Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dawgs surprised by Pac-12 rival Arizona in Louisville...


LOUISVILLE, Kentucky--Although the number one ranked Washington women's team was missing a significant piece in Megan Goethals, the Huskies finished second to Pac-12 rival Arizona at the Greater Louisville Classic Saturday at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park, where the NCAA championships will be held in November.

Leading the Dawgs over the 5,000-meter course was junior Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca), who made her season debut and placed third in 16-minutes, 55-seconds, as Arizona's Elvin Kibet won the race in 16:51.

Senior Lindsay Flanagan made her season debut as well with a ninth-place finish in 17:02. Washington capped its scoring as Libery Miller, Kayla Evans, and Justine Johnson all crossed within a second of each other. Miller and Johnson were running for the first time this fall while Evans continues her excellent comeback season. Miller was 21st in 17:15, and Evans and Johnson were 23rd and 24th, respectively, in 17:16.

Freshman Maddie Meyers placed 42nd overall in 17:31 in her first road trip with the Dawgs. Completing the top-seven was sophomore Chelsea Orr, who was 53rd in a time of 17:38.


In Springfield, Oregon, SeattleU redshirt senior Erik Barkhaus finished a strong seventh, while the Huskies' Joey Bywater was one place behind at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon.

Washington finished fourth in the 10 team field, as third-ranked BYU earned the win with 32 points, followed by 23rd-ranked Oregon which had 49 points. Southern Utah edged Washington for third, scoring 111 points while UW had 114.

Gonzaga was fifth with 130, and SeattleU sixth with 181.

Oregon's Trevor Dunbar took the win, running 23:38 for the 8k course.

Barkhaus crossed the line in 23:56, with Bywater one second behind.  Gonzaga was led by Tate Kelly in 21st in 24:57.

In the women's team race, Oregon's Alexi Pappas, a senior transfer from Dartmouth, took the victory over a 5-k course, running 16:23, winning decisively over former Husky Christine Babcock, who only has track eligibility remaining for the UW.

Babcock, the Sundodger champ two weeks ago, ran 16:32 to take the runner-up spot.

The Gonzaga women's team finished third, led by Lindsey Drake, who finished 11th in 17:13.  SeattleU's top runner was Hannah Mittelstaedt in 31st in 18:11.


Up the road in Salem, Seattle Pacific senior Will Harrison finished 18th over the 8k course, leading the Falcons pack across the line for the first time since 2010, and SPU checked in fourth among the 19 teams at the 38th annual Charles Bowles / Willamette Invitational.

Seattle Pacific tallied 203 points and jumped two spots from last year's sixth-place finish. That had been the previous school best in the meet at Bush's Pasture Park. Only the University of Portland (a near-perfect 16 points), Boise State (111) and San Francisco State (129) finished ahead of the Falcons.

Among other Washington schools entered, Puget Sound was 6th with 212; Whitworth 8th at 221; Central Washington 13th at 302; and Whitman 19th with 465.

Freshman Katie Morris continued to establish herself as the front runner for the SPU women. Morris placed 15th, helping the team secure fifth place with 192 points, tops among the NCAA Division II schools in the race. Oregon State won easily with 28, followed by Boise State (96), Portland (176) and Portland State (199).

Whitworth was ninth at 271, with Central Washington 13th at 293, Whitman 14th at 295, and Puget Sound 20th with 546 points.


NOTE:  Apologies for the delay in posting.  Special thanks to the sports information departments of the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Seattle Pacific, and Seattle University for contributing to this report.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kimpel leads Cougars to eighth place finish at Notre Dame...

SOUTH BEND, Indiana-- The 29th-ranked Washington State men's cross country team, led by Andrew Kimpel (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Andrew Gonzales, took eighth place in the team standings for the Blue race at the 57th annual Notre Dame Invitational meet Friday, while the WSU women's team finished 18th.

Kimpel, a senior from Spokane, was the first Cougar to cross the finish line in 29th place with a time of 24:20 on the five-mile course. Andrew Gonzales finished 30th also in a time of 24.20. The rest of the scoring Cougar men included Todd Wakefield 52nd (24:32), Lee George 54th (24:33), and Drew Jordan 65th (24:38). Other WSU men racing were Forrest Shaffer 118th (25:20) and Richard Shroy 158th (26:47).

Chris O'Hare won the Blue race individual title (23:33) and led the No. 20 Tulsa men to the team title with 104 points. Top men's team placings were: No. 17 Princeton (139), No. 11 Notre Dame (143), No. 10 Florida State (152), No. 25 Eastern Kentucky (167), No. 21 New Mexico (200), No. 14 Texas A&M (201), and No. 29 WSU (230). WSU finished ahead of a pair of ranked teams in No. 11 North Carolina State (10th) and No. 26 Michigan (19th).

"The men's team was better than two ranked teams and only higher ranked teams finished ahead of us but we were hoping to get back to the top five this year," Cougar Cross Country Coach Tim Riley said. "Drew Jordan had an off day and Kimpel was not feeling his best so with those two at their best we would have reached that top five finish. We learned some things and we have to get back to training again."

Caroline Austin was the top Cougar woman to finish, running the 5k in a time of 17:25 for 45th place overall. The Cougar women scoring were: Ruby Roberts 112th (18:12), Emily Dwyer 125th (18:31), Courtney Zalud 130th (18:43), and Abby Knight 139th (19:08). 

Other Cougars competing were Kiah Condos 141st (19:26), CharLee Linton 142nd (19:33), Marisa Stoick 144th (19:59), and Amanda Henderson 145th (20:16).

Results from the Notre Dame Invitational are available here.

In Missoula, the Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams fought through the poor air quality levels at the Montana Invitational Friday, as the men and women both placed fourth.

