Saturday, November 13, 2010

Washington wins third straight NCAA West Regional Cross Country title...

SPRINGFIELD, Oregon—Reports of the demise of the Washington Husky women’s cross country program after a sub-par regular season may have been premature.

After mediocre performances at Notre Dame and Pre-Nationals in early October, and a bounce-back effort in Seattle at the Pacific 10 Conference championships, the Huskies are poised to make a run at a podium finish at the NCAA championships in Terre Haute with their victory at the NCAA West Regionals Saturday at the Springfield Country Club.

Under slightly drizzly skies and temperatures in the mid 40s at the start of the race, Washington was led to the line once again by freshman Katie Flood’s sixth place finish, covering the 6k course in 20:18.

Right behind Flood was redshirt freshman Justine Johnson (far left/photo by Paul Merca), who came through in seventh in the same time.

As was the case two weeks ago in Seattle, Christine Babcock, Mel Lawrence, and Kailey Campbell ran in a tight pack, placing 19-20-21, in 20:33, 20:37, and 20:38, respectively, giving Washington a 20 second 1-5 split, two seconds better than their efforts in Seattle.

Oregon’s Jordan Hasay took the victory in 20:02, with Cal’s Deborah Maier second in 20:07, and Oregon’s Alex Kosinski third in 20:10.

Washington’s final tally was 73 points, with the Ducks second at 77. Pac 10 champs Stanford finished third with 86 points, and Arizona took fourth with 90 points.

“We wanted to stay together as one pack,” said Johnson afterwards.

Johnson also said that they were trying to stay close to the Arizona and Oregon girls during the race, and make sure that they had numbers on those two squads.

At the start of the race, Flood found the going a bit rough, with the tight pack. However, she feels that their performance Saturday bodes well for the NCAA championships next week.

“This certainly gives us a lot of confidence going to Terre Haute,” said Flood..

Washington State finished 16th overall with a team score of 486, led by freshman Ruby Roberts, who placed 42nd in 21:07.

Caroline Austin was 96th in 21:54, then followed by Allison Clark in 104th at 21:58. Ramona Morshead was 124th at 22:16, and Courtney Zalud rounded out the Cougar scorers in 132nd in 22:22.

Eastern Washington’s Amy Kolin was 85th in 21:43.

In the men’s 10k race, Bellingham’s Jake Riley finished ninth in 30:15, as the #1 ranked Stanford Cardinal lost a two-point decision to Oregon 63-65.

Portland’s Trevor Dunbar won a photo finish over Arizona’s Stephen Sambu, with both clocked at 29:58, with Cal’s Michael Coe third in 30:00.

Boise State’s Jeff Howard from Spokane’s North Central HS was 17th in 30:33, while Eastern Washington’s Kyle King finished 19th in 30:35, while Gig Harbor’s Miles Unterreiner of Stanford was 22nd in 30:38.

Washington State’s Justin Englund was 25th in 30:40, and Gonzaga’s Chris Boyle from Seattle’s Blanchet HS was 27th in 30:42, giving Washington-affiliated runners six spots in the top 30, a point made by Gonzaga coach Pat Tyson.

The Washington Huskies rebounded from a mediocre performance two weeks ago at the Pac-10s, finishing sixth with 216 points, led by Rob Webster Jr’s 34th place finish in 30:51, right behind Skyline HS grad Matt Frerker of Portland at 30:50.

Other scorers for the Huskies included Joey Bywater in 40th at 30:58. James Cameron was 42nd in 31:01, followed by Mike Miller in 49th at 31:07. Gareth Gilna rounded out the scorers in 61st in 31:17.

Washington State, which hoped to get a top five finish, finished 14th with 396 points.

After Englund, the Cougars’ next runner was Andrew Kimpel in 64th at 31:17. Andrew Gonzales in 102nd at 31:49. Jono Lafler was 104th at 31:51, and David Hickerson rounded out the scorers in 115th at 32:01.

Complete results from the NCAA West Regionals are available here.

A video interview with Justine Johnson and Katie Flood will be up later Saturday evening.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Washington men finished 6th, not 8th.

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