Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dawgs' efforts in Wisconsin earn them their first USTFCCCA national ranking this season...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington men’s cross country team's (above/photo by Paul Merca) 14th place finish in the ├╝ber-competitive Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison was rewarded by the voters of the USTFCCCA’s Division I national cross country poll, as the Huskies made the national rankings for the first time this season, landing at number 21.

At the same time, the Washington State men’s squad, which was at one time ranked as high as #11, but got bounced all the way down to number 29 in the last released poll two weeks ago, rebounded all the way up to number 20, just ahead of the Huskies.

The nation’s top five men’s teams after the busy Wisconsin Invite and the adidas Pre-Nationals meet in Louisville over the weekend are Northern Arizona, BYU, Portland, Syracuse, and Pac-12 champs Colorado.

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the national top-30 include #6 Stanford, #8 Oregon, and #14 UCLA.

On the women’s side, the Huskies dropped two spots to number 13. despite finishing seventh in Wisconsin last week.

The nation’s top five schools are defending national champs Oregon, followed by New Mexico, defending Pac-12 champ Colorado, San Francisco, and NC State.

Other Pac-12 teams in the national top 30 include #14 Stanford, #27 Utah, and #28 California.

The USTFCCCA will release two more polls—one after the conference championship weekend, and one after the regional championships.


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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spokane's Tanner Anderson leads Ducks to third place finish at adidas Pre-Nationals...

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—Spokane native Tanner Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished 17th in the invitational section of the adidas Pre-Nationals Invitational hosted by the University of Louisville at T.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, the site of this year’s NCAA championships, leading the University of Oregon to a third place finish Saturday.

Anderson, a product of North Central HS, ran 23:27 for the 8k course to cross the line first for the Ducks, who concentrated on pack running. Oregon, the number 8 ranked team in the country, had six runners in the top 35, with their fifth scorer only 19 seconds behind Anderson, as they scored 129 points.

Brigham Young, who won the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield two weeks ago, won the men’s team title with 41 points, led by individual winner Rory Linkletter, who ran 23:09.

Gonzaga, who ran without steeplechase All-American Troy Fraley, finished 16th in the 41-team field with 478 points, led by Max Kaderabek, who finished in 60th in 24:09. 

Peter Hogan was 80th (24:21), and Jake Perrin was 93rd (24:27). Rounding out the Zags’ scorers were Phillip Fishburn in 114th (24:36), and Bennett Gagnon in 145th (24:51), as the Bulldogs had a 1-5 spread of 43 seconds.

Eastern Washington was 39th in the field with a score of 954 points, as Colton Johnsen, the team’s leader all season long, finished 78th in 24:20.

In the women’s invitational section, the Eagles finished 41st with a score of 1021 points, as Oregon won with 63 points.  Elinor Purrier of New Hampshire was the individual winner over the 6k course, running 19:29.

Jordan Thurston, a member of Gonzaga’s first-ever team to qualify for the NCAA cross country championships two years ago on this same course, was the Bulldogs’ lone woman running in the race, finishing 110th in 21:18.

Kari Hamilton was the Eagles’ top runner, crossing the line in 21:30, and placing 131st. 


In Lewiston, Idaho, Washington State alum John Whelan won the men’s 8k at the Inland Empire Collegiate Championships hosted by Lewis-Clark State.

Whelan ran 23:35 to win the race by a comfortable margin over a field that included athletes from Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University, along with a host of other smaller D3 and NAIA schools, with Central Washington the lone GNAC school at the meet.

The women’s 5k race was won by Idaho’s Andrea Condie, who ran 17:15, 12 seconds ahead of Seattle University’s Olivia Stein. 


NOTE;  The sports information offices of the University of Louisville, University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and Lewis-Clark State contributed to this report.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Washington women finish seventh in ultra-competitive Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invite...

MADISON, Wisconsin—Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran to a 14th place finish to lead the Huskies to a seventh place finish in the invitational section of the Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on a calm but cloudy day at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course Friday afternoon.

