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WCC Cross Country Gears Up for 2009 WCC Championships

Oct. 13, 2009

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Three weeks still remain before the 2009 WCC Cross Country Championships take place on October 31st, where all 16 WCC squads will compete for the conference crown. So far, various WCC squads have put up strong showings this season, proving they will be forces to be reckoned with at the Championships.

The Portland men, who were chosen to take first at the Championships in the WCC preseason coaches poll, continue to run strong this season, remaining at No.8 in the national rankings since the preseason polls. The Pilots are also ranked in the West region at No. 3, along with No. 13-ranked San Francisco. On the women's side, Loyola Marymount and San Francisco have also risen into the West regional rankings with the Lions at No. 7 and the Dons at No. 9.

In addition to strong performances by ranked WCC teams, first place finishes were seen by the Gonzaga men (West Coast Preview Meet - Sept. 11) and women (Erik Anderson Invite - Sept. 26), the Pepperdine men and women (Cal State Bakersfield Invite - Sept. 26), and the Portland women (West Coast Preview Meet - Sept. 11). The Loyola Marymount men also had a decent showing at the Stanford Invitational on September 26th, finishing seventh out of a 18-team field that featured top-ranked Stanford, California, and UC Davis.

Make sure to download the PDF version of this release to view full team schedules, results, and rankings!


All Times PST

Mike Hodges Invitational Oregon City, OR
Chile Pepper Invitational Fayetteville, AR
4:00 PM
NCAA Pre-Nationals Terre Haute, IN
Bronco Invitational Santa Clara, CA
10:00 AM
Vandal CC Invitational Moscow, ID
4:00 PM
Titan InvitationalSan Diego, CA
5:00 PM
Beaver Classic Corvallis, OR
Shoreline Open Mountain View, CA


Portland Tops 2009 Men's and Women's Preseason Polls
The University of Portland men's and women's cross country teams were both picked to repeat as conference champions, as chosen by the WCC coaches in the annual preseason poll. Both teams received the maximum 49 points in their respective polls, getting the first place nod from all seven other coaches in the league. San Francisco received the remaining first place vote on the men's side, while Loyola Marymount took the last vote on the women's side.

LMU freshman Sheree Shea will be one to look out for at the WCC Championships, as she has already set an LMU course record in the 5K race and recorded the fastest 6K time for a freshman in program history.

2009 WCC Preseason All-Conference Teams
In addition to a preseason poll, the WCC head coaches were also asked to submit a preseason all-conference team for the first time. Below is the list of players named to the 2009 WCC preseason all-conference team.

2009 Preseason Men's All-Conference Team
Phillip Benavides, Loyola Marymount University
Tommy Betterbed, University of Portland
Ganbileg Bor, University of San Francisco
Andy Edick, University of Portland
Alex Harkins, Santa Clara University
Collin Harris, University of Portland
Alfred Kipchumba, University of Portland
Brian McDonald, Loyola Marymount University
Conner Pastoor, Loyola Marymount University
Robbie Reid, Santa Clara University

2009 Preseason Women's All-Conference Team
Lyndy Davis, University of Portland
Brieanna Delaney, Loyola Marymount University
Tara Erdmann, Loyola Marymount University
Natalie Hemphill, University of Portland
Laurel Kleiber, University of San Francisco
Lauren Lodge, Pepperdine University
Dana Morgan, University of Portland
Liz Ramos, University of San Diego
Stephanie Wilson, Santa Clara University
Chelsea Wishard, Pepperdine University


  • The Gonzaga women are still running strong, finishing 2nd at the Montana Invitational, hosted by the University of Montana. The team was led by redshirt junior Corrina O'Brien and redshirt sophomore Kayla Lloyd, who took eighth and ninth, respectively.

  • Senior Molly Funk, the top finisher for the Zags in the recent Erik Anderson Invite, finished 12th at this race, while sophomore Brenn Donnelly was the 13th runner to cross the line. The three remaining Zag runners trailed closely behind, landing in the top 20.

  • On the men's side, sophomore Chris Boyle paced the Bulldogs with a 20th place individual finish, while the other six Zags finished in the top 30. As a team, the men finished fifth.

  • Gonzaga will return to action on October 17 at the Vandal Jamboree hosted by the University of Idaho, the final tune-up prior to the WCC Championships in Belmont, Calif.

  • LMU's last team competition was the Stanford Invitational, where the men took seventh and the women took third. However, a young partial squad raced at the Vanguard Invite for more experience before the WCC Championships.

  • At the Vanguard Invite, freshman Greg Innes paced the men's team, coming in 10th overall, while the women were led by sophomore Marissa Diehl who finished 42nd overall.

  • At the Stanford Invite, freshman Sheree Shea and senior Brian McDonald continued to be the top runners for the Lions. Against some of the top teams of the nation, Shea clocked in a 21:06, the fastest 6K time by an LMU freshman, to take 14th place in the individual race. On the men's side, McDonald placed 14th as well, leading his team to

  • The Lions will compete at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. on October 17 and the Titan Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. on October 23 before gearing up for the WCC Championships.