The women scored 91 points while the men scored 102. Montana State won on both the men's and women's sides, with the women scoring 19 and the men scoring a perfect 15 by having the first seven finishers.

“We were looking for some small wins from this meet overall and we did meet some of those,” head coach Chris Zeller said. “However, the smoke and air quality definitely hindered the races a bit for us.”

True freshman David Thor led the way for the Eagles for the third-straight meet, placing eighth with a time of 26:16 on the 8,000-meter course. Aside from the Montana State sweep, Thor finished ahead of all runners from both Montana and North Dakota. Nathan Fall (28th, 28:36) and Quin Olivas (29th, 29:08) were the next two runners behind Thor. Rounding out the top five for Eastern was Isaac Seward (31st, 29:35) and Brandon Nobach (33rd, 33:29).

On the women's side, Berenice Penaloza placed 11th, covering the 5,000-meter course in 18:44 and scoring eight points for the Eagles. Finishing behind Penaloza was Danie Moon (27th, 20:10), Acacia Smith (29th, 20:20), Jessi Johnson (30th, 20:22), Monica Jaenicke (32nd, 21:04) and Lauren Brewington (33rd, 21:30).

“Berenice had a nice breakthrough,” Zeller said. “She was competitive and not afraid to go with the lead pack.”


Results from the Montana Invitational are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices at Washington State University and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nationally ranked Cougs & Dawgs face first major test of cross country season...


For the nationally ranked Washington State men's and Washington women's cross country squads, this weekend's meets marks the first major test for their squads as they eye a return to the national championships in Louisville in November.

Washington State, led by Andrew Kimpel (left/photo by Paul Merca), heads to South Bend, Indiana for Friday's Notre Dame Invitational against 10 nationally-ranked and 19 regionally-ranked teams in the five-mile Blue race.  

The Notre Dame meet was the jumping off point for Wazzu's run to the national championships, as they came away with a surprising fifth place finish in South Bend last year.

The Cougar men have only raced once this season, at the Clash of the Inland Northwest 6k, which Kimpel won in 18:25, though he competed unattached.

Washington State's women, led by Caroline Austin, will also race at Notre Dame, where the Cougs look to improve on their 17th place finish last year.

Courtesy of WSU Athletics, Cougar coach Tim Riley talks about the Notre Dame meet:


Meanwhile, the #1 ranked Washington women will face their first major test of the season at the Greater Louisville Classic 5k against #8 Vanderbilt, #10 Arkansas, #12 Arizona, #14 Michigan State, #17 Penn State & #29 Wisconsin.

Reigning Pac-12 champ Katie Flood will make her season debut Saturday, as will veterans Lindsay Flanagan, Justine Johnson & Liberty Miller.  UW coach Greg Metcalf is holding out All-American Megan Goethals, who has not raced so far this season, according to the UW release.

The Washington men head to Springfield, Oregon for Saturday morning's Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon, where they'll see two nationally ranked teams in #3 BYU and #23 Oregon, along with Gonzaga and SeattleU.

Gonzaga's women's team, which could make waves in the West Coast Conference meet at the end of October, is also entered in the Dellinger meet, as well as SeattleU.

Eastern Washington's men's and women's teams heads east to Missoula, Montana for Friday's Montana Invitational.

The women kick off the meet with the 5,000 starting at 5:15 p.m. with the men to follow in the 8,000 at 5:45 p.m. (MST). For Eastern, both the men’s and women’s teams finished fourth at the same meet last year with the men scoring 90 points and the women finishing with 103.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Washington remains at #1 in latest USTFCCCA poll...

NEW ORLEANS--The University of Washington women's cross country team (left/photo by Paul Merca) continued its hold on the nation's number one spot, according to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll released Tuesday.

Washington and Florida State retain their hold to the top two spots in the women’s poll. Washington has been at No. 1 for three straight weeks. The top six teams did not change from a week ago, but there was shuffling to the bottom of the top ten. Providence shifted back up to No. 7 while Villanova has reached a season-best-No. 9 ranking.

The Huskies are one of five Pac-12 teams in the national top 30, as selected by a national panel of voters.  Others from the conference include #3 Oregon, #6 Stanford, #12 Arizona, and #15 Colorado.

The national top five are Washington, Florida State, Oregon, Georgetown, and Iowa State.

On the men's side, Wisconsin retains its #1 spot, followed by Oklahoma State, BYU, Oklahoma and Portland.  

The top school from the Pac-12 is #7 Colorado. Others include #9 Stanford, #23 Oregon, #29 Washington State, and #30 UCLA.

Columbia moved up one spot to #28 to leapfrog the Cougars.

For many of the country's top teams, this coming weekend is potentially the first weekend of some major shifts in the top teams, as many are competing in key invitationals this weekend.

The Washington women head to Louisville for the Greater Louisville Classic on the same course that the NCAA championships will be run, where they'll face seven ranked teams including #8 Vanderbilt and #10 Arkansas.

Defending Pac-12 champ Katie Flood, along with All-American Megan Goethals are projected to make their season debut for the Huskies in Louisville, after sitting out the first two races of the season.

Washington State travels to the Notre Dame Invitational, where they'll face ten ranked teams, led by #10 Florida State, #11 NC State, and #14 Texas A&M.


NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Young runners get tested in Spokane and Lacey, while Lagat ends 2012 in New York...


SPOKANE VALLEY--For both Gonzaga and Washington State, both of whom face major tests next weekend at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, and the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, the emphasis was on letting their less experienced runners compete at Saturday's Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park.

In the women's 5k race, College of Idaho's Hillary Holt took the overall victory in a time of 17:24.

Though the races were run together, the results were scored separately by collegiate, NAIA, and junior college categories.

