Monday, October 31, 2016

Huskies' Amy-Eloise Neale honored by USTFCCCA as D1 national athlete of the week...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale’s (left/photo by Paul Merca) victory at the Pac-12 cross country championships in Tucson on Friday was recognized by the United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as the organization selected her as the NCAA Division I women’s cross country athlete of the week.

The junior from Glacier Peak HS in Snohomish via Great Britain used a closing final kilometer of 3:08 to pass six runners, including Colorado’s Erin Clark in the final 20 meters, to take home the Pac-12 harrier title in 20:23 (20:22.9) and beat Clark by less than a second (20:24; 20:23.3).

This continues to be a breakout season for Neale, whose last two seasons has been marred by various injuries. Two weeks ago, she placed a surprising fourth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison.

Neale’s victory at the Pac-12s made her the fourth Husky to win the conference crown, and the first since Katie Flood turned the trick in 2011 in Tempe, Arizona.

NOTE:  The University of Washington and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

UW alum Lindsay Flanagan breaks 2:30 at Frankfurt Marathon & finishes fourth...

FRANKFURT, Germany—University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan (left/photo courtesy via RunBlogRun) finished fourth in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon Sunday morning through the streets of the German city.

Flanagan set a personal best of 2:29:28, a mark that puts her fourth on the current US list, behind only the three US Olympic team members—Shalane Flanagan, Des Linden, and Amy Cragg.

Flanagan started by running 35:19 for the first 10k, then went through 20k at 1:10:45 (35:26).  At the half-way mark, she crossed in 1:14:38, running in eighth place.

She went through 30k at 1:46:30, a 35:45 split for that 10k segment, then made her move in the next 10k, crossing in 2:21:58, a 35:28 split, and more importantly, moving past four runners in the process before finishing in 2:29:28, shattering her previous personal best of 2:33:12, set in the 2015 Houston Marathon.

Flanagan becomes the fourth American to break 2:30 in the marathon this season.

Daska Molisa of Ethiopia won the race in 2:25:27, 15 seconds ahead of Fate Tola of Germany, while Sarah Jebet of Kenya was third in 2:27:07.

Kenya’s Mark Korir won the men’s title in 2:06:48.

NOTE:  Media partner RunBlogRun contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Seattle University's Lila Rice wins Western Athletic Conference harrier title...

SEATTLE—On a drizzly day at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill, Seattle University’s Lila Rice (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the Western Athletic Conference cross country title to lead the Redhawks to a surprising second place team finish with a score of 46 points.

Rice was in a group of seven runners through the first kilometer of the 5-kilometer race, before breaking away a little over half way through the race.

By the time the race ended, she extended her lead to 18 seconds, winning in a time of 18:01, with Savannah Berry of Utah Valley the closest pursuer in 18:19.

Johanna Erickson was SeattleU’s next finisher in seventh in 18:25, followed by Olivia Stein in 10th at 18:39.

Moira O’Connor Lenth was 12th in 18:39, and Rebecca Lassere rounded out the Redhawk scorers in 16th place in a time of 18:51.

Talking about the decisive move to secure the victory, she said, “I have a really bad kick, so I figured I’d try to get a head start and see what happens.”

Describing the final lap, Rice said, “I wanted to keep going at that pace, and I was feeling pretty good.”

The Redhawks, who were third in this meet last year, moved up one spot to second, as Utah Valley successfully defended its conference title with a low score of 41 points, led by a second place finish by Berry’s 18:19.  The Wolverines put four runners in the top 9 to clinch the conference crown.

In the men’s 8k race, University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Bryce Miller, an NCAA and US Olympic Trials qualifier in the steeplechase, and the defending conference champ in the 5000 and steeple, took command half way through the race, to earn his first WAC cross country title, and his seventh overall conference championship, as he stopped the watches in 25:04.

His victory helped propel the UMKC Kangaroos to a one-point conference championship over defending champion Utah Valley, winning by a 46-47 count, and stopping an attempt by Utah Valley to win its fourth straight WAC title.

Seattle University finished third, replicating its finish from last year, with a final team score of 65 points.

The Redhawks were led by Ben Monk’s eighth place finish in 25:34.  He was then followed by Eli Boudouris in 11th (25:42), Jacques Hebert in 13th (25:50), Tyler Flannery in 15th (25:51), and Matt Seidel in 18th (26:04).

NOTE: The Western Athletic Conference and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Washington's Amy-Eloise Neale wins Pac-12 cross country title...

TUCSON, Arizona—It took a late kick with 20 meters to go, but the University of Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki) broke through to win the Pac-12 women’s 6k cross country championships Friday morning at Randolph North Golf Course.

Neale, the junior from Snohomish’s Glacier Peak HS via Great Britain, had doubts in her mind about whether or not she would ever be good at cross country after finishing fourth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.

Neale sat back in the lead group of ten runners or so, as teammate Charlotte Prouse did most of the early leading.  

In the final lap, she made her charge, moving up to third and eventually second with 1000 meters to go, as she battled Colorado’s Erin Clark and Dani Jones.  Clark had a one step lead will 100 meters to go, but caught Clark just short of the line to win in 20:22.9 to Clark’s 20:23.3, with Jones third at 20:24.4.

Prouse faded to sixth in 20:32.  Pac-12 10000 meter champ Katie Knight was 19th in 21:10, with freshman Kaitlyn Neal 21st in 21:15.  Izzi Batt-Doyle rounded out the Husky scorers in 28th in a time of 21:27.

Colorado, the nation’s #1 ranked team, took the women’s team title with a low score of 33 points, followed by the Huskies, ranked #2 nationally with 74 points.

Washington State finished 11th in the 12-team field with a final score of 304 points, led by Devon Bortfeld’s 37th place finish in 21:38.

The Cougars’ other scorers were Morgan Willson in 63rd (22:25), Morgan Lash in 77th (22:50), Josie Brown in 81st (23:01), and Jenaya Pynn in 83rd (23:11).

Talking about her victory afterwards, Neale said, “I actually didn’t realize it was quite that close. With 100 meters to go I realized that I hadn’t lost the race yet. So I just really tried to remember all the speed work that we’ve done, we’ve done some pretty good 300s workouts now and just tried to keep that in mind.”