  • The Pepperdine squads have not competed since the UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners' Invitationals in late September. The Pepperdine women took third in the women's open race at the UC Riverside Invite, while the men finished in 17th place out of 30 teams that ran in the men's only 8K event.

  • Junior Chelsea Wishard paced the Waves at the UC Riverside meet, placing third overall. For the men, junior Seth Allison finished first for the team and landed in 79th place overall.

  • In the Roadrunners' Invite, both squads took home the team title. Wishard won the women's race, while freshman Wesley Burdell was the first of four Wave male runners to claim the third through sixth positions to edge Westmont, 29-31.

  • Pepperdine will be back in action at the Bronco Invitational on October 17 and the Titan Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton on October 23 before the WCC Championships.

  • Since Portland's appearance at the West Coast Preview at Pier Park, the Pilot men claimed fourth at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, while the women landed in ninth.

  • Sophomore Alfred Kipchumba paced Portland with a sixth place finish, while freshmen Joash Osoro and Trevor Dunbar also finished in the top 10. On the women's side, sophomore Lyndy Davis crossed the line first for the Pilots and 34th overall.

  • The Portland "B" teams raced at the Charles Bowles Invitational. The men took eighth, while the women placed 14th out of the 19-team field.

  • Both Pilot squads will compete at the Mike Hodges Invitational on October 16. Some men may not compete in preparation for the NCAA Pre-Nationals the following day, October 17.

  • Both Saint Mary's teams had a strong showing at the Doc Adams Invite in Davis, Calif. The men placed fourth, while the women captured third.

  • On the men's side, the Gaels were led by individual title winner Mark Blucher and fourth place finisher sophomore Robb Van Wyck. Blucher continued his impressive junior career, clocking in a time of 25:13.4, a new personal record and the fourth fastest time in Saint Mary's history. This marks back-to-back weeks Blucher has set a new top-five time for the program.

  • Three runners on the women's side landed in the top 10. Junior Tess Grannemann paced the Gaels, finishing sixth overall with a time of 22:51, the 12th fastest time in program history for the 6K. Sophomore Natalie Sojka and freshman Rosie Smith came in next for the Gaels, taking seventh and ninth overall.

  • Saint Mary's will compete at the SCU Bronco Invitational before the WCC Championships.

  • San Diego competed in the Oklahoma State Jamboree where the men and women placed 20th and 18th, respectively. Partial squads then ran at the San Diego State Titan Invitational. The men placed seventh as a team, and the women took 10th.

  • At the OSU Jamboree, freshman Emerald Raney led the Toreros for the second straight race with an 81st place finish, while the men were led sophomore Kevin O'Malley.

  • Both the men's and women's squads ran their "B" squads at the UCSD Invite. The top runners on the men's side were freshmen Justin Haley and Chase Roberts, who finished 40th and 48th overall, respectively. Sophomore Alex Clancy led the women and placed 61st.

  • The Toreros look forward to traveling up north to compete at the Bronco Invitational on October 17 and another meet at San Diego State on October 23 before the WCC Championships.

  • At the University of Oregon's Dellinger Invite, the USF women took sixth while the men took 10th. The USF men then placed third at the Doc Adams Invite the following day.

  • Freshman Eva Krchova led the women's team, placing 26th overall. This marked the second consecutive time the newcomer has finished first for the Dons. On the men's side, sophomore Ganbileg Bor led the Dons, finishing 41st overall.

  • At the Doc Adams Invite, Bor did not compete, nor did a full women's squad. Sophomore Colin Hopkins impressed as the top finisher for the Dons, crossing the line sixth out of 43 runners. Freshman Alice Baker was the only female and placed second overall in the 6K race.

  • Junior Christine Jowaiszas was the only Dons runner to compete at the San Francisco State University Invitational, where she finished 29th out of 164 runners in the 6k race.

  • San Francisco will join conference foes Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, San Diego, and Santa Clara at the Bronco Invitational for its last meet before the WCC Championships.

  • The Santa Clara men competed at the Doc Adams Invite, hosted by UC Davis, and topped WCC foes San Francisco and Saint Mary's to take second. The women did not compete as a team at this race.

  • The Broncos were led by sophomore Evan Hennessey, who boasted a fifth place finish in the individual race. Close behind him was junior Chris Mosier and senior Brian Fischer, who took eighth and 11th, respectively. Sophomore Erin McCarthy was the only female runner to compete at this meet, crossing the line fourth among 39 runners.

  • A few runners from the Bronco squad competed at the SFSU Invitational as a tune-up for the Bronco Invitational on Saturday. Junior Chris Sampson was the highest Bronco finisher, placing 13th, while freshman Carey Parker placed 15th on the women's side.

  • Santa Clara will host the Bronco Invitational at Baylands Regional Park on October 17.