Friday, October 9, 2009

Pixler & Larson go 1-2 at San Francisco State Invitational...

Seattle Pacific University seniors Jessica Pixler and Jane Larson (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific) ran to a 1-2 finish at the San Francisco State Invitational in Golden Gate Park on Friday, which will host next month’s NCAA Division II West Regional championships.

Pixler (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS) covered the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 36 seconds. Larson (Fall City, Wash./Cedar Park Christian HS) came across the line in 21:37.

They weren’t the only Falcons flying up front. SPU senior Chad Meis (Renton, Wash./Seattle Christian HS) cracked the top 10 in the 8K men’s race, crossing the line ninth in 25:48.

For Pixler, it was her third straight pre-regional victory. Two years ago in Boise, she won the Bob Firman Invitational, then went on to claim the regional crown. Last year, she went on a record-setting run at the Triton Cross Country Classic in La Jolla, Calif., then came back four weeks later and won regionals in yet another record time.

“Jessica was in control from start to finish, and Jane felt really good, and didn’t feel like she even had to dig that deep,” SPU coach Erika Daligcon said. “And we had a solid week of training -- there was no backing down.”

Pixler, a Falcon senior, is the three-time defending regional champion and also has won the past two Division II national titles. Larson moved up three spots from her fifth-place finish in last year’s pre-regional, the Triton Cross Country Classic in La Jolla, Calif.

“It was really exciting to watch them running out there,” Daligcon said. “They were enjoying the course.”

Meis followed up his strong run at last weekend’s Charles Bowles Invite in Salem, Ore., with Friday’s performance in San Francisco. Junior teammate Jordan Lance (Mill Creek, Wash./Jackson HS) checked in 63rd in 27:39.

Meis was coming off of his first career run below the 25-minute mark, as he clocked a 24:54.89 at the Bowles.

“That was solid today, especially considering these guys raced last weekend and raced pretty hard,” Daligcon said. “Even gauging off the times of (Alaska Anchorage’s Marko) Cheseto (who won in 24:52), the times that Chad and Jordan ran were solid.”

Results from Friday's San Francisco State Invitational can be accessed through the SPU Falcons team page.

Courtesy of media partner, here's a post race interview with Pixler.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

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

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