Friday, February 3, 2017

Score of Washington athletes gather in Bend for USA Cross Country Championships...

For one weekend in February, cross country takes the stage, as Bend, Oregon plays host to the USA Cross Country Championships at the Rivers Edge Golf Course Saturday, with this meet the selection trials for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda late next month.

There is a significant Washington presence here in Bend for these national championships, with the top six finishers in the mens and women’s under-20 and senior races earning trips to Kampala for the world championships.

The Huskies will be represented at the under-20 8-kilometer championships by Gavin Parpart (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Ryan Gregory, both of whom redshirted last fall.  Also competing in the U-20 mens race is Eastern Washington’s Colten Johnsen, and Washington State’s Justin Janke.

Four runners from the Bellingham-based Whatcom Tesseract club are racing in the women’s U-20 6-kilometer race, led by Sehome HS senior Ruby Watson, and Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia.

One of the most significant changes in the senior men’s and women’s races is the fact that the distances for both sexes are now 10 kilometers instead of 8k for women and 12k for men.

In the women’s senior race, athletes with Washington ties entered include former Brooks Beasts runner Jamie Cheever, who has moved back home to Minnesota; Pasco HS alum Marisa Howard; Washington State alum Collier Lawrence; and, former Inglemoor HS standout Tansey Lystad.

Lakes HS alum Joe Gray is entered in the men’s 10k race, as is former Husky All-American Tyler King, and Western Washington alum Jordan Welling.

In Pullman, Liz Harper of Washington State won the pentathlon at the Cougar Indoor/Multis meet that got underway Friday at the WSU Indoor Facility.

Harper won with a score of 3876, followed by teammate Lindsey Schauble at 3413.

Harper opened with a 60m hurdles time of 8.62 seconds, high jumped 5-feet, 5 3/4 inches (1.67m), threw the shot put a PR distance of 37-11 1/2 (12.57m), long jumped 17-7 1/2 (5.37m) and ran the 800m in a time of 2 minutes 23.93 seconds. Schauble clocked in a 60m hurdles time of 9.19, cleared 5-2 1/4 (1.58m) in the high jump, threw the shot put 32-10 1/4 (10.01m), long jumped 17-3 1/4 (5.26m), and ran the 800m in a time of 2:31.95.

In the concurrent heptathlon, Ray Littles of the Cougars Ray Littles leads after the first day of competition with a score of 2808 points.

Washington State’s release is available here.  That meet continues Saturday with a full slate of events.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the sports information office at Eastern Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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