Washington State freshman Emily Dwyer (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) was the top Cougar woman to cross the finish line and the top woman in the collegiate category finish, but was 10th in the overall standings. 

Dwyer ran the 5000m course in a time of 18-minutes, 44 seconds. Abby Knight  was second in the collegiate standings and 19th overall in a time of 18:53. The other Cougar freshmen finishers included Kiah Condos (19:38), CharLee Linton  (19:53), and Amanda Henderson (20:10).

For Gonzaga,  Addi Johnson finished fourth overall in 19:15 and she was followed by sophomore Alison Fraher (19:18) and freshman Alaina Kowitz in 19:26 in fifth and sixth, respectively. Another pack of freshman Allie Nichols (19:33), redshirt sophomore Jordan McCann (19:33) and freshman Zoe Urcadez (19:38) in eighth through 10th.

Central Washington was led by Chelsea Dowell in a time of 20:22.

Gonzaga took the women's collegiate team title over the Cougs 27-39.

In the men's 8k, Washington State's Jono Lafler, who only has track eligibility left for the Cougs, finished second overall with a time of 24:22, as Greg Montgomery of College of Idaho won in 24:18.

Nate Gesell, who is considering holding on to his redshirt season led Gonzaga in a time of 25:38, but was scored as an unattached runner.

Andrew Walker (25:51), Andy Phillips (26:19), Erki Fagan (26:21), Ben Lance (26:23), and Anthony Galvan (27:03) were the first five scoring Bulldogs across the line, but were narrowly edged by MSU-Billings for the team title 27-29.


VIKING WOMEN WIN SMU INVITE IN LACEY

In Lacey, giving younger runners experience was the theme as well, although that was not the case for Western Washington, as the Vikings' Katelyn Steen and Dak Riek each placed third in their respective individual standings with the Viking women winning and the men finishing a strong second at the Saint Martin's University Cross Country Invitational held Saturday on the SMU campus.

The WWU women scored 27 points to 48 for runner-up Seattle Pacific in the five-team field.

2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials participant Ruth Perkins from Club Northwest took the women's title with a time of 22:08 over six kilometers in a field of 53.

Scorers for the WWU women were Austen Reiter 12th (23:43), Arielle Walton 14th (23:55), Haley O'Connor 17th (24:07) and Maddy Jalbert 18th (24:08).

SPU was led by Katie Thralls in eighth in 23:18.  Sophomore Jasmone Johnson ran 16th overall on Saturday in 24:05, and freshman Anna Patti was 20th in 24:23.

Josephine Becker (25:07) and Elizabeth Doe (25:10) rounded out the SPU scorers.

In the men's race, Victoria's Ryan Cassidy led a field of 83 men's runners, completing the eight kilometer course in 25:41.

WWU's Riek was clocked in 25:48. Also finishing among the top 10 for the Vikings were Tyler Cannon eighth (26:30), Tanner Boyd ninth (26:35) and Dylan Peterson 10th (26:42). WWU's Tabor Reedy was 12th (26:47).

Host Saint Martin's was fourth in the women's team race with 95 points, and fourth in the men's team standings with 125.


KIP GETS NOSED OUT BY CENTRO AT FIFTH AVENUE MILE

On the pro circuit, world championships bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz kicked passed defending champion Bernard Lagat and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano to win the men’s race at the Fifth Avenue Mile on the streets of New York City in a time of 3:53 (3:52.4 to 3:52.9 for Lagat).

Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara was tenth in a time of 3:57 (3:56.5).

WSU alum Lagat was well-positioned to make a play for a repeat victory. He said that he began his kick earlier than he normally might have due to the presence of Centrowitz and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, both strong finishers.

“I knew that someone, either Leo or Matt, was going to come,” Lagat, who finished fourth in the London Olympic 5000 meters, said. “I wanted to give my best and run hard that last 100 because if I left it to 20 meters like normal I thought I might not have a good shot at it. I started pushing at 100 to go because I knew these two gentlemen would be in pursuit, and that’s what happened. With 50 meters to go, a great miler just passed me.”

After Saturday's race, Lagat begins his five week sabbatical of no running until November 1st.


NOTE:  The sports information office of Washington State, Gonzaga, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and the New York Road Runners contributed to this report.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gonzaga, WSU & most of the state's D2 schools in harrier action Saturday...

Most of the state's Division I and II teams are back in action Saturday, as Gonzaga, Washington State, and Central Washington compete in the Erik Anderson Memorial Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park in the Spokane Valley, while Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Central will run in the Saint Martin's Invitational in Lacey, hosted by Saint Martin's University.

The Cougars (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) will run a small group of women Saturday, and will sit out their #28 ranked men's squad as they prepare for next Friday's Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

Courtesy of Washington State, here's Cougar cross country coach Tim Riley's assessment of last week's WCC Preview meet in Portland, as well as his thoughts on Saturday's meet in Spokane Valley.



Gonzaga, which is coming off a strong performance at last week's WCC Preview meet in Portland, will not run their top ten runners on both sides, as they will be running in next week's Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, Oregon.

Though they saw each other in last week's Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, both nationally ranked Western Washington and Seattle Pacific squads will face off at Saturday's Saint Martin's Invitational, as they run against conference rivals Central Washington, Alaska Fairbanks, and the host Saints. 

Western's men's squad comes in at #10 in the USTFCCCA national poll, while SPU is #29. In the national women's poll, Western Washington is ranked #15, dropping two spots from the pre season poll, while Seattle Pacific moves up 12 spots from their pre-season ranking of #30 to #18.

Even though she is bringing just a small group to Saint Martin's, coach Erika Daligcon isn't bringing small expectations. “I think we can do some pretty good things,” she said. “After Willamette (next weekend's Charles Bowles Invite), we'll be packed up until conference. It will be fun to see what this group can do.”

