Sunday, October 14, 2018

WEEKEND RECAP: Andy Snyder wins Wisconsin Pre-Nats Gray race, plus Santa Clara Invite, Inland Empire & Warner Pacific highlights...

Here’s a quick recap of what else happened with the state’s NCAA Division I and II teams over the weekend, as the regular season (at least for the D1 schools) comes to a close:

In our haste to get to the Milwaukee airport after the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals Invitational, we neglected to post the results of the men’s and women’s Gray section, which were contested after the men’s races.

The Washington Huskies placed three runners in the top ten in the men’s Gray race, led by Andy Snyder (left/photo by Paul Merca), who won in a time of 24:30 for 8k over BYU’s Brayden McLelland, with Husky teammate Gavin Parpart third in 24:43.

Freshman Alex Slenning was ninth in 25:03, followed by Nick Laccinole in 23rd at 25:38, and Thomas Nobbs in 68th in 26:45.

Snyder’s winning time would have put him in 39th place in the men’s White race, which would have been the final UW scorer.

Washington won the team title in the Gray section with 41 points, ahead of Northern Arizona’s 52, and Utah State’s 57.

In the women’s Gray 6k race, Washington’s Madison Heisterman was 27th in 22:12, while Kelly Makin was 45th in 22:31.

The link to all results from the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals Invitational are available here.

In Sunnyvale, California, the Seattle University men’s team finished 14th, while Eastern Washington was 19th in the invitational section Saturday of the Santa Clara Invitational.

The Redhawks scored 362 points in their final tuneup before they host the Western Athletic Conference championship meet on October 27th at Jefferson Park Golf Course, while Eastern Washington scored 458 points as they prepare for the Big Sky Conference meet in Sacramento.

The Redhawks were led by Eli Boudouris, who finished 19th in 24:18 over 8k, while the Eagles were led by Carter Ledwith in 60th place in 24:52.

Koby Pederson of Loyola-Marymount was the individual winner in 23:58, while Chico State took the men’s team title with 53 points.

In the women’s 6k race, Gonzaga finished 20th with 483, followed by Seattle University’s 594, and Eastern Washington’s 646 points, as Oregon State took the championship with 48 points,

Gonzaga was led by Aimee Piercy in 60th place at 21:59, while SeattleU’s Rachel Kastama led the way with her 87th place finish in 21:56. Lily Tyrell was the first across the line for Eastern Washington at 22:04 for 101st.

Winny Koech of UTEP won the race in 20:01.

Results of the Santa Clara Invitational are available here.

In Lewiston, Idaho, Boise State took the women’s team title at the Inland Empire Challenge meet with 18 points, as Seattle Pacific took fourth with 122.

Washington State was fifth at 148, followed by Central Washington in sixth at 162, and Gonzaga was tenth with 246 points.

Central’s Alexa Shindruk finished third in 17:27 over the 5k course, while Seattle Pacific’s Kaylee Mitchell was seventh at 17:49.

Boise State’s Claire Graves was the individual winner in 17:16.

In the men’s 8k, Gonzaga took the victory with 55 points, followed by Washington State at 68.

Central Washington was ninth at 255, while Seattle Pacific was 12th with 334 points.

Placing in the top ten were Stefan Bradley of Gonzaga in fourth in 24:32, followed by teammate Scott Kopczynski in fifth at 24:33.

Andrew Cooper of Washington State was seventh at 24:35, while teammates Cameron Dean and Zachary Stallings were ninth and tenth in 24:42, and 24:43.

Russell Pennock of the University of Calgary won in 24:11.

Results of the Inland Empire Challenge are available here.

In Portland, the Saint Martin’s mens squad finished fifth in the Warner Pacific Cross Country Classic with 136 points, as the University of Portland won with 27 points.

Western Oregon’s Dustin Nading was the victor over 8k in 24:12, while Colton Buster led the way for the Saints with a 26th place finish in 26:24.

In the women’s 5k race, Saint Martin’s took a sixth place finish with 164 points, as the University of Portland won with a perfect 15.

Lacey Connor of Portland won the race in 17:47, while Alyssa Robinson paced Saint Martin’s with her 34th place finish in 20:16.

Saint Martin’s recap is available here, while the complete results of the Warner Pacific Classic are available here.

NOTE:  The University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University, and Central Washington University contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Husky men's team takes strong second in White section of Wisconsin Pre-Nationals...

MADISON, Wisconsin—The new-look University of Washington cross country team ran its way to a strong second place finish in the men’s Cardinal section of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals Invitational at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course just outside of Madison.

Tibebu Proctor (left/photo by Paul Merca) led the way for the #12 ranked Huskies, as the sophomore finished sixth in 23:57 over the 8k distance, after making a late charge and actually took the lead with less than 400 meters to go, but could not hold off the late rush of BYU’s Rory Linkletter, who won in 23:55, followed by Syracuse’s Aidan Tooker and San Francisco’s Chris Olley in the same time.