UW coach Greg Metcalf said, “To see (her) go win a Pac-12 championship in the manner that she did says a lot.  She gets passed, she battles back; I’d say that last 100 meters sort of defined her last couple years. She never stopped believing, not that she didn’t have moments along the way, but for Amy-Eloise to be the Pac-12 champion is just an incredible testament to the young woman that she is and the athlete that she is.”

Courtesy of the Pac-12 Network, here is the finish:

The men’s championship 8k race proved to be the coronation of Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, as he pulled away in the middle of the third lap to win his fourth straight conference title, running 23:59.

Cheserek’s win made him the first in conference history to win four straight titles, surpassing the three of Oregon’s Steve Prefontaine, and Washington State’s Henry Rono.

Assisted by former Spokane prep standout John Dressel, who finished sixth in 24:21, the Colorado Buffaloes, ranked #7 in the country, once again repeated as team champions, winning the crown for the sixth straight time, with a low score of 41, six points better than #2 Stanford’s 47.

Washington State, ranked 15th in the USTFCCCA poll, finished fifth with 130 points, led by junior Sam Levora’s 15th place finish in 24:51.  

Following Levora were Michael Williams in 24th place (25:01), John Whelan in 26th (25:03), Nathan Wadhwani in 27th (25:04), and Nathan Tadesse in 38th (25:19).

The University of Washington, ranked #25 in the country, finished seventh with a final team score of 187 points.  They were led by Andrew Gardner’s 18th place finish in 24:54.  He was followed by Fred Huxham in 31st (25:08), Colby Gilbert in 45th (25:32), Johnathan Stevens in 56th (26:04), and Mahmoud Moussa in 61st (26:23).

Among notables with Washington ties finishing the race was Spokane native Tanner Anderson of the University of Oregon, who was 30th in 25:07.

Washington and Washington State move on to the NCAA West Regionals in two weeks in Sacramento, California.


In Moscow, Idaho, Eastern Washington’s Sarah Reiter finished second overall, as the Eagles were sixth overall with 170 points.

Reiter ran 17:23 for the 5k distance, 9 seconds behind Weber State’s Ellie Child.

She was followed by Kaili Keefe in 26th in 18:27

On the men’s side, James Breen was the leader of the Eastern Washington squad, finishing 32nd over the 8k distance in 26:04.

The Eagles finished seventh with 194 points.

Northern Arizona swept both the women’s and men’s titles, with the women scoring a low of 48 points, and the men’s team scored a perfect 15 for the second time in conference history.

Spokane prep standout Nathan Weitz was NAU’s sixth man, placing sixth overall in 24:32.


In San Diego, Jordan Thurston of Gonzaga led the defending West Coast Conference champs to a fourth place team finish, as she took fourth in the individual race, running 20:59 for 6k.

In a hotly contested team race, the University of Portland, ranked #8 in the country, squeezed out the championship by a 42-44 margin over BYU, with San Francisco third at 47 points, and Gonzaga fourth with 139 points.

Lauren Larocco of Portland was the individual winner, running 20:28.

In the mens 8k championship race, Dillion Quintana led Gonzaga to a fourth place team finish with his 16th place individual finish, running 25:05.

Alex Short of San Francisco took the individual championship, running 24:20.  BYU, the nation’s #4 squad, won the team title with 24 points, with #12 Portland second with 45 points.  San Francisco was third with 92 points, followed by Gonzaga with 123 points.

NOTE:  The Pac-12 Conference, and the sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, and Gonzaga University contributed to this report.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's also conference championship time for Gonzaga, Eastern Washington & SeattleU...

While Washington and Washington State are in Tucson for the Pac-12 cross country championships Friday, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University are also competing in their conference championship meet Friday and Saturday.

EASTERN WASHINGTON makes a short drive to Moscow, Idaho for the Big Sky championship meet starting at 11 am with the men’s 8k, followed by the women’s 5k at 12:15 pm.

Last year, the Eagles finished in the top five, with the women’s team taking second, and scoring the best team finish in school history.  The men’s squad was fourth, one spot off its all-time best finish of third in 2008.

One of the most intriguing story lines in the women’s race is whether or not Eastern’s Sarah Reiter (left/photo by Paul Merca) can reclaim the Big Sky championship that she won in 2014.

Acoording to Eagle coach Chris Shane, the Lindbergh/Renton product enters the meet as one of the favorites to claim the women’s title.

On the men’s side, Shane feels the senior Isaac Kitzan, who has been the team’s #1 runner all season has a strong chance of claiming all-conference honors.

GONZAGA heads down to San Diego for Friday’s West Coast Conference meet at Tecolote Shores Park, starting at 10 am with the women’s 6k race.

The Zags, who rode the momentum of winning the team title last year in Spokane all the way to their first berth at the NCAA championships, will face three nationally ranked teams in #8 Portland, #13 San Francisco, and #20 BYU.  Gonzaga will be led by season-long #1 runner Jordan Thurston.

On the men’s side, Gonzaga will face two nationally ranked teams in fourth-ranked BYU, and #12 Portland as they contest the championship meet over 8k at 11 am.  Max Kaderabek leads the Bulldogs into battle in San Diego.

Saturday, SEATTLE UNIVERSITY hosts the Western Athletic Conference championship meet at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Seattle’s Beacon Hill, with the women’s 6k race starting at 9 am, and the men’s 8k starting at 10 am.

Utah Valley goes into the meet as the favorites on both the men’s and women’s competition. Utah Valley looks to win its fourth straight men’s team title, while their women’s squad is aiming to repeat as conference champs.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So, what does Nature Boy Ric Flair have to do with the Pac-12 cross country championships?

During my younger days, I occasionally indulged in watching professional wrestling on TV, as guys like Hulk Hogan, the Iron Sheik, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Jimmy “Super Fly” Snuka, and many others, beat the living crap out of each other, with the usual high drama, illegal moves, and questionable ethics built in so that you’d get roped into watching what happens next week. 

As they got older, viewers were introduced to a new generation of wrestlers that included The Rock (who flipped his wrestling stint into becoming one of the highest paid actors today), Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, et al.

One of those wrestlers that made watching it on TV entertaining was a guy by the name of Nature Boy Ric Flair (left/photo courtesy World Wrestling Entertainment).

The Nature Boy’s schtick on World Championship Wrestling on Superstation WTBS (before they were bought out by the WWE) included prancing around in a big robe and bragging about his private jet, his gold-plated Rolex watch, and the number of women waiting for him in every city.

