hosted by Gonzaga.

NOTE:  Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Yorks wins Sundodger, but Cougs take Sundodger team title again; UW grabs women's title...

SEATTLE—Izaic Yorks (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Washington used his sub-4 minute mile speed in the final lap to emerge victorious in the men’s invitational section of the Sundodger Invitational Saturday, but it was the Cougars of Washington State that successfully defended their team title, upsetting the #21 Huskies on the 8k course

The race began with the Huskies’ Yorks and Fred Huxham in front with a group of runners close behind, including Tulane’s Kenyan standout Moses Aloiloi.  

In the second lap, Aloiloi was joined by his teammate Emmanuel Rotich, with former Cougars Drew Polley and Andrew Kimpel in the front.

The group of front runners stayed the same, though the Cougars had a group of four runners in the front group, giving their fans hope that they could repeat and pick off the Huskies on their home turf.

Entering the last lap, the two Tulane runners began fading, as the group of Cougs, led by eventual runner-up Michael Williams began moving towards the front.

Yorks pulled away to win in 24:06, with Williams of WSU second in 24:09.  

Huxham took third in 24:11. then came a group of four Cougars—John Whelan (24:15), Nathan Wadhwani (24:22), Sam Levora (24:27), and Chandler Teigen (24:29), in 4-5-7-and-8, with only Cougar alum Kimpel splitting the group of four.

The Huskies’ Johnathan Stevens (24:30) and Andrew Gardner (24:34) rounded out the top ten,  with All-American Tyler King the fifth scorer in 14th place (24:45).

Clay Weaver was Seattle University’s top finisher in 20th in 25:13.

The Cougs took the team title with 24 points, ten lower than the Huskies.  SeattleU was third with 113, followed by Tulane with 128.

WSU head coach Wayne Phipps was pleased with the team’s effort, noting that they had a heavy training load, and that they executed the race plan, which was to run controlled for the first three loops, and to race on the final lap.

In the women’s invitational 6k, Sarah Inglis of Trinity Western took command halfway through and coasted to an easy 9-second win, clocking 20:23 to beat Washington All-American Maddie Meyers, who ran 20:32.

Behind Meyers were three young Dawgs—freshman Charlotte Prouse (20:35), soph Anna Maxwell (20:48), and frosh Lindsey Bradley (20:49).

Regan Yee (20:49) and Lisa Brooking (20:54) of Trinity Western were 6-7, followed by CharLee Linton of Washington State (20:56). Former WSU volunteer coach Emma Kertesz of Club Northwest was ninth in 21:03, and Mackenzie Landa of Fresno State rounded out the top ten in 21:06.

SeattleU was led by Lila Rice, who finished 28th in 22:01.

The #14 Huskies easily took the Sundodger team title with 17 points, with WSU a distant second with 88 points. Nevada was third with 93 points, followed by Portland State at 130. SeattleU was sixth with 156 points.

In the first race of the day, Seattle Pacific’s Anna Patti stayed patient through the first two laps, and then opened up a lead to take the victory in the open women’s 6k, featuring all of the state’s GNAC schools.

Patti let early leaders Mirelle Martens of Trinity Western and Rebecca Bassett of Simon Fraser do the early pacesetting before taking command on the last loop, winning in 21:12.

“I knew it was hard to predict with this race if there are going to be some good individuals or good teams that come," said Patti. “I wasn't set on first place because I just didn't know. But I'm glad to have gone out and done so well."

Taylor Guenther of Western Washington’s fifth place finish (21:35) helped propel the Vikings to the team title, scoring 103 points.  Cal Baptist was second with 111, followed by Club Northwest with 172 and Seattle Pacific with 175.

Central Washington, who was ranked #22 in the first USTFCCCA Division II national poll, finished a disappointing seventh (210), as All-American Dani Eggleston was 19th (22:08).

In the open men’s 8k, University of Portland freshman Tristan Peloquin, competing unattached, was a surprise winner, as the Gig Harbor HS grad ran 24:12 to beat Simon Fraser’s Oliver Jorgensen by 1 second.

Canada’s Trinity Western took the team title with 45 points, to easily outdistance Simon Fraser’s 91.

Western Washington was third with 103, followed by Division I Fresno State with 110, and Cal Baptist with 126.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Huskies set to host Sundodger Invitational; Zags and Eagles to race at Erik Anderson Invite...