Following Proctor for the Huskies was Spokane native Tanner Anderson in 11th in 24:02, then Talon Hull in 14th in 24:06.

Fred Huxham was 34th in 24:22, and Mahmoud Moussa rounded out Washington’s scorers in 24:31.

Before the race, Washington head coach Andy Powell put the onus on his squad to move over the last two miles or so of the race.

The way the Dawgs moved over the last part of the race was impressive, as at the 2k mark, Washington was in 14th place, then took over second behind eventual winner BYU at the 5.8k mark.

BYU, ranked number two in the country, won with 62 points, followed by Washington at 120, and Syracuse at 201.

In the same section, the #17 ranked Washington State Cougars finished tenth with a final team score of 326, which will make things interesting when the national rankings come out on Tuesday.

Washington State was led by Chandler Teigen in 26th at 24:16. 

He was followed by Amir Ado in 46th in 24:36. then Paul Ryan in 73rd (24:53), Nathan Wadhwani in 83rd (24:59), and Kyler Little in 98th (25:05).

In the men’s Cardinal section, the Gonzaga Bulldogs may have put themselves on the verge of a national top-25 ranking with their ninth place finish, scoring 307 points.

In his first race against meaningful competition, freshman James Mwaura led the way for the Bulldogs in 40th place in 24:35, after mixing it up with the frontrunners early.

Behind Mwaura were Kyle Thompson in 49th (24:38), Peter Hogan in 64th (24:45), Bennett Gagnon in 77th (24:51), and Yacine Guermali in 82nd (24:54).

Number one ranked Northern Arizona won the section with 41 points, followed by Stanford at 84, and Colorado at 110.  Stanford’s Grant Fisher took the victory in 23:49.

In the women’s White section, the Washington Huskies finished fifth with 199 points, while Washington State was 26th at 659.

Katie Rainsberger was tenth to lead the Huskies in 20:21 over the 6k distance.  She was followed by Emily Hamlin (20:51) in 22nd, then Kaitlyn Neal (20:57) in 31st.

Allie Schadler (21:14) in 51st, and Olivia O’Keeffe (21:40) in 85th closed out the scoring for Washington.

Washington State was led by Emma Jenkins in 74th (21:34), followed by Kaili Keefe in 126th (22:05), then All-American Vallery Korir in 144th (22:14).

Zorana Grujic in 152nd (22:20), and Melissa Hruska (22:26) in 163rd rounded out WSU’s five scorers.

Weini Kelati of New Mexico finished first in 19:34, followed by teammate Ednah Kurgat in 19:46.

New Mexico won the section with 80, followed by Stanford at 124, and Michigan with 170.

The women’s Cardinal section was won by Arkansas with 51 points over Oregon’s 71 and Indiana’s 166.  Oregon’s Jessica Hull won the race in a time of 20:04.

Complete results of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals are available here.

NOTE: The University of Wisconsin contributed to this report.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Gonzaga, Washington, and Washington State converge upon Madison for Wisconsin Pre-Nationals...

MADISON, Wisconsin—On a slightly cloudy but chilly afternoon, the teams from Gonzaga, the University of Washington and Washington State University took the opportunity to run on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course that hosts the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals race.

Washington and Washington State’s teams will run head-to-head against each other in the two White races, with the women’s White 6k race going off at 10:45 am (8:45 am Pacific), and the men’s White 8k race at 12:15 pm (10:15 am Pacific).

Gonzaga, which only sent a men’s team to Madison, will run in the men’s Cardinal race at 11:30 am (9:30 Pacific).

The Wisconsin Pre-Nationals consists of two evenly-seeded races (Cardinal and White), with each race consisting of 35 teams with an equal number of nationally ranked teams in each race.

For those teams that are looking to return to Madison in a month for the NCAA championship race, this meet is a great opportunity to find out how they stack against the best teams in the country, and pick up points towards qualifying for the national championships should those teams not earn an automatic qualifying spot in the various regional championship races.

Saturday's forecast is for clear skies, with temperatures in the low 40s for the start of the women's Cardinal 6k race, featuring number 1 ranked Colorado, along with #4 Oregon, #23 Portland, and Portland State.  Pac-12 members Arizona, Cal, and UCLA are also in the Cardinal race.

The women’s White race that the #16 ranked Huskies and the unranked Cougars are in, features defending national champion and #3 ranked New Mexico, along with #5 Stanford, #8 Wisconsin, #10 Michigan, #12 Furman, along with Pac-12 member USC.

The men’s Cardinal 8k race has the Bulldogs of Gonzaga and their outstanding freshman James Mwaura (left/photo by Paul Merca) in his first meaningful race against national caliber competition.

Among the teams the Zags will face are defending national champion and #1 ranked Northern Arizona, #3 Wisconsin, #5 Stanford, #9 Colorado State, #11 Colorado, #13 Oregon, and #15 Southern Utah,  along with Cal and Arizona State from the Pac-12.

