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USF Cross Country Has Career Day at WCC Championships

Oct. 28, 2006

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(Belmont, CA -) It was a career day for both Men's and Women's cross country at the West Coast Conference Championships at Belmont Crystal Springs on Saturday, as both teams capture second place for the first time in school history. Both teams finished just behind Portland.

Five USF harriers earned All-Conference First Team honors after top-10 finishes, and another four earned honorable mention with top-15 finishes.

Men: USF (63) tied it's best ever finish of second, last accomplished in 2005. Portland (24) has now won an unprecedented 28 consecutive titles. Santa Clara (75), Gonzaga (84), and Loyola Marymount (104) round out the top five.

Transfer Kenny Sparks led the way for the Dons, finishing seventh in his first ever WCC Championship event. The junior ran the 8k course in 26:04 to earn All-Conference First Team honors. Juniors Cheyne Inman (8th place, 26:05) and Ryan Courtwright (10th place, 26:08) also earned First Team honors. This is the third year in a row that Inman has achieved the feat. Sophomore Alex Nelson earned Honorable Mention status after a 12th place finish in a time of 26:27.

Freshman Micael Smith came in 23rd with a time of 26:49, while junior Jacob Marx finished 27th in 27:05, and senior Jorge Martinez came in 40th with a time of 28:04.

Women: For the first time in WCC history, the women ran a 6k course in the championship meet. Portland (36) took first for the fifth consecutive year, and 10th time in the last 11 years. USF (52) finished second, tying their highest mark, last set in 2004. Loyola Marymount (53), Santa Clara (94), and Pepperdine (120) also finished in the top five.

Five Dons women earned All-Conference recognition with junior Jennifer Hartford leading the way. Hartford finished fifth in 22:45, her highest ever finish at the meet, to earn First Team honors. Joining her on the First Team is junior Lucy Miller, who also earned the honor for the first time (7th place, 23:08). Honorable Mention's included sophomore Michelle Born (11th place, 23:16), senior Renee Stribling (14th place, 23:27) and freshman Laurel Kleiber (15th place, 23:31).

Junior Elizabeth Noey came in 19th with a time of 23:39 and freshman Mary Verran finished 36th in 24:29.