Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend roundup: WCC, Big Sky & Great West cross country championship recaps...

At the West Coast Conference championships in Belmont, California, Gonzaga University sophomore Emily Thomas (left/photo courtesy Gonzaga University) finished ninth to earn All-West Coast Conference honors, but the teams didn't make the strides coach Pat Tyson and the Zag staff hoped for heading into Saturday's races.

With Lindsey Drake hit by dehydration over the final mile and with the men not getting the Top 20 finishes they figured they needed, the Bulldog men and women finished sixth and fifth, respectively. Both teams finished fifth a year ago and were looking to move up in the standings this year.

The men tallied 140 points with Nate Gesell leading three Bulldogs across the finish line in 25th, 26th and 27thwith junior Tate Kelly and sophomore Willie Milam behind Gesell who finished in 25:37 over the 8K course. Sophomore Brent Felnagle was 30th and freshman Nick Roche 32nd to complete the Gonzaga scoring.

On the women's side, Thomas was followed by freshman Maggie Jones 23rd, freshman Elizabeth Ryan in 26thand sophomore Krista Beyer 28th. Thomas' time was 21:15 over the 6K layout. Emily Albrecht was 43rd to round out the Gonzaga scorers. Gonzaga had 128 points.

Drake, who won the Inland Northwest Challenge for her first collegiate victory in her last meet heading into the WCC Championship, "was in good shape with about a mile to go" according to Tyson. But she struggled the final mile and had to be carried to the First Aid tent when she collapsed at the finish line.

WCC newcomer BYU, as expected, ended the University of Portland's 32-year dominance of the championship, downing the Pilots 25-32 as the Cougars had four finishers in the top seven.

In the women's team race, USF successfully defended its WCC title with 32 points while BYU was second with 52. Portland was third with 86 points and LMU fourth with 105 points. LMU's Tara Erdmann was the individual champion in 20:01.

Results from the WCC Championships are available here.

In Pocatello, Idaho, the Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed seventh at the Big Sky Conference Championships.

Senior Tonya Turner, Eastern’s top women runner throughout the season, finished 22nd overall. It was the first time this season the Spokane, Wash., native has finished outside the top ten.

Rounding out the top five women were freshman Katie Mahoney (36th), senior Stephanie Dye (41st), freshman Dani Moon (45th) and sophomore Micaela Rasmussen (48th).

On the men’s side, junior Simon Sorensen led the Eagle squad for the first time this season, finishing 19th overall. Seniors Bowe Ebding andGraham Vaux took 22nd and 23rd, respectively. All three runners crossed the line within 16 seconds of each other.

Junior Jordan Curnutt, a last-second addition to the men’s roster, was Eastern’s fourth finisher in 50th place. Freshman Nathan Fall placed 55th.

Weber State won the women's team title with 40 points, led by individual winner Amber Henry's 17:31 over the 5k course. Northern Arizona won the men's title with 26 points, led by individual winner Diego Estrada's 24:16 over 8k.

Complete results from the Big Sky championships are available here.

At the Great West Conference meet in Grand Forks, North Dakota, SeattleU finished third in the women's team race with 73 points, and sixth in the men's team race with 113 points.

Hannah Mittelstaedt led the Redhawks with a 7th place finish in 18:34 over 5k, with Sarah Bolce cracking the top ten in 18:39. Jennifer Stolle was 13th in 18:55, followed by Sophie Curatilo in 19th at 19:16. Lauren Hammerle rounded out the Redhawk scorers in 25th at 19:33.

For the men, Kelton Sears led the way with a 13th place finish in 26:02. Graham Kinzel-Grubbs was 20th in 26:28, followed by Miles Hille in 26:29. Collin Overbay was 28th at 26:51, and Ryan Dennison rounded out the scorers in 30th at 27:04.

Judith Chumba of Texas-Pan American won the individual title in 17:47, while Matt Perri of Houston Baptist won the men's title over 8k at 25:13.

Utah Valley swept both the men's and women's team titles with 43 (men) and 37 points (women), respectively.

Results from the men's race at the Great West are available here, while women's results are here.

At the ACC championships in Clemson, South Carolina, former Husky Kendra Schaaf won the individual title over 6k, running 19:46, putting the senior in contention as one of the favorites going into the NCAA championships in four weeks in Terre Haute, Indiana.

In the Heps championship meet in snowy Princeton, New Jersey, Redmond HS grad Devin McMahon finished 12th in a time of 22:33 over the 6k course.

At the Pac-12 championships, we neglected to mention that Bellingham's Jake Riley from Stanford finished fourth in 22:55 over the men's 8k course, and Gig Harbor's Miles Unterreiner was 32nd in 24:18.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, SeattleU, and the Great West Conference contributed to this report.

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