NEW ORLEANS—The USTFCCCA Tuesday named University of Washington head coach Greg Metcalf (far left/photo by Paul Merca) as the West Region’s men’s coach of the year, as voted on by the coaches.
While he has won the regional coach of the year for the fifth time in his career, this award marks the first time Metcalf has won the men’s regional coach of the year.
The Husky men’s squad won the West Region title last Friday for the first time in school history, moving on to the NCAA Championships set for this Saturday in Louisville.
Hosting West Regionals at the Jefferson Park Golf Course, the Huskies were ready and willing to brave the rain and mud. Washington, ranked #17 heading into the race, put its entire top-five runners in the top-25, scoring 63 points to finish ahead of fourth-ranked Stanford which had 83, and seventh-ranked Oregon which was third with 99 points.
Washington is one of seventeen schools to qualify both its men’s and women’s teams to the NCAA Championships, which has a field of 31 men’s and 31 women’s teams. The men are appearing for the second straight year, looking to improve on last year’s 20th-place finish, while the women have qualified for a ninth consecutive season, having placed 23rd last year. The men are now 11th and the women are #12 in the final coaches poll before nationals.
Saturday’s NCAA Division I cross country championships at Tom Sawyer State Park will be webcast on ncaa.com beginning at 9am, pacific with the women’s 6k, followed by the men’s 10k at 10am.
WHITWORTH WOMEN OFF TO D3 NATIONALS
The Whitworth Pirates will send a women’s team to the NCAA Division III championships in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Saturday.
The Pirates earned their spot after finishing third in the NCAA West Regionals on November 14th in Claremont, California, led by Kellyn Roiko’s fourth place finish, running 21:53 for 6k. Whitworth is ranked #14 in the final regular season USTFCCCA Division III poll.
On the men’s side, Tyler Shipley of Puget Sound won the West regional meet, running the 8k distance in 25:05. Pacific Lutheran freshman Brad Hodkinson was fourth in 25:35, followed by Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski of UPS in 25:50.
Whitworth’s Christopher MacMurray was 11th in 26:06.
All four runners were among the top seven individuals whose teams did not qualify for the NCAA championship race, as only the top two teams in each of the eight regional races advanced, along with 16 at large squads selected by the NCAA D3 committee.
Like the Division I championship races, the Division III championship will be webcast on ncaa.com Saturday from Oshkosh starting at 9:00 am, pacific.
NOTE: The University of Washington, Whitworth University, the NCAA, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.