The senior from Snohomish, who is the reigning Pac-12 conference champion, started slow and worked her way though the 227-woman field, crossing the line in 20:07.

Fellow senior Izzi Batt-Doyle was Washington’s second finisher in 20:35, followed by sophomore Kaitlyn Neal in 50th in 20:43.

Rounding out the scoring for the Dawgs were Anna Maxwell in 73rd in 21:00, and Emily Hamlin in 77th in 21:01, giving Washington a 54 second 1-5 split.

New Mexico won the team title with 87 points, led by three women in the top ten, with Ednah Kurgat leading the way for the Lobos.

Former Husky Charlotte Prouse was seventh overall in 19:55 for the winning New Mexico squad.

Another notable former Husky, Lindsey Bradley, now competing for Baylor, was 13th in 20:07, just ahead of Neale.

The Huskies actually tied for sixth with 257 points but lost a tiebreaker to Furman, thus finishing seventh. That was ahead of fifth-ranked Stanford which placed eighth with 292 points, and the Dawgs also beat out No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Iowa State, and five more teams ranked between No. 20 and No. 28.

It was a bit of a rough go for both Washington State and Washington, both of whom had aspirations for a top ten finish, as the Cougars were 13th with 441 points, and the Huskies 14th with 445 points.

All-American Michael Williams led the way for the Cougars, finishing 39th over 8k in 24:15.  Chandler Tiger was 55th in 24:23, followed by Nathan Wadhwani in 96th at 24:43.

Jake Finney was 104th in 24:49, and Paul Ryan rounded out the scorers in 147th in 25:02, as Washington State’s 1-5 split was 47 seconds.

For the Huskies, Andrew Gardner led the way in 37th, running 24:14.  Andy Snyder was 91st in 24:40, followed by Johnathan Stevens in 99th at 24:45.

Colby Gilbert was 100th in 24:46, and freshman Tibu Proctor as 118th in 24:54, giving the Dawgs a 1-5 split of 40 seconds, despite missing both Fred Huxham and Talon Hull.

That said, both the Cougars and the Huskies beat several nationally ranked teams, which will come in handy when it comes time to select the at-large teams for the NCAA championships in mid-November.

The WSU men finished ahead of these higher-ranked teams from the latest poll: No. 13 Iona 17th, No. 14 Iowa State 16th, No. 15 Boise State 21st, No. 16 Illinois 28th, No. 18 Virginia 30th, and No. 28 Wisconsin 25th.

The Dawgs entered unranked but finished ahead of No. 13 Iona, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 15 Boise State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 18 Virginia, No. 21 Indiana, No. 25 Wisconsin, and No. 30 Columbia. 

Living up to its reputation as the country’s best invitational race, the huge Wisconsin fields featured 16 of the top-30 nationally ranked women's squads and 20 of the top-30 men's teams. 

In the women’s open or B section, Washington State’s Vallery Korir led from start to finish and took the victory in 20:37, a time that would have placed her 47th in the invitational race.

Korir, who is the younger sister of US world championships team member Leonard Korir, said afterwards that her win will give her the confidence to run with the top runners in the Pac-12 conference when they face off in two weeks in Springfield, Oregon.

About having to run solo in the race, she said, "The best thing about running by yourself is that it boosts your mental skills of running," 

The Cougs finished fourth in the open section with 111, as Colorado won the section with 35 points.  Washington prep standout Cayla Seligman from Issaquah was part of the winning Colorado squad, finishing 19th in 21:37.

Washington’s three entries in the B section were led by freshman Erica Schroeder in 13th in 21:28, one spot behind WSU’s Devon Bortfeld, who ran 21:26.

The Husky men were sixth in the open men’s race with 127 points, led by Gavin Parpart in 23rd in 25:12.  Stanford won the open mens title with 60 points.  Luis Vargas of NC State, competing unattached, won the race in 23:42.