In the men’s White race at 12:15 pm (10:15 am, Pacific), both the Huskies and Cougars, who are ranked #12 and #17 in the USTFCCCA coaches poll, face #2 BYU, #4 Portland, #8 Syracuse, #9 Purdue, #10 Air Force, and #25 UCLA, along with Arizona from the Pac-12.

Media partner Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming coverage of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.

The link to live results is available here.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s women’s team along with Seattle University and Eastern Washington heads to Santa Clara for the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.

Also, teams from Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Central Washington and Seattle Pacific head to Lewiston, Idaho for the Inland Empire Championships, while Saint Martin’s heads to Portland to run in the Warner Pacific Cross Country Classic.

Please check with the school’s cross country page for details on the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, Inland Empire Championships, and the Warner Pacific Cross Country Classic.

NOTE:  The University of Wisconsin contributed to this report.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Huskies and Cougars to go head-to-head at Wisconsin Pre-Nationals Saturday...

Washington's Nick Laccinole (l) and Julius
Diehr race at the Nuttycombe Invitational
in Madison, Wisconsin last year. The
Huskies return to Wisconsin Saturday
(Paul Merca photo)
MADISON, Wisconsin—The University of Wisconsin announced Monday the assignments for the teams competing in Saturday’s Wisconsin Pre-Nationals cross country invitational that will be contested at the Zimmer Championship Course.

The meet will be significant for the various teams converging upon Madison, as this will give teams the opportunity to run on the same course that will host the NCAA cross country championships on November 17th.

Both the Washington and Washington State’s men’s and women’s teams will run head-to-head against each other in the White section of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.

The meet consists of two evenly-seeded races (Cardinal and White), with each race consisting of 35 teams with an equal number of nationally ranked teams in each race.

In the opening women’s Cardinal 6k race at 10 am local time (8 am, Pacific), number 1 ranked Colorado headlines the field, along with #4 Oregon, #23 Portland, and Portland State.  Pac-12 members Arizona, Cal, and UCLA are also in the Cardinal race.

The women’s White race at 10:45 am (8:45 am Pacific) that the #16 ranked Huskies and the unranked Cougars are in, features defending national champion and #3 ranked New Mexico, along with #5 Stanford, #8 Wisconsin, #10 Michigan, #12 Furman, along with Pac-12 member USC.

The men’s Cardinal 8k race at 11:30 am (9:30 am Pacific) has the Bulldogs of Gonzaga and their outstanding freshman James Mwaura in his first meaningful race against national caliber competition.

Among the teams the Zags will face are defending national champion and #1 ranked Northern Arizona, #3 Wisconsin, #5 Stanford, #9 Colorado State, #11 Colorado, #13 Oregon, and #15 Southern Utah.

Pac-12 schools in the field include Arizona State and Cal.

In the men’s White race at 12:15 pm (10:15 am, Pacific), both the Huskies and Cougars, who are ranked #12 and #17 in the USTFCCCA coaches poll, face #2 BYU, #4 Portland, #8 Syracuse, #9 Purdue, #10 Air Force, and #25 UCLA, along with Arizona from the Pac-12.

Media partner Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming coverage of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.

The complete fields for the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals are available here, while the preliminary individual entries are available here.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will have on-site coverage of the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.

NOTE:  The University of Wisconsin contributed to this report.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Viking alum Sarah Crouch finishes as top American at Bank of America Chicago Marathon in new personal best...

CHICAGO—Western Washington University alum Sarah (Porter) Crouch (left/file photo by Mike Scott) scored a seven-second personal best and finished as the top American in the competitive Bank of America Chicago Marathon on the streets of Chicago Sunday morning.

Crouch, who attended high school at Hockinson HS near Vancouver, was overlooked by most in the elite field in Chicago, especially with the pre-race hype surrounding Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen, competing for the Portland-based Nike Bowerman TC, running her first serious marathon.

No big deal.

Crouch was in a group of about four American women including Jorgensen and Laura Thweatt through the early part of the race, running 5k splits between 17:37 and 17:59 through the first 30 kilometers of the race, with Crouch leading the group of Americans at the half-marathon mark at 1:15:10.

However, before the 10-mile mark, Thweatt dropped out of the race with an Achilles tendon injury.

Despite running the last two 5k segments in over 18 minutes each (18:13 at 35k, and 18:41 through 40k), Crouch hung on to cross the finish line in 2:32:37, seven seconds better than her personal best of 2:32:44, set in Chicago in the 2014 race.

The 29-year old, who was a Division II All-American on the track and cross country at Western Washington, and now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, earned $15,000 for finishing as the top American.

Crouch, who is sponsored by Chinese shoe and apparel brand 361°,  finished sixth overall, matching her placing from the 2014 race, with fellow American Taylor Ward seventh in 2:32:42.  Two other Americans made the top ten, with Kate Landau eighth in 2:33:24, and Marci Klimik rounding out the top ten in 2:34:53.