The Falcons also announced that former All-American Jane Larson will serve as an assistant coach to the team. Larson was part of SPU's string of three consecutive NCAA trophies from 2007 (second place), 2008 (fourth) and 2009 (fourth). She was an All-American as a sophomore in 2007 (ninth place at nationals) and again as a junior in 2008 (12th place).

FIFTH AVENUE MILE ENDS 2012 SEASON FOR LAGAT 

On the pro circuit, Washington State hall of famer Bernard Lagat ends 2012 where he started, as the 37-year old veteran competes in the Fifth Avenue Mile on the streets of New York City.

Lagat, who finished fourth in the Olympic 5000 meter finals in London, began the 2012 season back in January with a mile race at fabled Madison Square Garden.

In the pro races, 15 men and 13 women will vie for $60,000 in prize money, with the top man and woman each taking home $5,000.

Lagat, the defending champion, goes against fellow US Olympians Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist at 1500 meters; and Matthew Centrowitz, the 2011 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist at 1500 meters.

Also in the field is Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara, who was third in last week's Great NorthCity Games mile race in Newcastle/Gateshead, UK, which Lagat won.

In the lead-up to Saturday's Fifth Avenue Mile, Lagat talked to the Wall Street Journal about his plans for the next five weeks until November 1st, as well as to Joe Battaglia about next season and beyond. 

The field for Saturday's Fifth Avenue Mile is listed here. 

NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State University, Seattle Pacific, and St. Martin's University, along with the New York Road Runners, contributed to this report.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Both WWU Vikings and SPU Falcons ranked in first national USTFCCCA D2 poll...

NEW ORLEANS--In the first regular season rankings for Division II that were released Wednesday, the Western Washington men's cross country team are ranked #10 in the USTFCCCA coaches' poll, despite a fourth place finish in last Saturday's Sundodger Invitational.

Adams State of Colorado is the country's #1 team according to the national coaches' poll. The Falcons of Seattle Pacific, thanks to a strong second place finish in the open section of the Sundodger Invitational last Saturday, make their first appearance in the national men's poll this season, as they come in at #29 after not being ranked in the pre-season poll.

In the women's national poll, Western Washington is ranked #15, dropping two spots from the pre season poll, while Seattle Pacific moves up 12 spots from their pre-season ranking of #30 to #18. Augustana of South Dakota is the country's #1 women's team in NCAA D2 according to the coaches' poll.

For winning the open section of the Sundodger, Western's Chip Jackson (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) was named the GNAC athlete of the week.

Jackson joined Paul Kezes of Western Washington (2002), David Kiplagat of Alaska Anchorage (2006), John Riak of Saint Martin's (2007) and Kyle Van Santen of Saint Martin's (2010) as the only GNAC athletes to win the event. "Chip ran a great race, a very smart race," WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell said. "He was 15th or 20th around the mile mark, far enough back that nobody was worried about him, but he gradually picked them all off."

This week in the GNAC, Central Washington, Seattle Pacific and Western Washington will join the host Saints at the Saint Martin's Invitational. Central Washington will also compete among with Montana State Billings at the Erik Anderson Invitational in Spokane.

The USTFCCCA national rankings are available here. 

TOYOTA EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH IAAF 

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is delighted to announce that, with the support of IAAF Marketing Partner Dentsu, the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has signed an agreement to continue as an official partner of the IAAF World Championships until 2017. 

Toyota, which was already committed to provide support until the 14th edition of the IAAF World Championships, Moscow, Russia (10 - 18 August 2013), has agreed to extend its commitment to cover the 2015 and 2017 IAAF World Championships which take place respectively inBeijing, China (22-30 August 2015) and London, United Kingdom (5 - 13 August 2017).

Toyota’s support of the IAAF World Championships also ranges from presenting awards to World record setting athletes, providing environment-friendly vehicles - such as the "Prius" gasoline-electric hybrid - for use during the championships, in line with the "Green Earth" and "Green Management" ideals of the IAAF’s Green Project.

NOTE: USTFCCCA and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

USTFCCCA coaches' poll keeps the Huskies at #1...

NEW ORLEANS--The Washington Huskies (left/photo by Paul Merca) maintained their grip on the #1 women's national ranking in the latest coaches' poll released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll Tuesday.

The Dawgs, who won last Saturday's Sundodger Invitational, received ten first place votes from the national panel.

In a minor change, Florida State vaulted up to second over Oregon, with Georgetown fourth and Iowa State fifth.

Other Pac-12 schools in the national top 30 include Stanford at #6, Arizona at #12, and Colorado at #17.

The men's national poll saw no changes in the top four, as Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, BYU, and Oklahoma maintained their positions.

Portland moved up one spot to #5 ahead of defending Pac-12 champ Colorado.

Other Pac-12 schools include Stanford at #9, Oregon at #25, UCLA at #27, and the Cougars of Washington State, who were idle last weekend, dropping two spots to #28.

The USTFCCCA release and the complete national rankings are available here.

In Division II, the regional rankings were released Tuesday, and Seattle Pacific's women's squad is ranked #4 in the West, just ahead of Western Washington at #5.
Conference rival Alaska Anchorage holds the #1 spot.

In the men's West regional rankings, Western Washington is #3, while Seattle Pacific is #7. Chico State is currently the #1 team in the West.

The USTFCCCA release and the complete regional Division II rankings are available here.

In the Division III men's regional rankings, previously unranked Whitworth and Puget Sound moved to #4 and #5, respectively.

In the women's D3 regional rankings, Whitman moves up one spot to #6, and unranked Whitworth goest to #8.

