Saturday, October 29, 2011

Katie Flood wins Pac-12 cross country title as Huskies finish second in Arizona...

LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona--Washington sophomore Katie Flood (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) won the first Pac-12 cross country championship on a sunny Saturday morning in the Phoenix suburb, helping lead the Huskies to a second place finish behind Colorado.

Flood covered the 6k course at the Wigwam Golf Resort in a time of 19:32, asserting herself shortly after the 4k mark, and pulling away from early leader and defending Pac-10 champion Jordan Hasay of Oregon, and Stanford's Kathy Kroeger.

Early in the race, Kroeger's Stanford teammate and Sequim native Stephanie Marcy led the pack, with Kroeger in tow, and a sold group of runners behind.

After the 4k mark, Flood gradually pulled away from the pack, stopping the watches at 19:32, eight seconds up on Kroeger, and 18 on Hasay.

Rounding out the top five were the Colorado duo of Shalaya Kipp (19:54) and USA steeple champ and Daegu world championships competitor Emma Coburn (19:55), whose 4-5 finish, along with three other Buffaloes in the top 20 sealed the team title for the Pac-12 newcomers, as they scored 50 points to the Huskies' 71.

For Washington, senior Christine Babcock was 12th in 20:23, followed by sophomore Megan Goethals in 16th at 20:27. Freshman Eleanor Fulton was 20th in 20:38, and sophomore Justine Johnson in 22nd at 20:41.

Washington State, who was missing sophomore Ruby Roberts, finished a disappointing 11th with 290 points, as they were led by Caroline Austin in 38th (21:10), followed by Katie Fleischer in 61st (21:57).

Emily Farrar (62nd, 21:57), Sarah Bobbe (64th, 21:59), and Allison Clark (65th, 21:59) rounded out the Cougar scorers.

Notable runners with Washington ties included Stanford's Stephanie Marcy from Sequim in 8th (20:13); Oregon's Bronwyn Crossman from Bellingham in 17th (20:28), and teammate Becca Friday from Bellingham in 45th (21:22).

After the race, Flood said, "My goal coming in here wasn't really to win the race. My goal was to improve on what I've been doing this season and keep moving forward."

On the race itself, she said that they went out a little bit faster than expected, hitting the mile at about 5:20.

In the men's 8k championship race, the #22 ranked Washington State Cougars finished sixth with a team score of 148, with the unranked Huskies seventh with 153.

Washington State was led by Andrew Kimpel's 14th place finish in 23:39, followed by Jono Lafler in 17th in 23:44.

Justin Englund (31, 24:16), Todd Wakefield (42, 24:32) and Andrew Jordan (44, 24:36) rounded out the Cougar scorers.

The Huskies were led by Joey Bywater, who was 16th in 23:43, followed by Gareth Gilna in 27th at 24:03.

Rob Webster Jr (35th, 24:22), Aaron Nelson (36th, 24:26), and Aaron Beattie (39th, 24:31) were Washington's other scorers.

Heavy favorite Lawi Lalang of Arizona was the individual winner in 22:37, and Colorado, led by Richard Medina's third place finish in 22:54, took the team title, dethroning defending champ Stanford in a tight race 46-53.

Complete men's results from the Pac-12 championships are available here, while the women's results are available here.

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