Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cross country news & notes--October 31, 2012...

After a busy weekend that saw NCAA Division I school around the country contest 32 conference championships, the USTFCCCA released its national rankings Tuesday.

In the women's national poll, the Washington Huskies dropped one spot from #6 to #7, as Florida State maintained its grip on the #1 spot.

Pac-12 champ Oregon remains at #3, with Arizona leapfrogging Stanford to #4, with the Cardinal at 5.

Big 10 champ Michigan moves up to #6 ahead of the Huskies.

Other Pac-12 women's teams ranked in the national poll include Colorado at #24 and UCLA at #29.

On the men's side, Oklahoma State, coached by Olympia prep standout Dave Smith, remains at #1, followed by Pac-12 champ Colorado, and runner-up Stanford.

Oregon drops to #11, with Arizona State at #25, and UCLA at #27 representing the Pac-12 in the men's poll.

For the first time this season, the Husky men's team are in the national conversation, as they just missed the top 30 by ten points, receiving 22 points from the voters, based on their sixth place finish at Pac-12s, where the Dawgs were six points away from UCLA and fifth place.

Speaking of the Huskies, the cross country squads tested out their new campus track and field facility next to the East parking lot on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, in what coach Greg Metcalf described as an exciting day for his team.

Courtesy of the UW, here is video of the first workout on the new track.

Though the blog primarily concentrates on professional, and Division I and II track and cross country, we'll occasionally give a shout out to Division III, NAIA and community college folks from around the state, usually in the context of schools participating in events with the big schools.

Unfortunately, we can't possibly do a good job of covering everything with the limited manpower we have (this is a one person operation), so we have to rely on help from the sports information offices of the various schools we cover.

One of our readers pointed out that last weekend, Washington University's Lucy Cheadle (left/photo courtesy Washington University), a product of Seattle's Roosevelt HS, won the University Athletic Association conference cross country title in Rochester, NY.

Cheadle, a sophomore at Washington in St. Louis, won the 6k race by more than 30 seconds, crossing the line in 21:27.

Another Puget Sound prep doing well is Redmond HS grad Devin McMahon of Cornell, who finished tenth last week in the Heps championship meet in Ithaca, NY, running 20:52 for 6k.

Finally, here's a link to a post on the Seattle Pacific web site on the Falcons' AJ Baker and Will Harrison as they prepare for Saturday's NCAA Division II West Regional race in Kahuku, Hawaii, just outside of Honolulu.

Harrison has battled injuries over the last two years and now, he and fellow Falcon senior Baker are aiming to help SPU try to qualify for its first NCAA championship appearance since 2004.

"To have a good enough race to get into the top five, no one person is going to have to something crazy that they've never done before,” Harrison said. “It's just going to take everyone running their best all on the same day.”

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA, and the sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington University, Cornell University, and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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