In the weeks leading up to the race, Crouch had a bit of a scare, after having surgery to remove a benign tumor from her quadricep muscle.

At the post-race press conference, Crouch said, “I was on about 2:30 pace until maybe mile 23 and had a very rough last couple of miles.”

“I put myself in a good enough position that fortunately no other American women were able to catch me. About 100 meters to go, I glanced over my shoulder and I was like, ‘Ah, that’s a woman.’ I kicked pretty darn hard. I had no idea who it was. I didn’t even know my own name at that point.”

Crouch is contemplating running in the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December.

Brigid Kosgei from Kenya was the women’s winner in 2:18:35, followed by Roza Dereje of Ethiopia in 2:21:18, and Shure Demise of Ethiopia was third in 2:22:15.

Former Nike Oregon Project member and double-double Olympic 5000 & 10000 meter champion Mo Farah from Great Britain won the men’s race in 2:05:11 to set a new European record, followed by Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia in 2:05:24.  Current Nike Oregon Project member Suguru Osako of Japan was third in a national record of 2:05:50, while teammate and Olympic marathon bronze medalist Galen Rupp was fifth at 2:06:21 as the top American.

Courtesy of letsrun.com, here is a post-race video interview with Sarah.



Complete results of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are available here.

NOTE:  The Bank of America Chicago Marathon contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Viking men's and women's teams make case for national ranking with strong showing at Division II Conference Crossover Invitational...

ROMEOVILLE, Illinois—The Western Washington men’s and women’s cross country teams made strong cases to be included in next week’s USTFCCCA Division II national top 25 rankings.

At the Division II Conference Crossover Invitational hosted by Lewis University, the women’s squad finished fourth of 28 teams, while the men’s team were eighth in the 27-team field.

The Viking women’s squad finished with a score of 175 to finish behind team champion and #3 ranked Western Colorado, who scored 38 points, followed by GNAC rival and #11 Simon Fraser’s 146, then #17 Azusa Pacific, who had 151 points.

Among the ranked teams Western Washington finished ahead of included #10 Walsh, #15 Michigan Tech, #19 Queens and #25 Point Loma.

Juniors Sophia Galvez (left/photo courtesy WWU Athletics) and Talia Dreicer, who were high school teammates in Los Alamos, New Mexico, led WWU's seven-runner contingent finishing 28th and 29th in the 276-runner race over 6 kilometers.

Galvez clocked 22:55, narrowly edging Dreicer by one-tenth of a second. Freshman Rebecca Lehman finished 34th in 23:00, followed by sophomore Jane Barr in 38th in 23:04 and redshirt freshman Shawnee Konrad in 45th in 23:08, giving the Vikings an impressive 13-second 1-5 split.

“The women have been training exceptionally hard and they have been coming along, and today they put it all together and had a great performance," said head coach Pee Wee Halsell. "Today was huge for them. They were tightly packed together and they fed off each other, which they talked about before the race. They raced well today and the great result shows that, and this will give them confidence into the championship portion of the schedule."

In the men’s 8k race, Western Washington scored 249 points, the same as GNAC rival and #10 ranked Western Oregon, but won the head-to-head tiebreaker by a 3-2 margin.

Number 5 ranked Western Colorado took the victory with 84 points, followed by #11 Queens (North Carolina) at 115, followed by GNAC member and #13 Simon Fraser, who scored 127 points.

The Vikings finished ahead of #8 Southern Indiana and #10 Western Oregon.

Eric Hamel led the way for Western with his 27th place finish in 25:28, followed by James Jasperson in 39th at 25:42, while Kyler Sager was 51st in 25:52.

Rounding out the Viking scorers were Ed Kiolbasa in 25:54, and Isaac Decline in 79th at 26:15.

The Vikings were without two of their top runners who were held out due to minor injuries, with senior Jadon Olson and redshirt freshman Ian Fay, who won the Ken Garland Classic in Lacey two weeks ago not making the trip.

"I am very excited about how the men competed against a very tough field, down two runners," added Halsell. "They stepped up and raced well today. They have to keep improving and get healthy, but I like where they are at."

The Vikings return to action in two weeks as they host the WWU Cross Country Classic at Sudden Valley Golf Course.

Western Washington’s release is available here, along with a recap of how their remaining athletes competed at the Emerald City Open meet.

Complete results of the Division II Conference Crossover Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information office of Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Vikings head to Illinois for Division II Conference Crossover meet in light competition weekend...

This weekend will be a light competition weekend for the nine NCAA Division I and II schools in the state of Washington.

A contingent of 14 athletes from Western Washington University (7 men, 7 women) travel to Romeoville, Illinois for the Division II Conference Crossover Invitational hosted by Lewis University. The men's 8,000-meter race is scheduled to begin at 10 am CT/8 am PT, with the women's 6,000-meter race following at 10:45 am CT/8:45 am PT. The race will be held on the Lewis XC Course and will feature over 30 teams from 15 different states.