The USTFCCCA release and the complete regional Division III rankings are available here.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

WSU's Caroline Austin takes win at WCC Preview in Portland...

PORTLAND--Washington State University senior Caroline Austin (left/photo by Paul Merca) racked up her second win of the 2012 cross country season, as she took the victory at the WCC Preview meet at Portland's Fernhill Park in 21:04 for the 6-k race.

"It was a well laid out race that played to my strengths because I can break down a race that's done in loops better," Austin said. "I felt strong and had some fun out there today. I also liked how strongly our freshmen handled their first 6k. It shows a lot of promise for our team."

The Bulldogs of Gonzaga, one of the region's most improved teams, may have sent a message to the rest of the West Coast Conference, as they took the women's team title.

Gonzaga won with 29 points followed by Loyola Marymount (53), Chico State (99), Portland (103), Santa Clara (123), and Washington State finished sixth at 132.

Emily Thomas (21.12) led a three-four-five finish over the 6K layout for the Bulldogs as she was followed across the line by Lindsey Drake (21:23) and Maggie Jones (21:23), respectively. Lauren Bergam (21:34) was eighth and freshman Amelia Evans (21:39) was ninth.

"There was a 25-second spread among our top five. Things played out pretty well today and that that crowd within 25 seconds of each other will pay off down the road and hopefully we'll even tighten it up a little more," Gonzaga assistant coach Patty Ley said of the women's effort.

In the men's race, Gonzaga finished third as the University of Portland won the meet with 22 points, followed by NCAA Division II power Chico State University with 63 points and Gonzaga with 73.

Tate Kelly paced the men in 12th place in 23:40 for the 8K, Brent Felnagle was 16th in 23:51, Willie Milam was 17thin 23:52, Robert Walgren finished 19th in 23:53 and Chris Boyle was 24th in 24:02 to account for Gonzaga's top five finishers.

Washington State's #26 men's squad stayed at home, as they will race next weekend.

Complete results of the WCC Preview are available here.

NATIONAL CATHOLIC INVITATIONAL, PLUS THE PRO CIRCUIT

In South Bend, Indiana, a fourth-place finish by Erik Barkhaus led the Seattle University men's cross country team to a fifth place finish, while the women's cross country squad finished in eighth place at the National Catholic Invitational, hosted by the University of Notre Dame Friday.

Barkhaus finished the five-mile course in 24:33, just 17 seconds behind individual champion Jeremy Rae of Notre Dame. Fellow redshirt senior Matthew McClement crossed the finish line in 27th place with a time of 25:31, followed by Collin Overbay in 38thplace in 25:56.

As a team, the Redhawk men finished in fifth place overall among 34 teams with 191 points. Among the 13 Division I schools that competed, Seattle U finished in fourth place, behind meet champion Notre Dame, Duquesne, and Marquette.

For the Redhawks, Hannah Mittelstaedt was the top finisher, completing the five-kilometer course in a time of 18:18 crossing the finish line in 21st place. Jennifer Stolle finished in 40th place with a time of 18:46, and Sophie Curatilo posted a time of 19:00 to finish in 55th place.

The Redhawk women totaled 273 points, eighth place among all 34 schools competing and seventh place within the 13 Division I schools in the event. Notre Dame placed six runners in the top 10 to easily win the team competition.

Results of the National Catholic Invitational are available here.

On the pro circuit, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat won the mile Saturday in a not-so-easy 4:01.62 over Great Britain's James Brewer, who was one step behind at 4:01.81 at the Great NorthCity Games in Newcastle/Gateshead, UK, held in conjunction with the Bupa Great North half-marathon.

In this unique setting, a temporary track and jump runways were built on the streets of the two cities, with the distance races held on a road course.

To give the meet some added spice, the event was set up as a dual between Team USA and Team GB.

In the mile, Brewer a former European Under23 silver medallist, pushed Lagat to the wire, but the veteran held on to win by 0.19sec in a time of 4:01.62 with Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara third in 4:02.86.

Lagat's time rounded up to 4:02 equalled the CityGames record which Andy Baddeley and Farah achieved three years ago during their epic battle in the England versus Australia match.

Double Olympic champ Mo Farah, who currently trains on the Nike campus in Beaverton, delighted the home fans in capturing the invitational two-mile in 8:40.

In the point-per-win format, Team USA won the match over Team GB 6 to 3.

Complete results of the Great NorthCity Games are available here.

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

Christine Babcock and Joey Bywater win Sundodger Invitational as Huskies roll...

SEATTLE--On a sunny Saturday morning at West Seattle's Lincoln Park, University of Washington alum Christine Babcock (left/photo by Paul Merca), and Husky senior Joey Bywater ran to victory in the annual Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington.

Babcock, a member of the Huskies' 2008 national championship squad as a highly touted freshman from Southern California, was at or near the front early, and stretched out her lead over the three lap, 6k Lincoln Park loop, as she took an 18-second victory over Idaho's Hannah Kiser, 20:28 to 20:46.

Though out of cross country eligibility for the Huskies, Babcock does have remaining eligibility for track and field with the UDub.

Defending champion Allix Potratz-Lee finished third in 20:50, while Fresno State's Lyndsie Etherton was fourth in 20:59, and Maria Bernard of the University of British Columbia rounded out the top five in 21:01.

Chelsea Orr was the leading runner for the University of Washington, finishing seventh in 21:10, just one second behind Eleanor Fulton, the UW sophomore who was competing unattached.

Kayla Evans in ninth (21:18), freshman Maddie Meyers in 11th (21:32), Anna Dailey in 14th (21:47), and Joelle Amaral (22:15) in 19th rounded out the scoring for the USTFCCCA #1 ranked Huskies, as they took the team title with a score of 45 points, with Fresno State second at 56 points, and Idaho in third with 76 points.