Once you got past the braggadocio, the one part of his schtick that holds a lot of truth is the line that “if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man”

So what does Ric Flair have to do with Friday’s Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at Randolph North Golf Course in Tucson, hosted by the University of Arizona?


To paraphrase his line, if you want to be the champion, you have to beat the champion.

In NCAA cross country circles,
Oregon's Edward Cheserek is the man
(Paul Merca photo)

The University of Washington women’s cross country team, ranked #2 in the latest USTFCCCA Division I coaches’ poll, is on a collision course with Colorado, the nation’s #1 team. The Buffaloes, led by Eugene native Erin Clark, won the ISU Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute, Indiana, the site of this year’s NCAA championships, while the Huskies won the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, dispatching previous #1 Providence.

Do not overlook Oregon, who lost to the Huskies at the UW Invitational, and to Colorado at the Pre-Nationals, as they are ranked #5 in the country.  For that matter, don’t overlook #11 Stanford, who should have a healthy Elise Cranny back.  

Number 17 Utah, #23 UCLA, and #25 Cal is also in the mix, but have to run perfect races to have a shot at Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Stanford.  The Buffaloes are attempting to win their second straight team title, with the Huskies the last team to turn the trick in 2008-09.

The women’s individual race is wide open, but it comes down to the UW duo of Amy-Eloise Neale and Charlotte Prouse; Colorado’s Clark & Kaitlyn Benner; Cal’s Bethan Knights; and Stanford’s Elise Cranny and Vanessa Fraser.

While #7 Colorado is still the team to beat on the men’s side, #2 ranked Stanford, #3 Oregon, and #10 UCLA have something to say about that, while #15 Washington State, and #25 Washington needs help from their #3, 4, & 5 runners to have a shot at the top four teams.

One of the most intriguing stories of the Pac-12 cross country championship race is the attempt by Oregon’s Edward Cheserek to win his fourth straight individual title, a feat that even the great Steve Prefontaine of Oregon and Henry Rono of Washington State never accomplished. 

The runners with the most realistic shot of dethroning the King include Sean McGorty of Stanford, and the Huskies’ Colby Gilbert.  Besides McGorty and Gilbert, Colorado’s Ben Saarel and Spokane native John Dressel, along with Stanford’s Sam Wharton and Grant Fisher are the former NCAA All-Americans entered in the field.  If the Washington State duo of John Whelan and Michael Williams run over expectations, they too could find themselves in the mix.

The X factors in this race are a pair of freshmen from Stanford in Alex Ostberg and Thomas Ratcliffe. While they realistically will be hard pressed to challenge King Cheserek, their presence could be the key for the Cardinal to dethrone Colorado, who have won the men’s title every year since entering the conference in 2011.

But no matter how you slice it, this is Cheserek’s race to lose..

The weather, which has approached the low 90s over the last few days, could be a factor, though the projected forecast for Friday morning’s races are for temperatures in the high 70s for the women’s 6k race at 9:30, and low 80s an hour later when the men start their 8k race.

When you look at this meet from a national perspective, it’s pretty apparent that the Pac-12 championship meet is clearly the best conference meet in the country this weekend.

If you want to be the champ, you have to beat the champ. And that’s what the athletes and teams converging upon Tucson for Friday’s Pac-12 cross country championships want to do.

As the Nature Boy would say, “WOOO!”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brie Felnagle moves to Sacramento to join NorCal Distance Project training group...

In a release posted by the Sacramento based NorCal Distance Project, the team announced that Bellarmine Prep HS alum Brie Felnagle (left/photo by Paul Merca) will move her training base from Seattle to Sacramento.

For the past several years, Felnagle has trained in Seattle as part of the Beasts Track Club under coach Danny Mackey, even though her sponsorship deal is with adidas.

After a strong 2015 season that included her qualifying for her first major US international team—the IAAF world cross country championship team that traveled to China—she ran 15:37.17 in the 5000 in June 2015, and only ran 4:12.13 in the 1500 and 4:32.72 in the mile this season, missing out on qualifying for the US Olympic Trials.

In the release, the veteran said, ‘I am excited to be moving down to Sacramento and joining NorCal Distance. I truly believe in the power of teammates and can’t wait to train alongside such a talented and awesome group of women.’ Regardless of how scheduling specifics unfold in the months ahead, Brie remains anxious to ‘be in the mix of some great races and set some PR’s this upcoming season.’

Felnagle joins a training group that includes 2016 US Olympians Kim Conley (5000 meters) and Kate Grace (800 meters).

Saturday, October 22, 2016

SMU's Porter, WWU's Derline, along with Falcon women & Viking men earn podium spots at GNAC champs...

BELLINGHAM—Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Western Washington’s Isaac Derline, along with the Seattle Pacific women’s team and the the Western Washington men’s squad each earned podium finishes at Saturday’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship meet at East Lake Padden Park.

In the women’s 6k race, Porter challenged for the lead, but in the end, Alaska Anchorage’s Caroline Kurgat, the runner-up at last year’s meet, pulled away to take the individual crown in a time of 21:17, seven seconds up on Porter.

Seattle Pacific’s Mary Charleson dropped 25 seconds from her time over this same course two weeks ago to take fourth in 21:41, while Falcon teammate Sarah Macdonald followed closely in sixth in 22:01.

Yadira Lopez of Saint Martin’s finished eighth in 22:12 to round out the Washington athletes in the top ten.

Defending champ Alaska Anchorage took its second straight team title and seventh in eight years with a low score of 45 points, followed by Simon Fraser with 56, and Seattle Pacific third with 92.

Western Washington, which was nationally ranked earlier in the season, finished with 114 points for fourth, led by Lillianna Stelling’s 12th place finish in 22:30, followed by Saint Martin’s with 139.

Central Washington was sixth with 188 points, led by Stephanie Rexus in 28th place in 23:08.

In the men’s 8k race, Isaac Derline of Western Washington, the winner of the WWU Invite on this course two weeks ago, finished third in a time of 25:08, as the Alaska Anchorage duo of Edwin Kangogo (24:55), and Michel Ramirez (24:57) went 1-2 to lead the Seawolves to their seventh straight conference crown.

Derline’s teammate Matthew Lutz finished eighth in 25:37.

Behind Alaska Anchorage’s low score of 31 points, Simon Fraser was second with 60 points, and Western Washington third with 86.  

Central Washington was seventh with 184, led by Kaleb Javier’s 26th place finish in 26:20.  Saint Martin’s was tenth with 285 points, led by Jasper Heckman in 47th place in 26:51.  Seattle Pacific was 11th with 300 points, led by Ben Halladay in 57th in 27:07.

