Saturday, October 27, 2012

SeattleU's Erik Barkhaus wins WAC cross country crown...

RUSTON, Louisiana--Erik Barkhaus (left/photo by Paul Merca) of Seattle University won the Western Athletic Conference individual men's cross country championship Saturday morning in the WAC Championships hosted by Louisiana Tech Saturday morning at Lincoln Parish Park.

Barkhaus became the first SeattleU male runner to win a cross country conference title since Casey Moriarty won the 2005 Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship during the Redhawks' Division II era. He posted a time of 24:03 over the eight-kilometer course, four seconds ahead of Kyle McKenna of Utah State.

"Barkhaus wasn't feeling well going into the race, so we changed race plans and focused solely on getting the win. He looked a little rough today, but ran smart. He'll be healthy and fully prepared in two weeks," SeattleU head cross country coach Trisha Steidl said.

Matthew McClement was fourth-place, posting a time of 24:47 Collin Overbay and Ryan Dennison also finished in the top 20, with Overbay crossing the finish line in 18th place in 25:11and Dennison finishing in 20th place with a time of 25:14.

Graham Kinzel-Grubbs finished in 26th place with a time of 25:24 to round out the Redhawk scorers. 

As a team, the Seattle U men finished in third place with 69 points, behind WAC champion UT Arlington and runner-up Utah State. It is the third top-three finish for the Redhawk men in four years at a conference meet after finishing in second place at the Great West Conference Championships in both 2009 and 2010.

Hannah Mittelstaedt finished in 10th place in the women's five-kilometer race, posting a time of 18:00. 

Jennifer Stolle also finished in the top 20 with a 19th place finish in a time of 18:22.

Sophomores Sophie Curatilo and Madison Davis crossed the finish line together, with Curatilo finishing in 32nd place in 18:46 and Davis right behind her in 33rd place in the same time. Becca Lassere  finished in 42nd place with a time of 19:04 to close out SeattleU's scorers.

The SeattleU women finished in sixth place as a team with 132 points. Idaho won the team championship by just three points over UTSA, with Hannah Kiser of the Vandals earning the individual championship.

In Portland, Gonzaga's Lindsay Drake came back Saturday to finish ninth in a school-record 20:50 at Fernhill Park and earn All-WCC honors in helping Gonzaga University's women to fourth place.
Drake's time set a Gonzaga 6K school mark of 21:15 for the WCC Championship set last season by junior Emily Thomas, who, coincidentally, also finished ninth a year ago to earn All-WCC accolades.
The Bulldogs scored 105 points with junior Lauren Bergam placing fifteenth in 21:10 to earn WCC honorable mention recognition, Thomas taking 19th in 21:16, sophomore Maggie Jones 29th in 21:36 and freshman Amelia Evans taking 35th in 21:59 to round out Gonzaga's top five. That means four of Gonzaga's top five runners return next season.
The Bulldogs recorded their highest finish since placing third in 2004.
The University of San Francisco won its fourth straight WCC Championship with 26 points, placing five runners in the top 10 led by individual winner Eva Krchova in 20:35. The University of Portland was second with 52 points and BYU third with 85. The Bulldogs beat Loyola Marymount University by five points.
Kelly, one of head coach Pat Tyson's first recruits, just missed All-WCC first-team honors by one second with his 11th place finish in 24:12 over the 8K Fernhill Park layout. But his effort, which earned him WCC honorable mention honors, helped vault the Bulldogs to third place behind the University of Portland and BYU.
The Bulldogs scored 103 points to edge the University of San Francisco by two points for third place. Portland, which had never lost a WCC title since 1979 until BYU entered the league and ended the Pilots run last year, moved back to the top with 32 points to edge BYU by one point.
Brent Felnagle led the next wave of Bulldogs as four Zags crossed the line from 21st through 27th. Felnagle, a junior, was 21st in 24:39, sophomore Colin O'Neil was 23rd in 24:44, sophomore Nick Roche finished 24th in 24:44 and senior Chris Boyle was 27th in 24:48 to round out Gonzaga's top five.
Jared Ward of BYU took individual honors in 23:42.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, Eastern Washington University men’s cross country team placed ninth while the women placed 11th at the Big Sky Championships Saturday in highly-elevated Flagstaff, Ariz. The men scored 286 points, edging out  Northern Colorado by a  single point.  The women accumulated 262 points, finishing just 15 points behind Montana.

Redshirt freshman Berenice Penaloza was once again the top finisher for the Eagles on the women’s side, completing the 5,000-meter course in 18:40 and finishing 29th overall. Following Penaloza to round out the Eagle scorers were Danie Moon (57th, 19:47), Acacia Smith (59th, 19:56), Monica Jaenicke (65th, 20:08), Jessi Johnson (70th, 20:20), and Lauren Brewington (78th, 21:46).

On the men's side, freshman David Thor continued his impressive season with a 25th-place finish, hitting a time of 26:36 on the 8,000-meter course. He was the top finisher for the Eastern men for the fifth-straight meet and also fourth among all freshman runners at the meet. Coming in after Thor to score for EWU was Nathan Fall (62nd, 28:25), Quin Olivas (67th, 29:01), Isaac Seward (74th, 29:51), and Jordan Curnutt (77th, 31:24).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

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