Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend wrapup: September 27th--Pixler sixth at Stanford Invitational...

Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific was the first Division II runner across the line and took sixth place overall Saturday in the Stanford Invitational cross country meet.

Pixler, a junior (Sammamish, Wash., Eastlake HS) complete the 6,000-meter (3.72-mile) course in 21 minutes, 22 seconds. The winner, Laura Olvera of UC Irvine, hit the wire in 20:42. Pixler, the defending NCAA Division II champion took 10th in last year's Stanford.

Falcons junior Jane Larson (Fall City, Wash., Cedar Park Christian HS) placed 28th among the 278 competitors in 22:13.

Seattle Pacific placed 18th among the 33 teams with 447 points. Stanford, ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division I, won with 43 points. UC Davis was second with 122.

"It was one more opportunity to run with lots of good competition around us in a big race," Falcons coach Erika Daligcon said. "I think that helps us was we focus now on the second part of the season we're going into."

Meanwhile, the Washington State men's cross country team was led to a sixth place finish by senior Drew Polley who finished 15th at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Polley was the first Cougar to cross the finish line of the 8,000m course in 24:43 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.

"We were tied for sixth which is the highest finish we have ever had at this meet," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "Drew Polley ran a great race and Sam Ahlbeck ran well which is good to see"

WSU junior Sam Ahlbeck finished 37th (25.14) and was the second Cougar to complete the course. Also scoring for the Cougars was freshman Justin Englund placing 51st (25:22) followed by junior Mark Moeller placing 53rd (25:23), freshman Jono Lafler finishing 59th (25:31). Junior Dominic Smargiassi (94. 25.59), senior Evan Blanshan (110. 26:18), sophomore David Hickerson(143. 26:37), sophomore Luke Lemenager (149. 26.45) and freshman Peter Miller (220. 29.07) ran for the Cougars but scores did not count towards the team score.

"I was impressed with how the younger guys stepped up," senior captain Drew Polley said. "The freshmen ran well and Sam Ahlbeck ran great so I was really encouraged. We were right in there with some very good teams, so we were pretty happy about it."

Adams State ranked No. 2 nationally in Division II captured the team event beating out No. 19 Iowa State 75-89 in the Men's Gold Division. No. 30 Brigham Young finished in third place with 91 points. No. 9 Minnesota placed fourth with 107 points while No. 25 Auburn finished fifth with 135 points. WSU's 215 points tied them for sixth, but WSU's total team time was one second faster than No. 15 New Mexico, placing the Cougars ahead of the Lobos.

As a team, the Seattle University men finished in 25th place with 747 points.

Michael Van Nuland (Newcastle, Wash.) was the leading runner for the Redhawk men’s team, finishing in 178th place in 27:22.5 over the 8000-meter course. Nick Cannata-Bowman (San Francisco, Calif.) crossed the finish line in 185th place with a time of 27:34.2, followed closely by Erik Barkhaus (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), who posted a time of 27:35.4 and finished in 187th place.

Next for Seattle University was Hans Heitzinger (Scottsdale, Ariz.), who finished in 203rd place in a time of 28:03.4. Matthew McClement (Bellingham, Wash.) finished in 207th place in 28:14.5, followed by Adam Kollgaard (Kent, Wash.) in 217th place in 28:59.2 and Graham Miller (Spokane, Wash.) in 222nd place with a time of 29:24.3.

The Seattle University women were once again paced by Katie Hansen (Portland, Ore.), who steadily worked her way up to a 62nd place finish in a time of 22:54.6. Rachel Yorkston (Bellingham, Wash.) crossed the finish line in 117th place with a time of 23:45.2, while Greta Stickney (Poulsbo, Wash.) finished in 151st place in 24:19.1.

Two other Redhawk women earned top 200 finishes, as Jen Hamann (Colorado Spring, Colo.) finished in 194th place in 25:31.1 and Natalie Martinez (San Francisco, Calif.) crossed the finish line in 200th place with a time of 25:47.9. Tiffany Hunter (Longview, Wash.) finished in 204th place in 26:07.5, and Sarah Bolce (Sacramento, Calif.) ran a time of 26:43.5 for a 209th-place finish.

The women’s team finished in 21st place with 582 points, finishing ahead of Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference and Northern Illinois from the Mid-American Conference. Minnesota won the team competition, followed by Arizona State, New Mexico, Duke, Portland, Adams State, James Madison, Northern Iowa, Navy, and Iowa State.

"Overall I thought the team performed well today," head coach Trisha Steidl said. "This is the biggest event we have ever been a part of, and there was a lot of energy surrounding this event, which I think took some of our younger runners by surprise. This was a good learning experience for everyone, especially against a field as fast as this one, and it will help the student-athletes in the program grow and perform better in similar situations in the future."

Seattle University will host the Emerald City Open next Saturday, Oct. 4, at Lower Woodland Park beginning with the women’s 6000-meter race at 10:30 a.m.

THIS AND THAT--Seattle attorney and long-time track & field official William Hickman was elected president of the Pacific Northwest Association of USA Track & Field, replacing outgoing president Patti Petesch, a Seattle Parks & Recreation Department official, at its annual meeting Sunday in Seattle.

Bob Bowman of Redmond, a long-time race-walking official and IAAF Race Walk committee member, announced his intent to run for the presidency of USA Track & Field, to replace current president Bill Roe of Bellingham. Bowman is one of three known candidates for the position, along with Stephanie Hightower, and Dee Jensen.

NOTE: The sports information department of Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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