Next up is the NCAA West Regional championship meet in two weeks in Billings, Montana.

NOTE: The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and the sports information offices of Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Saint Martin’s and Central Washington contributed to this report.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Championship season begins for state's Division II schools with GNAC title meet Saturday in Bellingham...

Washington’s four Division II schools reconvene Saturday at East Lake Padden Park in Bellingham for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference cross country championships, with the men’s 10k starting at 10 am, and the women’s 6k commencing an hour later.

In the men’s 10k, Western Washington’s Isaac Derline (above/photo courtesy WWU Athletics) looks to duplicate his finish two weeks ago when he won the Western Washington Invitational on this very course, where he ran 31:14 to win the meet, and lead the Vikings to a fourth place team finish.  The Vikings, who were nationally ranked before the WWU Invitational, must get strong performances from their other runners if they are to return to the national top-30.

Alaska Anchorage enters the meet as the favorite, having won the last six conference crowns, and scored under 30 points over the last four years.  The Seawolves will be led by two time defending GNAC champ Henry Cheseto, though he has finished no better than 11th in the two races he’s contested so far this season.

On the women’s side, both the Seawolves and the Vikings enter the championships as the favorites, wth Alaska Anchorage returning defending champion Joyce Chelimo and Caroline Kurgat among their eight runners entered that ran on last year’s championship squad, while Western Washington brings back seven runners from the team that took second last year.

Two teams that will have something to say about the women’s team race are #19 Simon Fraser, led by Rebecca Bassett, and #25 Seattle Pacific, led by junior Mary Charleston and senior Sarah Macdonald.

Alaska Anchorage enters the meet ranked #14 in the latest USTFCCCA poll, while Western Washington, which was ranked #15 in the previous national poll, dropped out of the national top 25 after finishing 7th at its own invitational.

Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter could also contend for the GNAC individual crown.

NOTE: The GNAC and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

UW women move up to #2 in latest USTFCCCA national cross country poll; WSU men #15...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington (above/photo courtesy UW Sports Information) women’s strong performance at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational was rewarded by the voters of the USTFCCCA National Division I cross country poll, as the Huskies moved to the # 2 ranking, according to the coaches’ organization.

In fact, three of the nation’s top five teams in this week’s poll hail from the Pac-12, with defending conference champion Colorado, the winners of the Indiana State University Pre-Nationals, ranked #1, and the University of Oregon ranked number 5.

Colorado received 8 of the 12 possible first place votes from the panel, with Washington taking the other four votes.

The other two teams in the top five are #3 NC State, and #4 Providence, both of whom the Huskies defeated at Wisconsin.

The #2 ranking by Washington is the highest for the Dawgs since the 2013 season when it was ranked #1.

Other teams from the Pac-12 ranked in the national top 30 include Stanford at 11, Utah #17, #23 UCLA, and #25 Cal, giving the conference a total of seven teams, a season high for the conference, with the next highest conference (Big Ten) having three teams.

On the men’s side, Washington State’s ninth place finish at Wisconsin was rewarded by the voters of the national poll, as they went from just outside the top 30 in the last poll to #15.

Washington, which was ranked #23 before the Wisconsin meet, dropped two spots to #25, despite a 16th place finish. 

The nation’s top five teams are Northern Arizona, Stanford, Oregon, BYU, and Arkansas.

The Pac-12 placed four teams in the top ten, with #7 Colorado, the defending conference champs, and #10 UCLA joining the party.

The Cougars and Huskies round out the six teams in the national top 30 from the Pac-12, giving the conference six teams, while the next highest conference (Big Ten) has four teams.

The Pac-12 championships will be contested on Friday October 28th in Tucson, Arizona at the Randolph North Golf Course, hosted by the University of Arizona.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA, the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.

Gig Harbor's Brenna Peloquin named USTFCCCA national D1 Athlete of the Week for Wisconsin win...

NEW ORLEANS—Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin (#118/photo by Mike Scott)  was named by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as its national Division I athlete of the week for her impressive performance last Friday in winning the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.

The sophomore at Boise State University spent the majority of the race amongst the leaders in the top five, but she made sure to also have a runner or two in front of and beside her to combat what was an extremely windy day. 

The Gig Harbor HS grad made a solid move with roughly 1,000 meters to go, and eventually accelerated one more time to drop New Mexico’s Alice Wright (#238) and Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer (#277) to take the win in 20:01, with Wright second at 20:02, and Rohrer third at 20:04 over the 6 kilometer course.

Peloquin is now the only Bronco in school history to garner the prestigious USTFCCCA weekly honor twice over the course of a collegiate career.

Peloquin also earned the honor after winning the Roy Griak Invitational individual title on September 24th. She clocked a time of 20:50 on the 6-kilometer course, securing an 11-second victory over Michigan’s Erin Finn (21:01).

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA and Boise State University contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Gonzaga's Thurston fifth in White section of ISU Pre-Nationals...

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana—Competing in the white section of the Indiana State University Pre-Nationals Invitational, Gonzaga’s Jordan Thurston (left/photo by Mike Scott) capped off her day with a sixth place finish, covering the 6k course where this year’s NCAA championship meet will be contested in a time of 21:08.

Jordan was running with the lead group for the first 4.5 k, when the pack began stringing out, according to Bulldog women’s coach Patty Ley.

Jessica Mildes was 40th in 22:14, followed by Katy Culver (66th, 22:36), Olivia Evans (88th, 22:57) and Julie Henling (106th, 23:14).

The Bulldogs finished 13th in the 25 team field with 300 points, as Annemarie Schwanz of Fresno State won the individual title in 20:49, and Oregon State took the team championship with 114 points.

The Gonzaga men’s team ran in the Blue section against a significantly tougher field, finishing 31st with 762 points, as Oregon won the team title with 85 points.

The Zags lost both Scott Kopczynski and Sumner Goodwin during the race as they both dropped out of the race due to injuries.

Max Kaderabek led the team with his 62nd place time of 25:00 over the 8k course.  Dillion Quintana (122nd, 25:25), Jake Perrin (127th, 25:27), Kelly Manley (222nd, 26:16), and Kyle Thompson (229th, 26:26) were the other finishers.  Manley lost significant ground, as he had his bib ripped during a fall, and was spiked in the process by other runners.