Eastern Washington was seventh with 204 points, led by Berenice Peraloza in 39th at 23:11.

Washington ran without several of their top returning athletes including Pac-12 champ Katie Flood, and NCAA All-American Megan Goethals.

As for the victor, UW head coach Greg Metcalf said, "(Babcock) needed a track season to get her legs back. Last track season wasn't perfect but it got her moving again. So she's had a great summer, she's as fit as she's been in three years. This is by design, that's the only race she'll run this fall, and now we'll build and get ready for track season. I'm excited about how she looked today."

In the men's invitational 8k, a large group of Huskies took command early in the race, with Idaho's Barry Britt, last year's runner-up the only one willing to run up front with the Dawgs.

As the race progressed, the Huskies' Joey Bywater (above/photo by Paul Merca) began asserting his will on the field, with NAIA All-American Seth Bridges, who recently completed eligibility from Northwest University in Kirkland, and Washington State alum Justin Englund giving chase.

Bywater took the victory in 23:49, nine seconds up on Bridges, with Englund third at 24:04.

Britt hung on for fourth at 24:06, with the Huskies' Aaron Nelson fifth in 24:12.

After Fresno State's Olivier Bernard crossed the line in sixth at 24:15, the Huskies strung five straight runners across the line, led by seventh place finisher Tyler King (24:15), Rob Webster Jr (24:17), and Gareth Gilna (24:19).

The Huskies were easy winners of the men's team title with 22 points, followed by Fresno State at 61, and Idaho at 73 points.

"Aside from missing James Cameron, that is our men's group right there," said Metcalf. "I think they're tired from training and camp so they were a little flat today, but all in all I thought today was successful. I liked the way they operated. They were aggressive, and I'm excited about what's in store for them. That was the best I've seen Joey look in a cross country race; he looked completely in control."

In the day's opening race, Lewis & Clark's Emily Thomas took a 13 second win over Marlene Farrell in the open women's 6k, 21:50 to 22:03, with Western Washington's Katelyn Steen third at 22:09.

Lewis & Clark squeezed out a five-point victory over surprising Everett Community College 62-67, with Seattle Pacific third at 88 points.

Other Washington schools included Western Washington in 6th at 203; Central Washington in 8th at 219; Whitworth 9th at 242; and Northwest University 11th at 290.

In the men's open 8k, Western Washington's Chip Jackson reeled in early leader Jesse Baggenstos of Northwest Nazarene on the final lap to win 24:55 to 24:58.

Blair Johnston of Trinity Western was third at 25:08, with US Olympic Trials steeplechase qualifier John Ricardi fourth in 25:09.

The University of British Columbia won with 48 points, followed by Seattle Pacific at 108, and Everett CC third with 128.

Other Washington schools included SeattleU 4th at 155; Western Washington 5th at 166; Whitworth 6th at 212; Puget Sound 7th at 219; Central Washington 13th at 375; St Martin's 16th at 410; Pacific Lutheran 17th at 429; Green River CC 20th at 545; and, Highline CC 22nd at 680.

In the high school 5k races, Glacier Peak's Amy-Eloise Neale, the 2012 Gatorade state track & field athlete of the year, took the girls' title in 16:32, while Seattle Prep's defending state 3A 3200m champ Joe Hardy won in 14:58.

Complete results of the Sundodger Invitational, along with the UW recap are available here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Most of the state's collegiate squads to converge upon Lincoln Park for the Sundodger Invite Saturday...

SEATTLE--Most of the state's Division I & II teams will converge upon Lincoln Park in West Seattle for Saturday's Sundodger Invitational cross country race.

Action gets underway at 9 a.m. with the women's college open 6,000-meters and is followed by the open men's 8,000-meters. After the high school varsity girls 5k at 10:25, the Washington women's team, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will compete at 11 a.m. Shortly thereafter, at 11:35, the Husky men will race for 8k. The boys varsity high school race follows and the two junior varsity high school races close things out.

UW coach Greg Metcalf (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) expects most of his top returning men's runners will be on the starting line on Saturday, although the women's team will largely be comprised of athletes looking to crack the second group of five or newcomers just out to run strong in their collegiate debuts.

Competition for the invitational collegiate races includes out-of-towners from Fresno State, Portland State, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Western Oregon. SeattleU will also be in action along with visitors from Canada such as Simon Fraser and UBC and several other local small colleges

In the open races, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, St. Martin's, and Central Washington are expected to field teams.

The complete time schedule is available here, along with Washington's season preview.

Across the state, Washington State and Gonzaga will send squads to Portland for Saturday's West Coast Conference preview meet at Fernhill Park.

SeattleU will have a split squad this weekend, as runners will compete both at Sundodger as well as Friday's National Catholic Championships hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

On the pro circuit, both Bernard Lagat and Jordan McNamara will run a road mile at Saturday's Great North CityGames in Newcastle, UK, in conjunction with the BUPA Great North Run, one of the country's top road races.

Taking place on a unique track in the heart of the city, the exciting format lets spectators get up close to the action.

Other events include a road 2 mile race featuring Mo Farah, men's long jump, 110 hurdles, 100, and 150, along with the women's pole vault, mile, 100m, and 50.

Start lists for the Great North CityGames are available here.

NOTE: The University of Washington contributed to this report.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Huskies return to USTFCCCA #1 spot for the first time since 2009...

NEW ORLEANS--In a minor change, the University of Washington women's cross country team (left/photo by Paul Merca) is ranked #1 in the first regular season coaches' poll released Tuesday by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Four women’s teams are receiving first-place votes. No. 2 Oregon actually received more first-place votes, five, than No. 1 Washington’s four. No. 3 Florida State notched two first-place votes while No. 4 Georgetown, the defending NCAA champions, gained one.