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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dawgs and Cougs set to battle nation's best cross country teams at Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invite...

The Washington men's squad works on practice starts
Friday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in
Madison, WI (Paul Merca photo)
MADISON, Wisconsin—Can Washington State’s men’s squad bounce back from a bad performance at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational and maintain their national ranking?

Can the Washington men, who are outside of the current USTFCCCA national top 30, take the next step and run a strong race that puts them in the national conversation going into the championship season?

Can the perennial national powerhouse Husky women’s team rise up and get themselves into the top ten going into the Pac-12 championships with a solid performance?

While those questions may or may not have definite answers, collegiate cross country fans will have a better understanding of the national landscape after Friday’s Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin, and Saturday’s Pre-Nationals race in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Nuttycombe Wisconsin meet features 35 of the country’s leading Division I men’s teams, and 33 women’s squads, with 20 men’s ranked teams, and 17 nationally ranked women’s teams according to the USTFCCCA’s release. 

The powerhouse lineup of teams are led by defending men’s champ and current number one ranked Northern Arizona, while #3 New Mexico and #5 Stanford are the headliners on the women’s side.


The meet gets underway at 11 am, local time (9 am pacific) with the women’s 6k B race, which Washington State is entering a full team, followed by the men’s 8k B section at 11:40.  

The women’s 6k A section goes off at 12:20 pm, followed by the men’s 8k A section at 1 pm. Media partner Flotrack ($) will stream the meet live on flotrack.org.

Saturday, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington will enter teams at the Pre-National Invitational at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky, the site of this year’s NCAA championships, while Seattle University travels south to Sunnyvale, California for the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.

Additionally, WSU, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington are scheduled to enter teams at Saturday’s Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho, hosted by Lewis-Clark State.  Central Washington, the only Washington GNAC school competing this weekend, is also expected to enter runners in that meet.

WESTERN WASHINGTON MEN BREAK INTO USTFCCCA NATIONAL RANKINGS…

Thanks to a strong showing at their own Western Washington Classic last Saturday, the Western Washington men’s team became the first Washington Division II team to earn a USTFCCCA national ranking this season.

The Vikings finished second behind #4 ranked Chico State, and that was enough for the voting panel to rank them #23 in the national poll released Wednesday.

The nation’s top five men’s D2 teams are Adams State, Grand Valley State, Colorado Mines, Chico State, and Cal Poly Pomona.

Number 13 Western Oregon and Alaska Anchorage at #17 are the only other men’s teams from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to be ranked in the national top 25.

Next up for the Vikings is the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship meet at East Lake Padden Park in Bellingham on October 21st.

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

London 2017 800m competitor Lindsey Butterworth outkicks Tansey Lystad at WWU Classic...

BELLINGHAM—Canadian world championships 800m competitor and Simon Fraser alum Lindsey Butterworth used her speed over the last 500 meters to chase down Inglemoor HS and University of Portland alum Tansey Lystad (left/photo by Paul Merca) to win the women’s 6-kilometer race at the Western Washington Classic at East Lake Padden Park Saturday.

The former cross country All-American for the Pilots took command of the race early as the field looped around Lake Padden, which will be the site of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships in a fortnight.

However, as they exited the lake to make the last little U-turn with 500 meters to go before the finish, Butterworrth, a former NCAA Division II 800 meter champ for Simon Fraser who ran 2:02.13 this summer to get a spot in the London world championships, used her speed to run down Lystad and get the win in 21:15, three seconds better than Lystad, who ran for Team USA at the NACAC cross country championships this spring, and who is presently the cross country coach at Everett CC.

Simon Fraser, the NCAA Division II’s number four ranked team, won the team title by two points 44-46 over #12 ranked Chico State.

Western Washington finished fourth with 106 points, led by Lilllianna Stelling’s 19th place finish in 22:29.