Oregon’s Edward Cheserek won his second straight race of the season, taking the individual crown in 23:35.

In Lewiston, Idaho, Eastern Washington’s Sarah Reiter tuned up for a possible run at regaining the Big Sky cross country championship she lost last year by winning the women’s 5k at the Inland Empire Invitational.

Reiter was timed with a clocking of 16:36, close to her track PR of 16:27.

The Eagles finished third in the meet with 76 points, behind Idaho’s 29, and Montana’s 42.  Washington State was fourth with 103, followed by Gonzaga at 123.

In the men’s 8k race, freshman Justin Janke of Washington State won in a time of 24:09 to lead the Cougars to the team title, as the Cougs placed three in the top five.

Joining the Cougar parade were Jake Finney in 3rd at 24:23, and Jackson Haselnus in fifth at 24:28.

Finishing behind Washington State’s 37 points was Gonzaga at 69, Idaho with 70, Eastern Washington at 76, and Montana with 88 points.

At Seattle’s Lower Woodland Park, host Seattle University’s mens and women’s teams finished second to Club Northwest at the Emerald City Open.

In the men’s 8k, Club Northwest’s Drew Polley took the win, as the WSU alum ran 25:33 to finish five seconds ahead of teammate and Seattle Pacific coach Chris Reed.

Eil Boudouris was the first Redhawk across the line in 25:54.

In the women’s 6k, Lana Lacey of Club Northwest won in a time of 22:06, with SeattleU’s Lila Rice second at 22:18.


Eastern Washington distance runner Drew Schreiber (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) is in a medically induced coma at Spokane’s Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center after being assaulted at a Cheney apartment complex on October 8th, according to a report from the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Schreiber transferred to Eastern Washington after a short stint at the University of Washington.

Booked into Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond are John T. Mellgren and Damian C. Dunigan for attempted first-degree murder.  Court documents indicate Schreiber was beaten with a baseball bat so badly that the bat bent.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Gonzaga, Washington State, SeattleU, and Indiana State contributed to this report.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Husky women make statement with win at Wisconsin; WSU men exceed expectations...

MADISON, Wisconsin—The 4th ranked University of Washington women’s cross country team may have put the country on notice after its convincing team victory at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational cross country meet, taking down three teams ranked in the top 10, including #1 Providence.

The Huskies, who potentially could be the nation’s #1 team when the USTFCCCA national poll comes out on Tuesday, were led by a surprising fourth place finish by Glacier Peak HS alum Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Mike Scott), who ran 20:06, as Gig Harbor HS alum Brenna Peloquin, running for Boise State, won the race in a time of 20:01.

Peloquin sat off the early pace set by the Huskies’ Charlotte Prouse and New Mexico’s Alice Wright before taking command in the final kilometer.

Wright was second in 20:02, with Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer third in 20:04, two seconds ahead of Neale.  Prouse finished fifth in 20:09.

Freshman Katilyn Neal was the Huskies’ third runner in 34th place at 20:48, followed by Kaylee Flanagan two places behind in 20:50.  Freshman Nikki Zielinski rounded out the scoring for the Dawgs in 45th at 20:58.

Veterans Anna Maxwell in 48th (20:59), and Pac-12 10000 meter champ Katie Knight in 50th (21:00) were the Dawgs’ final runners across the line.

Washington finished with 124 points, ahead of #3 ranked NC State's 166, and #1 Providence’s 170.

UW head coach Greg Metcalf said, "Our women were out aggressive and they raced hard and we had seven solid performances today, eight with Izzi (Batt-Doyle) in the open race," he said. "I thought we had a shot today if we just were competitive and assertive. We had a monster lead at the halfway point and just kept hammering to the finish line. Charlotte and Amy to be top-five were just fantastic performances today, their best ever on the big stage."

In contrast, Washington’s men’s squad may have taken a step back after a solid performance at its own invitational, and Washington State outperformed the expectations of the nation’s cross country prognosticators, and rebounded after a disappointing performance two weeks ago in South Bend, Indiana at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.

The Cougars, who entered the meet outside the national top 30, finished ninth in the invitational mens’ 8k race, led by Michael Williams’ 15th place finish in 24:11.  

John Whelan, who ran with the leaders early, was WSU’s second runner across the line in 23rd in 24:22.  He was followed by Chandler Teigen in 67th in 24:47, and Sam Levora in 68th in 24:48.

Nathan Wadhwani rounded out Washington State’s scorers in 110th in 25:07.

For the #23 ranked Huskies, Fred Huxham led the team to a 16th place team finish with his 37th place finish in 24:28. Team leader Colby Gilbert, who was up in the front pack early, faded to 63rd in 24:46.  

Washington’s other three scorers were Johnathan Stevens in 90th (24:56), Andrew Gardner in 91st (24:56), and Mahmoud Moussa in 135th (25:21).

Syracuse’s Justyn Knight won the individual title in 23:54, as the current #1 team in the country Northern Arizona won the team title with 78 points, followed by Stanford’s 118.

"We came in a little humbled from an off day at Notre Dame (Sept. 30) so everyone was really ready to get after it," WSU’s John Whelan said. "Boosted by a couple of great performances from Michael and Chandler we got the job done today, scoring points against a lot out-of-region teams that will help us towards NCAA qualifying."

Like the women’s race, the men’s competition showed that when the national rankings come out on Tuesday, there will be significant changes, with 19 ranked teams in the field, and another six, including Washington State, receiving votes in the last poll.

The women’s open race got the day started, as the Huskies’ Australian import, Izzi Batt-Doyle took the victory in 21:05.

Washington State’s Devon Bortfeld led the Cougars to a fourth place team finish with 137 points, as she finished fourth in 21:23.  Morgan Willson was 18th in 21:58, followed by Josie Brown in 34th at 22:25.

Morgan Lash in 35th (22:26), and Jenaya Pynn in 46th (22:35) rounded out the Wazzu scorers.

The Huskies finished seventh in the open race with 153 points, as Emily Hamlin was 6th in 21:28.  Following her were Katherine Penner in 33rd (22:25), Grace Hodge in 49th (22:40), and Joey Bosserman in 64th (23:20).

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

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, we incorrectly wrote that the WSU men's cross country team "rebounded from a disappointing performance two weeks ago in Minnesota at the Roy Griak Invitational", when in actuality, it was in South Bend, Indiana at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

UW, WSU, and Gonzaga head to invitationals in Wisconsin and Indiana...