Washington overtook Oregon from the No. 1 spot, a place the Ducks held in the preseason poll two weeks ago. Washington’s women won the national title in 2008, finished as the nation’s runner up a year ago, and were last voted as the top team in the country on November 17, 2009.

The Big East and Pac-12 both have five women’s teams in the top 30 to lead all leagues. The Big East sports No. 4 Georgetown, No. 7 Providence, No. 10 Villanova, No. 20 Syracuse, and No. 21 Notre Dame. Along with five in the top 30, the Pac-12 has three in the top ten with Washington, Oregon, and No. 8 Stanford.

After running a low-key competition with Seattle University on August 31st, the Huskies just completed their pre-season camp in Seabrook, Washington and prepare to host the Sundodger Invitational Saturday at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

In the men's poll, Washington State, under new coach Tim Riley, holds their #26 national ranking.

The top six men’s teams remain unchanged from the preseason poll, including top ranked Wisconsin, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 BYU, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Colorado, and No. 6 Texas.

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with five men’s teams – No. 5 Colorado, No. 9 Stanford, No. 22 Oregon, No. 26 Washington State, and No. 29 UCLA – ranked in the nation’s top 30.

The complete USTFCCCA national rankings are available here.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Friday, September 7, 2012

DenAdel & Guenther win individual titles at Central Washington Invitational...

ELLENSBURG--After coming off a hard pre-season training camp, Western Washington coach Pee Wee Halsell opted to give some of his younger runners the opportunity to compete in Friday's Central Washington Invitational season opener at Ellensburg Rotary Park.

In the men's 6k race, Pacific Lutheran's Alan DenAdel (left/photo courtesy Pacific Lutheran University) crossed the line first in 20:07, 21 seconds up on WWU's Zachary Bursell, with PLU's Kolter Grigsby third in 21:30.

Despite their strong performance, the Lutes didn't show enough depth to get close to Western Washington, which won with 32 points, and host Central Washington, which had 48. The Lutes were third with 73, followed by Green River CC with 76 and Highline CC with 134.

Two Viking freshmen finished one-two in the four-kilometer women's run. Taylor Guenther won in 15:33, five seconds faster than teammate Maddie Jalbert.

Central took top honors with 32 points in the four-team competition. WWU was second with 40, PLU third with 54, and Green River CC fourth with 107.

Complete results of the Central Washington Invitational are available here.

NOTE: The sports information departments at Western Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Western Washington opens 2012 harrier campaign Friday at CWU Invite in Ellensburg...

ELLENSBURG--The nationally ranked Western Washington men's and women's cross country squads open the 2012 season Friday when they travel to Ellensburg to compete in the Central Washington University Invitational at West Ellensburg Park.

The Vikings open the season ranked #10 in the USTFCCCA men's poll, while the women's team opens the season ranked #13 in the national Division II poll.

The race begins at 5 pm with the women's 4k race, followed 45 minutes later by the men's 6k race.

The CWU Invitational is also the season opener for the host Wildcats.

Both the Wildcats and the Vikings will compete in the Sundodger Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington on September 15th at Lincoln Park.

In a street vault competition in Aachen, Germany, Mountlake Terrace's Brad Walker finished in a tie for seventh with a jump of 17-1 (5.21m), as Germany's Björn Otto jumped a world leading mark of 19-8 1/2 (6.01m) and become the 18th man in history to clear 6 meters (19-8 1/4) or better.

The story (in German) and results are available here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ginnie Crawford ends season on a winning note in Zagreb...

ZAGREB, Croatia--Rainier Beach HS graduate Ginnie Crawford (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field) ended her 2012 season by emerging victorious in the 100 meter hurdles at the Borisa Hanžekovića meeting.

Crawford, competing in the meet which is part of the IAAF World Challenge Series, took the win in a time of 12.68, just ahead of fellow American Queen Harrison's 12.74, and in front of Canadians Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (12.86) and Phylicia George (13.07).

Olympic bronze medalist Kellie Wells was sixth in 13.44.

In the women's discus, Renton HS grad Aretha Thurmond finished fifth with a best throw of 195-4 (59.54m), as Olympic champ Sandra Perković gave the home fans a victory with a toss of 215-10 (65.79m), a new meet record.

With the win, Crawford took home a check for $4000, while Thurmond's fifth place finish was worth $800.

Complete results of the Borisa Hanžekovića meeting are available here.

COLLEGE ROUNDUP

Over the weekend, Saint Martin's opened its season last Saturday at the Logger Invitational hosted by the University of Puget Sound at Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, with the Saints winning the men's team title, and their women's squad taking second.

The Loggers' Matt Klein won in a time of 26:45 over 8k, while the Saints looked strong finishing 2-3-4 as Joseph Patti finished in a time of 27:03 to lead SMU.

The Saints' Erika Crock took the individual title, running 25:11 for the 6k course, while Carrie Keith paced the women of UPS with a second-place finish at the 25:32 mark.

In the men's team race, SMU won with 28 to UPS' 33 points,with Olympic College third at 69 points.

UPS won the women's team title 26-29 over SMU, while Olympic fielded an incomplete team.

Results and recap of the Logger Invitational are available here.

Both UPS and SMU return to action on September 15th at the Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington.

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced that Robyn Zeidler, who won the long-course race, finished second in the short-course race, and led Seattle Pacific's women to team titles in both meets at the Alaska Fairbanks Duals, has been named the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's cross country Athlete of the Week for 2012.

Zeidler ran 22:57 to win the long course 6k race last Thursday, and followed up the effort with a 15:19 clocking in the short course race.

The GNAC release is available here.