The team will be led by two-time NCAA Division II cross country qualifier Isaac Derline (left/photo courtesy WWU Athletics), and freshman Rebecca Lehman, who won the Saint Martin’s Ken Garland Classic in Lacey two weeks ago.

This meet will provide the Vikings an opportunity to get back on the USTFCCCA national Division II top-25 ranking, after being bumped out of the top 25 this week despite being idle.

Those Vikings not traveling to Illinois will run at the Emerald City Open meet at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle.  The meet, which is hosted by Club Northwest, starts at 10:30 am with the women’s 6k, and the men’s 8k following at 11:15 am.

Seattle Pacific is also scheduled to send athletes to the meet.

The link to live results for the Division II Conference Crossover is available here.

The link to the Emerald City Open is available here.

Western Washington’s meet preview is available here.

NOTE: The sports information office at Western Washington University and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Falcons fly to number 21 in latest USTFCCCA Division II women's poll...

Seattle Pacific's Kaylee Mitchell (289), Dania Holmberg (285), and
Kate Lilly (287) all broke 18 minutes at the Charles Bowles Invitational
last week (Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—After finishing fourth at the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Oregon last Saturday, the Seattle Pacific women’s cross country team finds itself nationally ranked for the first time this season, according to the latest USTFCCCA Division II coaches poll released Wednesday.

The Falcons are ranked number 21 in the country according to the poll that ranks the top 25 teams in Division II.

Seattle Pacific helped its cause last week by beating #17 Point Loma Nazarene at the Charles Bowles Invitational.  The Falcons were the first NCAA Division II school in the meet, finishing only behind Boise State, Lipscomb, and Portland State. As a result, Point Loma Nazarene dropped down eight spots to number 25 in the coaches poll.

The country’s top five women’s teams in Division II are in order: Adams State, Grand Valley State, Western State, U-Mary, and Colorado Mines.

Other schools in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference ranked nationally include number 8 Alaska Anchorage, and number 11 Simon Fraser.

Meanwhile, the Western Washington men’s team’s stay in the national top 25 was short-lived, despite being idle last week, as they dropped out of the top 25, though they were one of four schools that received votes from the coaches.

The USTFCCCA national women's poll is available here.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA and the sports information office at Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Both Husky squads hold their national rankings in latest USTFCCCA coaches poll...

Washington's Talon Hull was 12th
overall at the Battle in Beantown
on September 21st (Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—With over a week to go before the big Wisconsin Pre-Nationals meet in Madison, the University of Washington men’s cross country team remains in the number 12 position in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll released Tuesday.

After an 11th place finish in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational last week, the Washington State Cougars dropped two spots to number 17 in the coaches’ poll.

Northern Arizona and BYU remain the country’s top two men’s teams, followed by Wisconsin, Portland, and Stanford.

Other Pac-12 schools ranked in the men’s national top 30 include number 11 Colorado, number 13 Oregon, and number 25 UCLA.

The voters of the national poll gave Gonzaga some love, as they were among a group of 12 schools outside the top 30 that received votes.

On the women’s side, the Huskies stayed at number 16 after a third place finish at last weekend’s Stanford Invitational.

The nation’s top five teams are Colorado, Boise State, New Mexico, Oregon, and Stanford.

Utah is the only other Pac-12 school ranked in the national top 30 at number 27.

The USTFCCCA national poll is available here.

SEATTLE UNIVERSITY ADDS COACHES TO ITS STAFF…

Seattle U’s cross country and track and field teams announced the addition of several new assistant coaches to their staff, joining head coach Kelly Sullivan and assistant coaches Chad Pharis and Tyler King in lending their expertise to a rapidly expanding program.

“We are very excited about our new coaching additions,” Sullivan said. “This last year, Chad, Tyler and I, as well as current members of the team, worked very hard on building the 2018-19 recruiting class. In the end, we had 33 incoming freshmen and transfers – at that point, we knew that we needed to add more coaches to the programs.”

Clara Nichols joins Seattle U as an assistant coach for cross country and distance events.  She recently moved to the area from Stillwater, Okla., where she competed for Oklahoma State University’s track and cross country programs, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the 800m run.

Tony Monroe will work with Pharis on the sprints, jumps, hurdles and relays. His career spans more than 26 years, most recently working as the jumps coach at Eastern Washington University.

Carey Campbell joins the Redhawks as a throwing coach, and will be working with new volunteer assistant coach Zaquita “Zee” McClanahan. In their undergraduate careers, Campbell led his team as a hammer and shot put specialist at the University of Washington, while McClanahan, shot put record-holder for the University of Texas San Antonio, placed in the top four at the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Sullivan said, “Our goal is to surround these young student-athletes with the most positive coaches and mentors that we can. I definitely feel that this staff and this university offers them that.”

Seattle University’s release is available here.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA and the sports information office at Seattle University contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Huskies' Rainsberger and Neal finish top 5 at Stanford; Central's Shindruk fourth at Charles Bowles Invite...