The bulk of Washington’s Division I and II schools will converge upon Seattle’s Lincoln Park Saturday morning for the annual Sundodger Invitational cross country race hosted by the University of Washington.

Action gets underway at 9 am with the women’s 6k open race featuring all four Division II schools—Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, Saint Martin’s, and nationally ranked Central Washington, (#22) featuring NCAA D2 steeplechase All American Dani Eggleston.  They’ll go up against defending Sundodger open champs University of British Columbia

The men’s 8k starts at 9:40 with all four Washington D2 schools, led by Western Washington, ranked #19 in the first USTFCCCA national poll, expected to challenge defending champs University of British Columbla over 8k.

After the girls’ high school varsity 5k race at 10:25 am, the women’s 6k invitational race gets going at 11am, with the #14 ranked Huskies going against cross state rival Washington State, Tulane, Oregon State, Fresno State, Nevada, Portland State and SeattleU.

NCAA cross country All-American Maddie Meyers (above/photo by Paul Merca) is expected to lead the charge for the Dawgs, along with NCAA competitors Kaylee Flanagan, Anna Maxwell, and Eleanor Fulton. Add to the mix for the Dawgs are freshman Pan Am Jr steeple champ Charlotte Prouse, and graduate student Sydney Harris from Villanova.

The men’s invitational 8k starts at 11:35, where the # 21 ranked Huskies look to regain the Sundodger title it surprisingly lost to Washington State, when the Cougs packed all five scorers in the top seven, despite a win by senior Aaron Nelson.

Nelson has graduated, but Washington will be led by All-American Tyler King, who was 12th in this meet last year.  Last year’s Sundodger was a wakeup call for the Huskies, who ended up qualifying for the NCAA championships, while the Cougs faltered down the stretch.

One athlete that could make things interesting up front is Tulane’s Moses Aloiloi, as the Kenyan, who won the Jaguar Opener, is expected to mix it up with the top runners from the Huskies, Cougars, SeattleU, Portland State, and Club Northwest.

The high school varsity boys’ 5k race follows at 12:20 pm, followed by junior varsity girls’ and boys’ races to conclude the day.

Across the state, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington will compete at the Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane Valley, with several West Coast Conference schools, including Portland and BYU.  This meet serves as a preview for next month’s WCC championship meet which Gonzaga will host. Eastern Washington was originally scheduled to run at Sundodger, but opted to stay close to home.

The men's 8k starts at 9 am, with the women's 6k starting 45 minutes later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Both Husky harrier squads ranked in first USTFCCCA national poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington men’s and women’s cross country teams are both ranked in the national top 30 in the first United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll released Tuesday by the organization.

In the women’s poll, the Huskies (left/photo from UW/SU Open by Paul Merca) are ranked #14, while in the men’s poll, the Dawgs are ranked #21.

The national women’s top ten, in order are:  New Mexico, Iowa State, Colorado, Michigan State, Georgetown, Stanford, Oregon, Providence, Arkansas & Wisconsin.

Cal at #30 is the only other Pac-12 school ranked in the national poll.

The men’s national top ten, in order, are: Colorado, Stanford, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Villanova, Oregon, Iona, Virginia, and Indiana.

Other Pac-12 schools in the national top 30 include UCLA at 13, Arizona State at 23, and Cal and 29.

Washington returns from its pre-season training camp at Seabrook on the Washington coast to compete in the Sundodger Invitational Saturday at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.


On his Instagram account, Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson (above, with Mark Macdonald/photo by Paul Merca) posted a video of himself going on a five mile run, stating, “Long Road to #Rio but I'm excited for the journey and the hard work I'll put in to get there! #RoadToRio #GoCougs #5milerun @markmacdonald247

With that, Anderson is officially back training in the Pacific Northwest, and that he is reuniting with former Washington State hurdles coach Mark Macdonald, who was a key component in Anderson winning three NCAA 400 hurdles titles, along with the 2011 USA national crown. Anderson confirmed that in a message to

According to Anderson, he will be splitting his time between Seattle and Tacoma as he prepares for the 2016 US Olympic Trials.

For the last several years, Anderson has trained in the Phoenix area at ALTIS, formerly the World Athletics Center.

Macdonald is currently out of coaching at the collegiate level, after a short stint at Oregon State following his time at WSU.

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