Seattle Pacific was fifth with 114 points, led by Mary Charleson’s 13th place finish in 22:15, as she made her 2017 season debut after missing the first month of the season with an injury.

Central Washington was sixth with 165 points, as Alexa Shindruk led the way for the Wildcats with her 11th place finish in 22:10.

Saint Martin’s was ninth in the 12-team field with 249 points, led by Yadira Lopez in 42nd with a time of 23:15.

In the men’s 10k race, it was a dominating performance by Chico State, who is the fourth ranked Division II squad according to the latest USTFCCCA national poll, as they placed six runners in the top ten, and finish with a low score of 17 points.

Keenan Viney of Calgary, Alberta, competing unattached, was the overall winner in 31:17, 21 seconds ahead of Connor Fisher of Chico State, who ran 31:38, the same time as teammates Eddie King and Teddy Kassa.

Western Washington was second with 76 points, as Andrew Wise led the charge for the Vikings in sixth in 31:43.

Seattle Pacific was sixth with 180 points, led by Ben Halladay in 25th at 32:35.

One place behind the Falcons was Central Washington with 182 points, led by Josh Boston in 41st in 33:13, while Saint Martin’s was 11th in the eleven-team field with 312 points. Josh Hunt was the Saints’ top runner in 89th place in 34:58.

All four of Washington’s Division II squads will return to East Lake Padden for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title clash on the 21st.


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

Friday, October 6, 2017

Vikings set to host Western Washington Classic Saturday at Lake Padden Park...

All four of Washington’s NCAA Division II cross country teams are competing at Saturday’s Western Washington Classic at Lake Padden Park in Bellingham.

The meet, consisting of a women’s 6k at 10 am and a men’s 10k at 11, will be contested on the same course that the GNAC championship meet will be held in two weeks, thus the fact that seven of the conference’s 11 schools will have teams racing.

In addition to being a preview of the conference course, the Western Washington Classic will also give the men the one shot to race over 10k before the championship, as its the only regular season meet offering the 10k distance.

Those wanting to watch the meet should have no difficulty finding Lake Padden Park. Head north up I-5 to Exit 246. Coming off the exit, turn left onto Samish Way, and follow it approximately 2.25 miles to the park's eastern entrance on the left (south) side of the road. The entry road comes to a 'Y'; keep to the right for the park. (The left half goes to the golf course).



NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Renton HS & 2x US Olympian Patty vanWolvelaere newest member of USATF Hall of Fame...

Patty vanWolvelaere (second from the left) finished fourth
in the 80m hurdles final at the 1968 Olympics
(photos courtesy Crawford Family US Olympic Archives, USOC)
INDIANAPOLIS—Patty vanWolvelaere (Weirich), one of Washington state’s most decorated track and field athletes, and a two-time US Olympian, was selected as one of five men and women to the USA Track & Field National Hall of Fame, which will be inducted at the organization’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala in New York on November 2nd.

vanWolvelaere joins modern athletes Leroy Burrell and Bryan Clay, fellow veteran athlete Lindy Remigino, and coach Bill Squires as members of the USATF Hall of Fame class of 2017.

She made her first Olympic team in 1968 shortly after graduating from Renton High School when she finished second in the US Olympic trials and advanced to the Olympics in Mexico City.  In the Mexico City Olympics, she finished fourth in the 80 meter hurdles.

Four years later in Munich, vanWolvelaere broke the 100m hurdles American record in 13.26 during the semifinals. She would set the AR in the 100m hurdles seven times in total, capped by her 13.14 in 1978.

In between those Olympic appearances, she sped to gold at the 1971 Pan American Games.

She won four U.S. outdoor titles in 1971, 73-74 and '77, and was also a six-time national indoor gold medalist in the 60y hurdles, including four in a row from 1971-74.

In college at USC, vanWolvelaere took back-to-back AIAW golds in the 100m hurdles in 1977-78 and represented the U.S. at the World University Games and '77 IAAF World Cup.