For those squads hoping to qualify for the NCAA championships in Terre Haute, Indiana next month, a strong showing is needed at one of the two big invitationals this weekend, and the squads from Washington, Washington State, and Gonzaga are traveling east to test their chops against the best teams in the country.

Friday, the Huskies and the Cougars head to Madison, Wisconsin for the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

The Husky men’s team, ranked #23 in the current USTFCCCA national poll, and the Cougars, who are sitting outside the national top 30, will face the nation’s top three teams in #1 Northern Arizona, #2 Syracuse, and #3 BYU, as they race over 8k.  All-American Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) leads the Huskies into battle in Madison.

Additionally, #7 Portland, and #8 Iona are in the field of 30+ teams as they jockey for points that will help those squads qualify as at-large selections for the national championships, especially in regions like the West with a host of nationally-ranked teams.

Meanwhile, Washington’s women’s squad, ranked #4 in the USTFCCCA poll, goes up against a field that includes #1 Providence, #3 NC State, #6 Michigan State, #10 Boise State with Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin, the #11 ranked defending national champions from New Mexico, plus several other teams in the national top-30. as they run 6k.

The Huskies will run Washington Invitational champ Charlotte Prouse, along with Katie Knight, Amy-Eloise Neale, Anna Maxwell, Kaitlyn Neal, Kaylee Flanagan, and Nikki Zielinski.

The WSU women will race in the B section of the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, which kicks off the four races in Madison at 9 am, pacific time.

The Huskies will also run five women in the B section—Izzi Batt-Doyle, Joey Bosserman, Grace Hodge, Emily Hamlin, and Katherine Penner, as UW coach Greg Metcalf evaluates the athletes looking to make the travel squad for the Pac-12 championships in two weeks in Tucson, Arizona.

The championship races will conclude the meet, beginning with the women's six-kilometer at 10:30 a.m. Pacific and ending with the men's eight-kilometer at 11:20 a.m.

Media partner Flotrack will provide a live stream of the races for those with a Flotrack Pro subscription.

The following day, defending WCC women’s champs Gonzaga heads to Terre Haute, Indiana for the other major invitational, the adidas Pre-Nationals, hosted by Indiana State University at the site of this year’s NCAA Championship meet.

The Zags will be led on the women’s side by Jordan Thurston and Max Kaderabek on the men’s team.  They were the top runners on the team at its last meet two weeks ago in Missoula, Montana at the Montana Invitational.

The men’s 8k gets underway at 8:35 am pacific, and the women’s 6k at 9:15 am.  Flotrack will provide a live stream of the races for those with a Flotrack Pro subscription.

Eastern Washington will stay close to home and compete at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho, hosted by Lewis-Clark State.  They’ll face Washington State, Gonzaga, Montana, Idaho State, plus a number of smaller schools.

The Inland Empire Classic starts at 11 am with the women’s 5k, while the men’s 8k goes off at 11:45 am.

SeattleU hosts the Emerald City Open Saturday at Lower Woodland Park starting at 10 am, featuring local schools, plus club and unattached runners.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Lewis-Clark State, and Indiana State contributed to this report.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vikings out, while Falcon women still hang on to top 25 in latest USTFCCCA Division II poll...

The Seattle Pacific women's cross
country team is ranked 25th in
the latest USTFCCCA D2 poll
(Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—Western Washington’s seventh place finish at its own invitational meet over the weekend had some repercussions among the voters of the USTFCCCA national Division II coaches’ poll, as the Viking women’s team, previously ranked #15, dropped completely out of the national top 25 in the poll released Wednesday.

The nation’s top five teams, according to the voting panel, are Adams State, Grand Valley State, U-Mary, Western State, and Minnesota Duluth.

The top team ranked from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference is #14 Alaska Anchorage, which was unranked in the last poll, but moved up after winning the Western Washington Invitational.

Previously unranked Simon Fraser moved up to #19 after a third place finish at the WWU Invite, while Seattle Pacific, which finished fifth at the WWU Invite, dropped seven spots to #25 in the national poll.

On the men’s side, Western Washington’s fourth place finish last week at their own invitational dropped the Vikings out of the top 25 after being ranked #22 in the previous poll.

The only nationally ranked team from the GNAC is Alaska Anchorage at #9, after its second place finish at the WWU Invite, behind Canadian powerhouse Trinity Western.

The nation’s top five Division II teams are Adams State, Grand Valley State, Colorado Mines, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona.

The GNAC cross country championships will be held on October 22nd at East Lake Padden Park in Bellingham.


Stensland was a member of the WWU coaching staff for six years, having served as a student assistant (2010), graduate assistant (2012-13) and an assistant coach (2011, 2014-15). He will begin his seventh year as a member of the WWU coaching staff after spending a year as an assistant track and field coach at Western Oregon in 2015-16.

Katie Reichert, Monika Gruszecki & Bethany Drake
at the US Olympic Trials (Paul Merca photo)
During his first stint at WWU, Stensland coached sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers. He has coached 15 NCAA Division II All-Americans along with 30 Great Northwest Athletic Conference individual champions. Among the All-Americans Stensland has coached are a pair of national champion javelin throwers in Monika Gruszecki (2011) and Bethany Drake (2014), along with school record holder and All-American Katie Reichert. All three (above/photo by Paul Merca) qualified for the US Olympic Trials in July in Eugene.

While at Western Oregon last season, Stensland helped guide the Wolves to a second-place finish on the men’s side and an eighth-place finish on the women’s side at the GNAC indoor championships. During the outdoor conference championships, the WOU men placed third while the women were seventh.

“I’m excited to have Ben back in our program,” said WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell. “He’s got a lot to bring – he built up the javelin and jumps programs and I look for him to continue that on. And the strength and the conditioning aspect – (which was) how he (originally) got into the program – I’m excited to have that expertise back, also. He’s a great guy and he cares about the athletes.”

Sunday, October 9, 2016

WEEKEND WRAPUP: Isaac Derline wins WWU Classic XC Invite; Viking alum Crouch 2nd American at Chicago...

BELLINGHAM—Western Washington’s Isaac Derline (above/photo courtesy WWU Athletics) became the first Viking since 2009 to win the individual title at the 43rd annual Western Washington Invitational on a rainy and windy Saturday morning at East Lake Padden Park.

The junior from Kent covered the 10k course in a time of 31:14 to win by four seconds over Joel Deschiffart of Canada’s Trinity Western University.

