Friday, November 4, 2011

It's go time for Western, SPU, Saint Martin's, and Central at NCAA Division II West Regionals...

SPOKANE VALLEY--With the goal of advancing both its men's and women's teams to nationals for the fourth consecutive year, Western Washington University competes in the NCAA Division II West Regional Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane Valley.

Athletes and teams from St. Martin's, Seattle Pacific, and Central Washington will also participate for the right to return to the Spokane Valley in two weeks for the NCAA Division II national championships on the same course.

The women's six-kilometer race begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by the men's 10-kilometer run at 11:30 a.m. The top four team finishers in both the men's and women's races and the top two individuals not on one of the qualifying teams will return in two weeks for the NCAA Division II National Championships.

In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association/NCAA II Top 25, the Vikings are ranked No.16 in the women's poll and No.20 in the men's ratings.

The WWU men are led by two newcomers who earned GNAC all-star honors by placing among the top 10 at the league championships. Tyler Cannon, a transfer from Brigham Young, finished fifth and Dak Riek, a transfer from CC of Spokane, was 10th.

The WWU women are paced by Lauren Breihof, who earned GNAC all-star honors for the second straight year as she finished ninth.

Others to watch include Saint Martin's Kyle Van Santen (left/photo courtesy Saint Martin's University) and Spencer Hunt, as well as Seattle Pacific's Natty Plunkett and Heidi Laabs-Johnson.

The meet program is available here.  The team rosters and bib numbers for Saturday's races are available here.

NOTE: Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, Saint Martin's, and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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