After retiring from competition, Patty served as a fire engineer at the San Diego Fire Department for 24 years and has coached at Ramona High School in California since 2013.



PAC-12 NETWORK TO TELEVISE THE PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS LIVE

Pac-12 Networks announced it will provide live coverage of the 2017 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships hosted by the University of Oregon on Friday, Oct. 27.  

The live broadcast will be the first ever for the championship event with the women’s 6k race commencing at 11 am, and the men’s 8k starting at noon from the Springfield Golf Club, with both races airing on Pac-12 Network as well as across all six Pac-12 regional channels.  The events will also be available to stream live for authenticated subscribers via the Pac-12 Now app and pac-12.com

Jim Watson, Dwight Stones, and Lewis Johnson will call the action at the conference championship meet.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.  Publisher Paul Merca is one of the media voters of the USATF National Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Significant shuffling in latest USTFCCCA Division I cross country poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington women’s cross country team (above/photo by Paul Merca) remained ranked the number 11 squad in the country as the USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll was released Tuesday.

The national top five remained the same: number 1 Colorado, followed by Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan and Stanford.

The only other Pac-12 squad in the national top 30 is number 22 Utah.

On the men’s side, there were some significant shuffling in the rankings, the biggest of which was Washington State’s free fall from number 11 all the way down to 29 after finishing eleventh at the Piane Notre Dame Invitational last week.

Additionally, the University of Washington picked up some votes after a solid fourth place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational to almost crack the national top 30.

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

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 30 include #7 Colorado, #8 Oregon, and #20 UCLA.


Because of the light national schedule this weekend as teams prep for one of the two major meets next weekend—the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, and the Pre-Nationals in Louisville, the next rankings will be released on October 17th.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Falcon women place second at competitive Charles Bowles Willamette Invite...

SALEM, Oregon—The Seattle Pacific women’s cross country team (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific) placed four runners in the top 25 to earn a second place finish in the Cardinal section of the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational hosted by Willamette University Saturday.

The Falcons scored 94 points, but came up short as Humboldt State of California took the win with 65 points.  Seattle University finished third with 112 points, while Whitworth was fifth with 159.

Other Washington schools were Puget Sound in ninth at 209, Saint Martin’s 11th at 298, Whitman 12th at 302, and Pacific Lutheran 17th with 459.

In the process, the Falcons beat #24 Point Loma Nazarene, earning a bit of payback after finishing third behind Point Loma at the Sundodger two weeks ago; however, Humboldt State snuck up on the Falcons to get the win, and possibly propel themselves into the Division II national top 25 when the USTFCCCA poll is released early next week.

Division III All-American Kayla Leland of Whitworth was the winner over the 5k course in a time of 17:38.

Seattle University’s Olivia Stein was the Redhawks’ top runner in third in 17:45.  Dania Holmberg led the way for Seattle Pacific in 12th at 18:12; Yadira Lopez was Saint Martin’s top runner in 27th in 18:35.

On the men’s side, SeattleU finished behind Portland, as the Pilots took the overall team title with 59 [points, 20 better than the Redhawks’ 79.

Pacific Lutheran, powered by Brad Hodkinson’s overall victory over the 8k course in 24:49, was fifth with 176, 

Seattle Pacific was ninth with 216, Whitworth 11th at 260, Saint Martin’s 14th with 375, and Puget Sound rounded out the 17 team field with 450 points.

Washington athletes who finished in the top ten included SeattleU’s Oil Boudouris in eighth (25:19), Seattle Pacific’s Ben Halladay in ninth (25:20), and SeattleU’s Jacques Hebert in tenth (25:24).


In Louisville, Kentucky, Alexa Shindruk led Central Washington to a third place finish in the Blue section of the Louisville Sports Commission Cross Country Classic at Tom Sawyer State Park.

Shindruk finished the 5k race in fifth overall in a time of 18:22.