At the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, California, the University of Washington women’s cross country team ran to a third place finish at the Stanford Invitational Saturday, hosted by Stanford University on the Stanford Golf Course that will host the Pac-12 cross country championships in one month.

The Huskies were led by a pair in the top five, with Katie Rainsberger finishing second, and Kaitlyn Neal (left/file photo by Paul Merca) finishing in fifth.

This was the first real race effort for UW after it ran prescribed paces at the Sundodger Invitational three weeks ago. The Dawgs put ten women on the starting line today, five of which were getting their first real racing in as Huskies.

That includes Rainsberger, who showed the form that earned her top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships the past two Novembers while running at Oregon. Rainsberger covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:39 to finish second, as Stanford All-American Elise Cranny won in 20:32.

Neal made her season debut in impressive fashion with a fifth-place effort in 21:01. Senior Emily Hamlin and sophomore Allie Schadler finished close together, Hamlin in 20th in 21:35 and Schadler in 21:36 for 21st-place. The fifth Husky finisher to cap the scoring was junior Nikki Zielinski in 45th in 22:15.

UW Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Maurica Powell thought it was a good first effort for the Dawgs. "We had a solid day out there. Good first real competitive effort for Katie and a good opener for Kaitlin. The top four did a really nice job working together.”

Third-ranked Stanford got the team win with 62 points and Adams State, the No. 1-ranked team in the D-II poll, was second with 69 points while the Dawgs placed third with 90 points in the nineteen-team field.

Washington has next weekend off before they travel with the men’s team to Madison, Wisconsin for the Pre-Nationals meet.

Complete results of the Stanford Invitational are available here.

In Salem, Oregon, Central Washington’s Alexa Shindruk was the first Division II runner across the line with her fourth place finish at the Charles Bowles Invitational hosted by Willamette University Saturday at Bush’s Pasture Park.

Shindruk, an NCAA qualifier on the track last year for the Wildcats in the 10000, ran 17:21 for the 5000m distance, as Kristie Schoffield of Boise State won in 17:11.

Her Wildcats finished eighth in the team standings with 227 points, while Seattle Pacific finished as the first NCAA D2 team in the 22-team field in fourth place with 140 points.

The Falcons had three runners—Kaylee Mitchell (17:25 for 7th), Kate Lilly (17:49 for 21st), and Dania Holmberg (18:00 in 24th) at 18:00 or better in the race.

Boise State won the women’s team title with 30 points.

In the men’s 8k race, Central Washington was the top NCAA Division II school in the 19-team field, as the Wildcats finished fifth with 212 points, while Seattle Pacific finished seventh with 238 points.

Central Washington was led by Corbin Carlton, who finished 25th in 25:23, while Seattle Pacific was led by Colby Otero in 22nd at 25:18.

Andrew Raffa of Boise State was the overall winner in 24:10, as he led the Broncos to the team title with 37 points, with Portland second at 46 points.

Complete results of the Charles Bowles Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Stanford University, Seattle Pacific University, Central Washington University and Willamette University contributed to this report.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kyle Thompson leads Bulldog sweep of Montana Invitational men's race...

MISSOULA, Montana—Kyle Thompson (above/photo courtesy Gonzaga University) led a plethora of Bulldogs across the finish line as the Zags dominated the Montana Invitational cross country meet Friday afternoon.

Over the challenging 8k course at the University of Montana Golf Course, Thompson ran 25:12, winning by eight seconds over teammate Ciaran O’Leary.

The Bulldogs’ Jake Perrin, competing unattached, was third in 25:23, followed by Yacine Guermali (25:24), Bennett Gagnon (25:30), and Andrew Clusserath (25:30), as the Zags scored a perfect 15.

The first non-Bulldog in the top ten was Idaho's Skylar Ovnicek in ninth in 25:33.

Dominic Rehm was Eastern Washington’s first runner across the line in 14th (25:47).

He was followed by Carter Ledwith in 16th (25:50), Isaac Barville in 35th (26:38), Colton Egberg in 43rd (26:52), and Nicholas Mullineux Perrault in 46th (26:58).

The Eagles finished third in the 11 team men’s field with a score of 105 points.

In the women’s 5k race, Gonzaga finished sixth in the 13-team field with 137 points, while Eastern Washington was seventh at 182.

Leading the way for the Zags was Molly Foster in 19th (19:20), followed by Katherine Gustafson in 25th (19:28), Amanda Kiefer in 30th (19:39), Claire Gillett in 33rd (19:47), and Kelly Gilbert in 36th (19:54).

Eastern Washington was led by Lily Tyrell in 23rd place (19:25), followed by Phoenix Aguilar in 35th (19:48), Ashley Arreola in 43rd (20:07), and Megan Pitzman in 45th and Erika Leinweber in 46th, with both at 20:13.

Idaho's Kara Story was the individual winner in 18:06, as she led the Vandals to the team title with 20 points.

