Friday, September 26, 2008

Cross country weekend preview...

The Washington State men's cross country team (left/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information) will head east to Minneapolis for Saturday's running of the Roy Griak Invitational. The Cougs will run in the Gold section starting at 12:10 pm, central time.

The Griak is one of the key invitational meets throughout the country over the next few weeks where schools who aspire to run in November's NCAA championships compete against each other, hoping to earn enough points, combined with the school's placing in the NCAA regional championships, to get the invitation to contest for the national title.

Washington State will be led in Minnesota by seniors Drew Polley and Evan Blanshan. The Cougs will also run juniors Sam Ahlbeck, Dominic Smargiassi and Mark Moeller; sophomores include David Hickerson, Luke Lemenager and Peter Miller along with freshmen Jono Lafler and Justin Englund. Moeller is coming off an 8th place finish at the Sundodger, while Hickerson and Miller also competed in Seattle.

Seattle University, in its first year as a NCAA Division I school, will also send a group of runners to Minneapolis for the Griak meet.

Meanwhile, Seattle Pacific will send its #2 ranked women's squad down to Stanford to run in the Stanford Invitational, against a field of teams including host Stanford, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Davis, California, Cal State Fullerton and UCLA.

Among the major state universities, Washington, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington are off this weekend, as is Western Washington.

THIS AND THAT: paulmerca.blogspot.com has been assured by UW coach Greg Metcalf that Jordan Boase isn't going anywhere to finish his final year of eligibility, because of the departure of sprint coach LaMonte Vaughn. The 'spot speculated in Wednesday's post that the possibility of Boase leaving was there, as the fifth-year senior has enough credits to graduate...

Paul Limpf of Eastern Washington was named Big Sky Conference cross country athlete of the week for winning last week's Sundodger Invitational in Seattle...SPU's Jessica Pixler was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference athlete of the week for her third place finish at Sundodger...

Pixler now has a weekly blog available on the spufalcons.com site; meanwhile, Washington's Mel Lawrence also will be blogging her thoughts throughout the season at the gohuskies.com site.

Finally, we've received word that former O'Dea High School and University of Portland standout Michael Kilburg is now a member of the Brooks-Hanson's Distance Project squad. Kilburg completed his eligibility at Portland this spring, and competed in the 10000 at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene.

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