The Wildcat men’s team finished seventh in the Blue section of the men’s 8k race with 146 points, led by Corbin Carlton, who was 22nd in 26:16.


COUGARS STUMBLE IN SEASON OPENER AT NOTRE DAME, WHILE EASTERN’S COLTON JOHNSEN WINS MONTANA INVITE XC RACE…

On Friday, the #11 ranked Washington State men’s squad took a big hit with their 11th place finish at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

Junior Chandler Teigen led the Cougar charge with his 19th place finish in 24:11 over the 5-mile course.

On the women’s side, the Cougars finished 14th, led by Vallery Korir’s 15th place finish over the 5k course, as she ran 16:47.


In Missoula, Montana, Eastern Washington’s Colton Johnsen won the men’s 8k race at Friday’s Montana Invitational, running 25:34.

The Eagles’ Kari Hamilton was third in the women’s 5k race, running 18:17.

Eastern Washington’s recap is available here, with the results inside the recap.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, Washington State, and Eastern Washington contributed to this report.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Husky squads get identical fourth place finishes at Bill Dellinger Invitational...

SPRINGFIELD, Oregon—The University of Washington men’s and women’s cross country teams ran to identical fourth place team finishes at Friday’s Bill Dellinger Invitational on a rainy morning at the Springfield Golf Course.

In the opening men’s 8k race, Washington’s Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca), who sat out the Sundodger meet in Seattle two weeks ago, threaded his way through the pack to finish fifth in a time of 23:48, five seconds behind winner Clayton Young of BYU, as the Cougars had three other runners in front of Gilbert.

Behind Gilbert were freshman Talon Hull in 13th (23:55), Mahmoud Moussa in 15th (24:00), Andrew Gardner in 27th (24:10), and Sundodger winner Johnathan Stevens in 33rd (24:18), to give the Dawgs an adjusted score of 85 points.

One place behind Washington were the Bulldogs of Gonzaga, who were led by All-American Troy Fraley’s 18th place finish in 24:04.

The Zags’ other scorers were Jake Perrin in 31st (24:14), Max Kaderabek in 39th (24:21), Peter Hogan in 42nd (24:25), and Bennett Gagnon in 44th (24:26) to give Gonzaga an adjusted team score of 147 points.

BYU had a dominating performance, placing seven runners in the top 10 to score 17 points, followed by Stanford’s 73, and Oregon’s 75.

In the women’s 6k race, Pac-12 champ Amy-Eloise Neale led the way for the Huskies with her 6th place finish in 19:16, as Oregon’s Katie Rainsberger won in dominating fashion, running an announced course record of 18:48.

Behind Neale for the Dawgs were Izzi Batt-Doyle in 14th (19:33), Emily Hamlin in 20th (19:44), Kaitlyn Neal in 27th (19:54), and Nikki Zielinski in 28th (19:57), as the Huskies scored an adjusted total of 95 points.

Gonzaga finished tenth in the ten-team field, led by Jordan Thurston’s 39th place finish in 20:11, as they scored 299 points.

Oregon had two other runners finish behind Rainsberger, as the host team won with a low score of 33 points, followed by Stanford with 66 and BYU with 78 points.


NOTE: The University of Oregon contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Central Washington heads to Louisville, while Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin's race in Salem...

With the Great Northwest Athletic Conference cross country championships in Bellingham looming in three weeks, three of the four Washington Division II schools are in action Saturday.

Central Washington (above/photo by Paul Merca) takes its longest regular season trip of the season, as the Wildcats head east to Louisville, Kentucky for the highly competitive Louisville Sports Commission Cross Country Classic at Tom Sawyer State Park, the site of this year’s NCAA Division I championship meet.

The Wildcats are among 42 Division II teams entered in this year’s meet, with the men racing over 8k at 10:45 am local time, and the women running 5k 45 minutes later.


Meanwhile, both Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s will head down Interstate 5 to Salem for the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational hosted by Willamette University.