Gonzaga, who ran without their High School All-American James Mwaura Friday, will send a men's team to the Pre-Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin on October 13th. The Gonzaga women and the Eastern Washington team will head to Santa Clara the same day for the Bronco Invitational. Both schools will also have athletes competing at the Inland Empire Championships in Lewiston, Idaho.

Complete results of the Montana Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The University of Montana, Gonzaga University, and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Spokane's Nick Hauger finishes sixth at Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational...

MADISON, Wisconsin—Spokane native Nick Hauger (left/file photo by Paul Merca) led the University of Portland to a third place team finish with his sixth place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational Friday afternoon at the Zimmer Championship Course.

The graduate of Shadle Park HS finished seven seconds behind winner Morgan McDonald of Wisconsin, who ran 23:18, to Hauger’s 23:25.

The Pilots, who were ranked number 3 in the country entering this weekend, finished with a team score of 140, just behind host Wisconsin’s 135, and team champion and defending national champion Northern Arizona, who scored a low of 46 points.

After redshirting the 2017-18 season, Mt. Spokane HS graduate John Dressel of the University of Colorado finished 11th in 23:36, as his Buffaloes finished eighth in the team competition with 278 points.

Washington State, which entered the meet ranked number 15 in the national coaches’ poll, finished 11th with 334 points.

The Cougars were led by Chandler Teigen, who finished 28th in 23:50.  He was followed by Nathan Wadhwani in 57th in 24:05.

Also scoring for the Cougs were Amir Ado (69th) in 24:13, Paul Ryan (91st) in 24:25, and Justin Janke (99th) in 24:27.

In the women’s 6k race, the University of Colorado took home the team title with a score of 80 points, just ahead of runner-up Boise State’s 91, and defending national champion New Mexico’s 130 points.

Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson won the race, covering the course in 19:34, two seconds ahead of New Mexico’s Weini Kelati, and Lobo teammate and defending national champion Ednah Kurgat’s 19:39.

Former Washington standout Charlotte Prouse, who transferred to New Mexico last season, finished seventh in 19:55.

Washington State finished 31st in the 33-team field with a score of 809 points.

The top finisher for Washington State was freshman Emma Jenkins from Camas who placed 95th overall with a time of 21:11 in the race.

Following Jenkins was Kaili Keefe who posted a time of 21:39 for a finish of 145th overall. Desi Stinger placed 183rd (22:08), Kelsey Takeuchi at 191st (22:17), and Melissa Hruska in 195th place (22:19) to round out the Cougar scorers.

The Cougars ran without All-American Vallery Korir, who won the B race at this meet last year.

Washington State returns to Madison in two weeks to compete in the Pre-Nationals meet on the same course that will host the NCAA Championships in November.

Complete results of the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational are available here.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cougs head to Wisconsin for Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational...

All three of the state’s East Side NCAA Division I schools are in action Friday in one of the heaviest racing weekends across the country.

WASHINGTON STATE heads to Madison, Wisconsin for Friday’s running of the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational at the Zimmer Championship Course, where the #15 ranked Cougars will face eighteen other nationally ranked teams, in what is their first major test after running two meets on their home course at the Colfax Golf Club.

The Cougs will face No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Portland, No. 5 Iowa State, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Colorado, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 Colorado State, No. 14 Southern Utah, No. 16 Iona, No. 17 Air Force, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 22 Oklahoma State, No. 24 Princeton, No. 25 NC State, No. 26 Boise State, No. 27 Villanova, No. 29 Indiana, and No. 30 Texas, in a meet that will likely shuffle the deck when the next set of rankings are released on October 2nd.

Competing for the Washington State men over the 8k distance at the Nuttycombe Invitational are; Nathan Wadhwani, Chandler Teigen (left/photo by Paul Merca), Amir Ado, Colton Johnsen, Justin Janke, Paul Ryan, and Kennan Schrag. Kyler Little, Matthew Watkins, and Andrew Cooper will run in the B Race.

On the women’s side, Washington State will run Kaili Keefe, Emma Jenkins, Marie Gaudin, Desi Stinger, Melissa Hruska, Samantha King-Shaw, and Kelsey Takeuchi. Running in the Nuttycombe B Race will be Pia Richards, and Zorana Grujic.

The most notable athlete on the WSU team not running is 2017 All-American Vallery Korir, who won the B Race last year.

Action at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational gets underway with the women’s B race at 9 am Seattle time, followed by the men’s B race at 9:40 am.

The women’s championship 6k starts at 10:20 am, followed by the men’s championship 8k at 11 am.

Media partner Flotrack ($) will provide live streaming coverage of the meet.

Meanwhile, EASTERN WASHINGTON and GONZAGA will head east to Missoula, Montana for the Montana Invitational, hosted by the University of Montana.

For the Zags, men’s coach Pat Tyson will use the race to help determine which athletes he will take to Madison, Wisconsin in two weeks for the Pre-Nationals race on the Zimmer Championship Course, which will host the NCAA championship race in November.