Finally, here's a link to a story posted on gohuskies.com describing the summer's activities for University of Washington assistant coaches Pat Licari and TJ Crater, who spent some time in London at the Olympics.

Licari worked with pole vaulter Brad Walker, while Crater, who formerly coached the throwing events at Penn State, was coaching Arizona State alum and reigning world indoor champion Ryan Whiting.

You can read the story here.

NOTE:  The GNAC, St. Martin's University, and the University of Puget Sound sports information department contributed to this report.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekend roundup: September 1-2...

In Berlin, University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond (second from the right, with all competitors from the meet/photo courtesy twitter.com/arethathrows) finished fourth in the discus at the ISTAF meeting on Saturday, separate from Sunday's main meet at the Olympiastadion.

The meet was held in Eistal, the site of the 1936 Olympic Village.

Thurmond, who arrived in Berlin from her training base of Opelika, Alabama at 9 am, then left her hotel for the competition at 11, finished fourth with a best of 199-7 (60.85m) in the sixth round.

Yarelys Barrios of Cuba won the event with a throw of 218-5 (66.59m), which is her second best result ever behind her 223-2 (68.03m) from spring this year.

Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia took second with 214-9 (65.47m) while Germany’s Nadine Müller was third at 211-1 (64.34m).

Brad Walker no heighted in the main portion of the meet that was contested on Sunday.

Walker missed on all three attempts at his opening height of 18-3 3/4 (5.58m). Germany's Björn Otto took the win at 18-11 1/2 (5.78m).

Complete results from the ISTAF Berlin meet are available here.

USTFCCCA DIVISION II RANKINGS RELEASED

We missed the USTFCCCA Division II preseason rankings released Friday, and the Western Washington men's squad will begin the season with a #10 ranking.

On the women's side, the Vikings begin the season at #13, while Seattle Pacific, which competed in Fairbanks Thursday and Saturday, starts the season ranked #30.

Adams State's men and Augustana (S.D.)'s women will begin the year as the No.1 teams in the land according to the USTFCCCA Division II ranking committee. Augustana is the national defending women's champ while men's defending champ Western State starts the year at No.2 in the rankings.

The national pre season rankings can be viewed here.

NOTE: ISTAF.de, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Andrew Kimpel and Caroline Austin win at Clash of the Inland Northwest...

COLBERT--Washington State seniors Andrew Kimpel (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Caroline Austin grabbed the individual titles and the number 26-ranked Cougar men's cross country team won at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet at Mead High School Saturday morning in the debut of Tim Riley as the new head cross country coach of the Cougars.

Kimpel, competing unattached, took the 6k title in a time of 18:25, with teammate Drew Jordan, also competing unattached, finishing second in 18:27.

Todd Wakefield was the first scoring Cougar across the line in 18:30, followed by Lee George in 18:31.

For Gonzaga, the Bulldogs were led by Tate Kelly in eighth place in 18:40, with Chris Boyle (18:49), Robert Walgren (18:56), Willie Milam (18:58), and Brent Felnagle (18:59) following in succession.

Eastern Washington was led by David Thor in 22nd place in 19:24, while Christopher MacMurray led Whitworth in 35th place at 20:02.

With Kimpel and Jordan running unattached, the Cougs took the team title over Gonzaga 28 to 30. Idaho was third with 87 points, followed by Whitworth at 100, and Eastern Washington at 131.

"The guys ran hard but did not run all-out today. They ran controlled so finishing one through seven with our unattached guys in there was good to see," Cougar coach Tim Riley said. "Andrew Kimpel and Drew looked great."

In the women's 4k race, Austin took a two-second victory over the Zags' Lindsey Drake 14:10 to 14:12.

After Drake, the Bulldogs squeezed three runners--Ameila Evans (14:16), Emily Thomas (14:17) and Maggie Jones (14:21) before the Cougs' Ruby Roberts (14:47) and Courtney Zalud (15:06).

Meghan Blanchet (15:08) rounded out Gonzaga's scorers in eighth in 15:08, while the Cougars' Emily Dwyer was tenth at 15:12.

Berenice Penaloza was Eastern Washington's top runner in 19th at 15:34. and Kellyn Roiko was Whitworth's leading runner in 27th at 15:52.

The Zags took the women's team crown with a comfortable 22-42 margin over Wazzu. Idaho was third at 69 points, followed by Whitworth at 114, and Eastern Washington at 124.

"Great team start," Lindsey Drake said of the Zag women. "This is definitely the best team finish I've ever been a part of or seen for Gonzaga. I'm really excited about us and I know this will be a great year."

The WSU women and both Gonzaga squads next race on September 15th at the WCC Preview meet in Portland.

Complete results from the Clash of the Inland Northwest are available here.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the Seattle Pacific women took the team title in the Alaska Fairbanks Short-Course 4K meet, beating Black Hills State of South Dakota 21-46, with host Alaska Fairbanks third at 61 points.

Erin Curran of Black Hills took the win in 15:12. As she did in Thursday's long-course race, Robyn Zeidler led the Falcons in second in 15:19.

Katie Thralls was third in 15:30, followed by Katie Morris in fourth at 13:33. Jasmine Johnson was fifth in 16:10, and Lynelle Decker closed out the SPU scorers in seventh at 16:27.

In the men's race, Black Hills narrowly took the team honors over the Falcons 36-41, with Alaska Fairbanks third at 52.

Mitch Kraft of Black Hills won in 12:45. AJ Baker in second (12:51), Tavish Taylor in fourth (13:01); Jordan Wolfe in seventh (13:08), Seth Pierson in ninth (13:12), and Colin Wilkins in 22nd (14:23) were the five scoring team members for SPU.

Seattle Pacific's release is available here.

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

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