Trinity Western took the team title by a comfortable 37-53 margin over reigning GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage, as many teams from the GNAC ran in Bellingham to preview the course that will host the conference championship on the 22nd.

Simon Fraser finished third with 94 points, two less than Western Washington’s 96.

Among other GNAC schools, Central Washington finished eighth with 225, followed by Concordia/Oregon in ninth at 290 points.

Alaska Fairbanks was 11th with 331, followed by Seattle Pacific with 341, and Saint Martin’s at 364.

Josh Boston was Central Washington’s top runner in 46th in 33:15. Ben Halladay led Seattle Pacific with his 35th place finish in 32:53, and Jasper Heckman was Saint Martin’s top runner in 88th at 34:24.

In the women’s 6k race, Seattle Pacific’s Sarah Macdonald avenged a loss from Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter two weeks ago, as Macdonald finished fourth in the women’s 6k race in 21:46, two seconds ahead of Porter.

Trinity Western’s Regan Yee was the overall winner, covering the course in 21:25, two seconds ahead of Caroline Kurgat of Alaska Anchorage.

Defending GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage took the team title by a 76-81 count over Trinity Western.

In what will surely cause some changes in the next USTFCCCA Division II coaches’ poll, unranked Simon Fraser was third with 101 points, while #18 Seattle Pacific was fifth with 122 points.  

Host Western Washington, who were led by Brittany Grant’s 17th place finish in 22:27, finished seventh with 159 points.

Saint Martin’s was ninth with 242 points, just ahead of Central Washington in tenth with 247 points. Alexa Shindruck was Central’s top runner in 29th in 22:54.

In Chicago, Western Washington alum Sarah Crouch finished ninth and was the second American woman overall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Sunday, clocking a time of 2:33:48.

Seattle’s Emma Polley was 16th overall in a time of 2:40:56.

Abel Kirui of Kenya won the mens’ race in 2:11:23, while countrywoman Florence Kiplagat took the women’s title in 2:21.32.

NOTE:  The sports information office of Western Washington University and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon contributed to this report.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Big test awaits for Washington's four Division II schools in Bellingham at WWU Invite...

Seattle Pacific's women's team heads to the WWU
Invitational ranked #18 in the USTFCCCA
Division II coaches' poll (Paul Merca photo)
Washington’s four NCAA Division II schools take center stage Saturday at East Lake Padden Park in Bellingham as Western Washington hosts its own invitational meet, and give teams a preview of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship course that will take place two weeks later.

Scheduled to join the host Vikings at the meet is Alaska, Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Concordia, Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser. Over 200 men and 180 women are expected to compete. The men will compete at the regional and national championship distance of 10,000 meters while the women will compete at 6,000 meters.

Other teams entered in the field include Canadian schools University of Victoria, Trinity Western and University of British Columbia, as well as teams from Brooks, Club Northwest, and Oiselle.

The host Vikings go into the meet with their women’s squad ranked #15, and the men’s squad ranked #22 in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll, released Wednesday.  The Vikings last competed at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota on September 24th, with the men placing fifth and the women sixth.

Seattle Pacific’s women’s squad goes into the WWU Invite ranked #18 nationally after a strong showing at the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Lacey two weeks ago, where they placed six runners in the top nine to win with a low score of 22 points.

One of the hottest runners in the conference so far this season is Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter, who won the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Oregon last weekend, after winning the Saint Martin’s Invite the week before.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Western Washington, and the GNAC contributed to this report.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

UW's big win at Washington Invitational catapults Dawgs to 4th in USTFCCCA national poll...

The University of Washington women's team used their win
at its own Invitational to move to #4 in the USTFCCCA poll
(Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington women’s cross country team’s convincing victory at its own Washington Invitational last Saturday was rewarded by the voters of the USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll, as the Huskies moved up eight spots to a season-high #4 ranking, matching the Dawgs’ highest ranking since the 2012 season.

In the national coaches’ poll released Tuesday, the nation’s #1 team is Providence, followed by defending Pac-12 champs Colorado, followed by NC State, Washington and the University of Portland.

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the women’s national top 30 include #7 Stanford, which dropped 1 spot; #9 Oregon, which dropped five spots; and #23 Utah, which moved up five spots.

In the national men’s poll, the Huskies, who finished third behind Oregon and Colorado State at its own invitational last weekend, did not lose any significant ground, as they dropped two spots to #23.

The national voters did not take Washington State’s seventh place finish at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational too kindly, as the Cougars dropped from #24 to just outside the national top 30 as the top school receiving votes.

The nation’s top five schools in this week’s poll are Northern Arizona, Syracuse, BYU, Oregon, and Arkansas.

Other Pac-12 schools in the national top 30 include #6 Colorado, #11 Stanford, and #27 UCLA.

All five of Washington’s NCAA D1 schools are off this weekend.  Washington and Washington State will be at the Wisconsin Invitational on October 14th in Madison, while Gonzaga will be at the Pre-Nationals the following day in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Eastern Washington will be at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston on the 15th, along with split squads from Gonzaga and WSU.  Seattle University will host the Emerald City Open at Lower Woodland Park on the 15th.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Eric Metcalf formally hired as sprints coach at the University of Washington...

The University of Washington confirmed what had been known in the local community for weeks by formally announcing the hiring of former NFL running back and kick return specialist Eric Metcalf (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) as the school’s sprint coach.

Metcalf, who was a two-time NCAA champion in the long jump and the winner of the 1988 TAC/USA outdoor long jump title (that year, the Olympic Trials and the US championships were two separate meets), began his NFL career in 1989 with the Cleveland Browns, playing six seasons for the Browns.

After playing for the Browns, he played for the Falcons, Chargers, Cardinals, Panthers, Redskins, and Packers.  He was selected to three Pro Bowls—twice with Cleveland (1994-95), and once with San Diego (1997).  

He is a footnote in perhaps one of the worst trades in Chargers franchise history, as he, along with two first round and one second round picks, were traded to the Arizona Cardinals, in order to move one spot in the NFL draft, where San Diego drafted Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf.

Here is a highlight clip from his NFL career, courtesy of NFL Films:

After his career concluded, he began coaching track at Rainier Beach HS, where he led Michael Berry to a state title before he competed for the University of Oregon.  Berry was also one of the most prominent athletes on Metcalf’s Seatown Express club team, comprised of some of the top sprinters and jumpers in the Puget Sound area.