Both the Falcons and the Saints will run in the Cardinal sections, featuring NCAA D1, D2, and D3 schools, with the men kicking it off at 9:30 am over 8k, and the women following at 10:20 am.

Seattle University will also have a full squad competing at the Charles Bowles meet.


NOTE:  The GNAC and Willamette University contributed to this report.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Huskies move up one spot to #11 in latest USTFCCCA coaches' poll...

NEW ORLEANS—Despite having the weekend off, the University of Washington women’s cross country team (above/photo by Paul Merca) moved up one spot in the USTFCCCA national coaches’ poll released Tuesday.

The Huskies, who were ranked number 12 after emerging victorious at its own Sundodger Invitational on September 16th, moved to number 11.

The nation’s top five women’s teams in order are Pac-12 champ Colorado, defending national champ Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, and Stanford.

The other Pac-12 women’s squad ranked in the national top 30 is #27 Utah.

On the men’s side, Washington State maintains its number 11 ranking, despite not racing so far this season.

The nation’s top five men’s teams in order are defending national champion Northern Arizona, Stanford, Syracuse, defending Pac-12 champ Colorado, and Arkansas.

The two other Pac-12 teams ranked in the national top 30 include #8 Oregon, and #23 UCLA.


ALL FIVE WASHINGTON D1 SCHOOLS IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND

All five of Washington’s Division I schools are in action Friday and Saturday, with Washington and Gonzaga heading to Springfield, Oregon for the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon at the Springfield Golf Course, which will host the Pac-12 championship meet four weeks later.

The men’s 8k gets the meet started at 10 am, while the women’s 6k goes an hour later.

Both the Huskies and the Zags will run nearly everyone, with the only significant athlete not competing is Washington’s Fred Huxham.  Significant Huskies who are running the race as unattached athletes include freshmen Shona McCullough, Devan Kirk, and Issac Green.

The Dellinger Invitational takes the place on the cross country calendar of the Washington Invitational due to the fact that Oregon is hosting the Pac-12 championship meet.

Besides host Oregon, teams entered in the meet include BYU, Cal Poly, Idaho, Oregon State, Portland, Stanford,  and UC Santa Barbara.


Washington State finally gets its season opener Friday as the team travels to South Bend, Indiana for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.

The men’s squad will face four nationally ranked teams in the 42-team field, while the women’s team will face a field of 47 teams, including seven nationally-ranked squads.


Eastern Washington makes another trip to Missoula, Montana on Friday for the Montana Invitational hosted by the University of Montana, while Seattle University makes the drive to Salem, Oregon for the Charles Bowles Invitational hosted by Willamette University.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Oregon, University of Washington, Washington State, Notre Dame, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Viking men take fourth at Roy Griak Invitational race in Minnesota...

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minnesota—Western Washington’s Andrew Wise (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) led he Vikings to a fourth place finish in the men’s Division II section of the Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational meet, hosted by the University of Minnesota Saturday, as he crossed the line in 16th place in a time of 26:33 over 8k.

After some minor confusion over the results of the meet, which initially had Western in 14th, the results were corrected and the Vikings finished with a final team score of 192 points, as USTFCCCA 18th ranked Augustana of South Dakota won with a score of 49 points.

Behind Wise were Dylan Hayes in 39th (26:58), Jadon Olson in 43rd (27:00), Liam Cossette in 45th (27:01), and Sean Eustis in 65th (27:16), giving them a 1-5 split of 43 seconds.

In the women’s Division II race, Lillianna Stelling was the Vikings’ first runner across the line in 28th place, clocking 23:28 over the 6k course at Les Bolstad Golf Course, as Western scored 205 points to finish seventh, with GNAC rival and number 5 ranked Simon Fraser winning the team title with a low score of 73 points.

