SACRAMENTO--The University of Washington women's cross country team will have to hold their collective breaths until Saturday when they'll know whether or not they'll move on to Terre Haute for next Saturday's NCAA cross country championships as the Huskies finished fifth at Haggin Oaks Golf Course.
The #12 ranked Huskies scored 162 points as they finished behind #1 Arizona (84), #18 Stanford (94), #15 Oregon (120), and #17 San Francisco (140) in perhaps one of the country's toughest regional meet.
Washington was led by Katie Flood's fourth place finish over the 6k course in 19:27, as Boise State's Emma Bates took the victory in 19:11, with Arizona State's Shelby Houlihan second at 19:14, and Pac-12 champ Aisling Cuffe of Stanford third in 19:15.
Flood's fourth place finish was the Des Moines, Iowa native's most significant performance since the 2011 season, when she was one of the most dominant runners in the collegiate scene.
Following Flood for Washington were Liberty Miller in 23rd (20:12), Katie Knight in 42nd (20:37), Amy-Eloise Neale in 43rd (20:38), and Megan Goethals in 50th (20:45), giving the Huskies a 78-second gap between their 1-5 runners.
Washington State, led by Ruby Roberts' 15th place finish in 20:02, finished 14th with 401 points. Gonzaga finished 17th with 437 points, led by Lauren Bergam's 64th place finish in 20:53. Seattle University was 20th with 563 points, with Hannah Mittelstaedt finishing 96th in 21:23, and Eastern Washington was 22nd with 627 points led by Berenice Penaloza in 72nd place in 20:59.
In the men's 10k race, Washington, which looked to have an outside chance at an NCAA berth if they could string together a strong team effort as they did two weeks ago at the Pac-12 meet, instead regressed, and finished ninth behind cross state rival Washington State, as the Cougs were eighth with 269, and the Dawgs scoring 277 points.
Stanford won the team title with 53 points, followed by Oregon with 64 points and the University of Portland with 92 points.
Oregon's Edward Chesarek won the individual title, running 29:35, with Jim Rosa and Erik Olson finishing 2-3 in 29:43 and 29:48, respectively.
The Huskies' Aaron Nelson finished eighth in a time of 29:54, and appears to have earned a spot in next week's NCAA championship meet as an individual competitor.
Washington State was led by Andrew Gonzales, who was 20th in 30:16. Following Gonzales were Todd Wakefield in 43rd (30:45), Forrest Shaffer in 52nd (30:56), John Whelan in 74th (31:27), and Lee George in 80th (31:37).
Washington's inability to place runners behind Nelson proved to be the Huskies' undoing, as Meron Simon in 61st was their second runner in 31:14. Sumner Goodwin was 67th in 31:18, Izaic Yorks was 69th in 31:20, and Andrew Gardner was their last scorer in 72nd at 31:23.
Gonzaga was 11th with 343 points led by Willie Milam in 31st in 30:35; Eastern Washington was 20th with 542, led by Chris Schroll in 68th in 31:19, and SeattleU was 25th with 694 points, with Nathan McLaughlin their lead runner in 112th place in 32:12.
Among significant runners with Washington ties competing in the race, Portland's Charlie McDonald (Bellevue) was 16th in 30:04; and Drew O'Donoghue-McDonald from Boise State (Seattle Prep) was 26th in 30:27.
In the women's race, Wenatchee's Hannah Kiser (Idaho), was 16th in 20:04.