Metcalf was a volunteer assistant coach at the UW starting with the 2013 season, working with the horizontal jumpers, and also with Kennadi Bouyer, who was a former Seatown Express member, in the sprints.

Bouyer broke the UW school record for 60-meters indoors and became the first Husky ever to make the NCAA Indoor Championship 60m final in 2016, running a PR of 7.27 in the semis. Bouyer also made it to the NCAA Outdoor Championship final site at 100-meters, placing 20th overall.

Mark Macdonald & Jeshua Anderson were announced
by the UW as volunteer coaches for the 2016-17 season
(Paul Merca photo)
“Eric has a wealth of experience both on the football field and on the track. He has just been around great athletes his entire life, and he understands what greatness is," said UW head coach Greg Metcalf. 

"This is his first collegiate coaching job but he's had great successes with his club and at Rainier Beach he coached some of the best sprinters in the history of the state of Washington, and he's done great work with Kennadi Bouyer here. I think he deserves a shot and he wanted it. The initial response from our team is excitement to be working with Coach Metcalf."

In addition to his work at Rainier Beach and at Seatown Express, Eric Metcalf was doing consulting work for Nike in track & field, and attended the 2015 IAAF world championships in Beijing and the Rio Olympics with Nike.  He was also an ambassador for the Cleveland Browns, helping the Browns with public speaking appearances, both in the off-season, and in-season.

In addition to his Seattle ties, Metcalf's uncle, Dennis Cook, competed for the Huskies in the long and triple jumps in the late 1970s.

In a related move, the UW also announced that long-time Washington State hurdles coach Mark Macdonald will be a volunteer coach at the UW, along with Jeshua Anderson, the 2011 USA 400 hurdles champ and 3-time NCAA champ at Washington State. 

NOTE:  The University of Washington contributed to this report.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

WEEKEND WRAPUP: Porter wins Charles Bowles Willamette Invite race...

SALEM, Oregon—Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter (left/photo by Paul Merca) won her second straight race and third of the season, taking first place in the women’s 5k at the Charles Bowles Willamette invitational Saturday.

Porter ran 17:07 to finish 26 seconds ahead of the University of Portland’s Mathilde Sagnes. 

Whitworth sophomore Kayla Leland was fourth in 17:51, while SMU’s Yadira Lopez was sixth in 18:02, and Central Washington’s Alexa Shindruk was ninth in 18:14.

The University of Portland won the meet with 87 points, nosing out New Mexico State’s 96 points. Whitworth was fourth with 144 points, while Central Washington finished fifth in the team competition with 175 points.  Saint Martin’s was seventh with 213 points.

In the men’s 8k race, Pacific Lutheran’s Brad Hopkinson was fourth in 24:52, as Portland’s Brady Johnson won in 24:16.

Portland easily won the men’s team title with 23 points. Central Washington was sixth in the meet with a team score of 173. Whitworth was 11th with 318 points,  and Pacific Lutheran was 12th with 323.  Whitman was 13th with 344 points, and Saint Martin’s was 15th with 369.

Central Washington and Saint Martin’s are scheduled to compete in next Saturday’s Western Washington Invitational in Bellingham, along with Seattle Pacific.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Prouse wins Washington Invitational to lead Huskies to team title...

SEATTLE—The University of Washington’s Charlotte Prouse (left/photo by Paul Merca) took command early and never looked back as she easily won the women’s 6k race Saturday morning at Jefferson Park Golf Course to lead the #12 ranked Huskies to the Washington Invitational team title.

Prouse, the Canadian internationalist, who set the North American U-20 record in the steeplechase this summer at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, took the lead from the start, and began pulling away from the field after the 1000-meter mark,winning in a time of 19:37. six seconds up on Oregon freshman and Gatorade national high school cross country runner of 2015 Katie Rainsberger.

NCAA 1500m qualifier Amy-Eloise Neale closed well over the last kilometer to take third in 19:48, just ahead of Harvard’s Courtney Smith, who had the same time.

Lindbergh HS alum Sarah Reiter of Eastern Washington was sixth in 20:07, with a trio of Huskies—Kaitlyn Neal (20:11), Nikki Zielinski (20:20) and Anna Maxwell (20:20) taking the next three spots to secure the team title for the Huskies, who had a 1-5 team split of 57 seconds.

The Huskies had the low score of 24 points, beating Oregon’s 57 points.

Harvard was third with 78 points.

Washington State was sixth with 174 points, led by Devon Bortfeld’s 15th place finish in 20:32, while Eastern Washington was seventh with 178. 

Seattle University was ninth in the nine-team field with a score of 251 points, led by Olivia Stein’s 53rd place finish in 21:49.

In the men’s 8k race, defending Pac-12 and 3-time harrier champ Edward Cheserek (left/photo by Paul Merca) was content to let Washington’s Colby Gilbert do the front-running in his season debut, before he dropped the hammer on the field on the final lap, cruising to a time of 23:07, just short of the course record of 23:00 set by Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan two years ago at this meet.

Gilbert, along with fellow Huskies Andrew Gardner and Johnathan Stevens were up front with Cheserek, Jerrell Mock and Grant Fischer of Colorado State, and the Oregon trio of Sam Prakel, Matthew Maton and Tanner Anderson lurking.

The places changed on the last lap, with Cheserek taking command, and Gilbert trying to hang on to the second spot approaching the final 1000 meters.

Mock was second in 23:26, followed by Prakel in third at 23:28.  Maton took fourth in 23:29, just ahead of Gilbert in 23:30.

Oregon’s Anderson was sixth in 23:32, followed by CSU’s Fischer in 23:36.

The Huskies’ Stevens was eighth in 23:38, with a pair of Colorado State runners—Eric Hamer (23:44) and Jefferson Abbey (23:44) rounding out the top 10.

Oregon, ranked #3 in the current USTFCCCA poll, took the team title with 26 points, just ahead of #29 Colorado State’s 39 points.  The Ducks had a 1-5 split of 40 seconds, with Colorado State at 23 seconds.  

The Huskies were third with 64 points, with a 1-5 split of 45 seconds, and Washington State was fourth with 127 points, led by Jake Finney’s 19th place finish in 24:05.

Eastern Washington was sixth with 192 points, led by Isaac Kitzan’s 36th place finish in 24:45, and SeattleU was seventh in the eight-team field with 195 points, led by Chay Weaver, who was 42nd in 24:51.

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