Besides Gonzaga and Eastern Washington, Idaho, Pacific and Santa Clara, along with Montana State and host Montana.

The meet begins with the women's 5,000-meter race at 5 p.m. Pacific Time, followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON women’s team makes the short flight to the Bay Area to compete at the Stanford Invitational on the same course that will host the Pac-12 Championships in a month.

The Huskies, who are ranked #16, will run most of their top runners competing after holding out the majority of their runners at the Sundodger Invitational three weeks ago.  The most notable runner missing is Oregon transfer Lilli Burdon, who is being held out.

Running for Washington are Sarah Carter, Emily Hamlin, Madison Heisterman, Kiera Marshall, Shona McCullough, Kaitlyn Neal, Olivia O’Keeffe, Katie Rainsberger, Allie Schadler, and Nikki Zielinski.

Washington will face the host Cardinal team that is ranked #4 in the latest USTFCCCA women’s poll, along with a bevy of teams from the West Coast.

The women’s race starts at 9:50 am.

The link to live results is available here.

In Division II, SAINT MARTIN’S and CENTRAL WASHINGTON competes Saturday at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon.

The Wildcats, who ran a partial team last week at the Ken Garland Invitational, should have a full team in Salem, as will the Saints.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, Stanford, Saint Martin's, Central Washington University and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Washington men move 14 spots to number 12 in latest USTFCCCA coaches' poll...

Tibu Proctor (#671) and Tanner Anderson
of the University of Washington
(Mike Scott photo)
NEW ORLEANS—Thanks to a second place performance last Friday at the Battle in Beantown meet in Boston, the University of Washington men’s cross country team was the biggest beneficiary in the USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll released Tuesday.

The Huskies rocketed 14 positions from its #26 ranking last week and finds itself in the number 12 spot according to the coaches’ poll.

The Washington State men’s team dropped two positions from last week to number 15 in the national poll, even though they did not compete at all.

The nation’s top five men’s teams remain unchanged, led by defending national champion Northern Arizona, followed in order by BYU, Portland, Stanford, and Iowa State.

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the USTFCCCA top 30 include number 7 Colorado, #11 Oregon, and #23 UCLA.

The Husky women’s team moved one spot from #17 to #16 in the latest poll, despite being idle last week.

Like the men’s rankings, the nation’s top five remain unchanged, led by defending champ New Mexico, followed in order by Colorado, Stanford, Oregon, and Boise State.

The other two Pac-12 schools ranked in the national top-30 are #21 Cal, and #24 Utah.

Expect major shuffling when the next poll is released next Tuesday, as 25 of the top 30 women’s teams are in action, with 15 at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin meet in Madison.  The Huskies will be at Stanford for the Stanford Invitational.

On the men’s side, 24 of the nation’s top 30 teams are competing with 19 squads, including Washington State, running at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin meet, while the Husky men are idol, until the Pre-Nationals two weeks from this Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin.

The USTFCCCA poll is available here.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

WEEKEND RECAP: Vikings dominate Ken Garland Classic in Lacey...

LACEY--Western Washington squads ran strongly as the Vikings swept the Ken Garland Classic hosted by Saint Martin’s University Saturday on the Saints’ campus course.

The opening women’s 5k race saw Viking freshman Rebecca Lehman (above/photo courtesy WWU Athletics) win in 18:16 over Spokane CC and former Husky Micaela Kostecka by 15 seconds.

Western packed four of the next five runners behind Kostecka, with Shawnee Konrad (3rd, 18:38), Jane Barr (4th, 18:39), Talia Dreicer (6th, 18:46), and Tracy Melville (7th, 18:47) to give the Vikings a 31 second 1-5 split and the team title with 21 points in the 11-team field.

Central Washington was fifth with 147 points, led by freshman Ashley Fahey in 24th place in 20:05, while host Saint Martin’s was ninth with 218 points, led by senior Lindsey Dorney in 20:21.

In the men’s 8k race, the Vikings, who were ranked #25 in the latest USTFCCCA national Division II coaches’ poll, dominated the field, scoring a perfect 15, placing seven runners in the top eight, and a 1-5 split of 22 seconds.

Ian Fay led the way in 26:04, followed by Jadon Olson in 26:10.  Kyler Sager was third in 26:12, followed by James Jasperson in 26:14, and Eric Hamel in 26:26.

Host Saint Martin’s was fifth in the 11-team field with a score of 166, led by Andrew Oslin, who finished 37th in 28:03. Central Washington did not run a  full team.  Mateo Rivera was the Wildcats’ first runner across the lin in 49th in 28:37.

Saint Martin’s and Central Washington head to the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon next weekend, while Western Washington takes next weekend off.

The complete women’s results of the Ken Garland Classic is available here, while the mens’ results are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington, Saint Martin’s and Central Washington contributed to this report.

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