Following Stelling were Alexandra Laiblin in 35th (23:39), Jane Barr in 41st (23:43), Tracy Melville in 53rd (23:54), and Peyton Shinnick in 60th (24:02), as Western had a 1-5 split of 34 seconds.

Alexis Zeis of the University of Mary was the overall winner in a time of 21:42, one second ahead of Simon Fraser’s Julia Howley.


In Lacey, both Western and Central Washington ran their second tier runners at the Saint Martin’s Classic, hosted by Saint Martin’s University on their campus course.

Emma Knudson of Linfield was the overall women’s winner over 5k, clocking 18:51, to lead her squad to the team title with a low score of 52 points.

Host Saint Martin’s was fourth with 128 points, led by Larissa Kolasinski’s sixth place finish in 19:16.

Western Washington was fifth with 131 points, led by Waverly Shreffler, who was fifth in 19:15. Central Washington was eighth with 230 points, as they were led by Brenna Liebel in 33rd place with a time of 20:27.

In the men’s 8k race, Eric Fitzpatrick of Southern Idaho led his squad to the overall team title by winning in a time of 26:15, as they scored 53 points.

Western Washington was second with 77 points, led by Peter Butler in 10th in a time of 27:18. Central Washington was sixth with 147 points, led by Henry Milodragovich in 23rd place in 27:49, while host Saint Martin’s was seventh with 172 points, led by Josh Hunt’s 12th place finish in 27:27.


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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Western off to Roy Griak Invite; rest of squad, plus Central Washington at Saint Martin's Invitational...

Three of the state’s four Division II squads are in action Saturday in a fairly light weekend of competition, after last week’s Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, and Gonzaga’s dual meet with Idaho in Spokane.

In a meet where they hope for a strong showing to possibly propel themselves to a national ranking, the Western Washington men’s and women’s squads head to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.

This meet will be the Vikings’ first major test of the year, as their top runners ran the season opening triangular two weeks ago with Central Washington and Saint Martin’s at a controlled pace, or were held out of last Saturday’s Sundodger Invitational.

At last year’s Griak Invitational, the Viking men’s squad finished fifth, led by Isaac Derline in 6th, and Andrew Wise (left/photo by Paul Merca) in 10th over an 8k distance. The Viking women’s team was sixth in the meet in 2016.

Flotrack will provide live streaming coverage of the Roy Griak Invitational ($) beginning at 7 am pacific.

Those not making the trip to Minnesota will make the drive to Lacey for Saturday’s Saint Martin’s Invitational, where they will again see Central Washington, and host Saint Martin’s, who were idle last week.  

At the SMU Invite, the women will run 5k, with the men running 8k.  The meet starts at 10 am on the Saint Martin's campus course next to the track.

Seattle Pacific is taking the weekend off, and competes next weekend at the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, hosted by Willamette University.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Husky women move one spot in latest USTFCCCA cross country poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington women’s cross country team (above/photo by Paul Merca), fresh off a solid victory at their own Sundodger Invitational, moved up one position to number 12 in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches’ cross country poll released by the organization Tuesday.

There were no changes in the national top five women’s teams, with reigning Pac-12 champ Colorado, defending national champions Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, and Stanford occupying the top spots in that order.

The only other Pac-12 team in the national top 30 is number 26 Utah, which dropped four spots from last week.

The Washington men’s team did not receive any votes to merit a national ranking despite scoring a perfect 15 at its own Sundodger Invitational over the weekend, in spite of resting its top three runners.

Washington State, which hasn’t competed so far this season, remains the country’s number 11 team in the national poll.

Like the women’s poll, there were no changes in the national top five. Defending national champion Northern Arizona occupies the top spot, followed by Stanford, Syracuse, defending Pac-12 champ Colorado, and Arkansas.

Pac-12 teams in the national top 30 include # 8 Oregon, and # 20 UCLA.

The next test for Washington is the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon on September 29th in Springfield, which will host the Pac-12 championships four weeks later.  Washington State heads to South Bend, Indiana for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.


NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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