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WCC Cross Country Ready to Run at WCC Championships

Oct. 26, 2009

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2009 WCC MEN'S AND WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The 2009 WCC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be taking place on Saturday, October 31st at Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, Calif. All 16 WCC squads will compete at the long-awaited conference duel, in search of the conference crown.

Over the course of the 2009 season, various WCC squads have put up strong showings, proving they will be forces to be reckoned with at this year's event.

The WCC Champion Portland men, who have won the conference race 30 years in a row and were chosen to take first again in the WCC preseason coaches poll, have remined in the No. 8 spot in the USTFCCA national rankings all year. The Pilots finished fourth at the recent NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. on October 17th, just behind top-ranked Stanford, Colorado, and BYU.

The Pilots are also ranked in the West region at No. 3, along with No. 15-ranked Loyola Marymount. 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. 12.

In addition to strong performances by ranked WCC teams, the reigning WCC Champion Portland women have also put up impressive team finishes this past weekend, which will likely garner the Pilots a USTFCCA ranking, taking second at the Mike Hodges Invite on October 16th and first place at the recent Beaver Classic on October 24th.

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

Across the board, several runners have also made names for themselves, rising to the occasion early on in the season, including Saint Mary's Mark Blucher, Loyola Marymount's Sheree Shea, San Francisco's Eva Krchova, and WCC September Runners of the Month, Robbie Reid and Stephanie Wilson from Santa Clara.

Blucher captured the individual title at the Doc Adams Invitational hosted by UC Davis on October 3rd, recording the fourth fastest time in program history for the 8K race with a time of 25:13.4. Blucher has already two top-five times in Gael history this season.

On the women's side, Shea and Krchova are two freshmen that have impressed this fall. Shea debuted her collegiate career with a breakout race at the UC Riverside Invitational on September 19th, placing third overall and setting an LMU course record of 16:51 in the 5K race. Shea then followed that performance with a 21:06 at the Stanford Invite, the fastest 6K time for a freshman in program history.

Krchova, the fifth runner to cross the line at her home invitational on September 5th, helped USF to the team title over California, UC Davis, Sacramento State and WCC rival Santa Clara. Two weeks later, Krchova placed fourth overall at the Aztec Invitational, leading her team to a 2nd place finish and a spot in the regional rankings.

Reid set the school record at the Stanford Invitational, finishing 10th overall with a time of 24:30 in the 8K race. He then took home his first collegiate title at Santa Clara's Bronco Invitational on October 17th. Wilson was the top collegiate finisher on the women's side at the Bronco Invite. Earlier in the season, she set the school record for a 6K (20:57), finishing 10th at the Stanford Invite and becoming the first female in Bronco history to run a 6K under 21 minutes, and won the Hornet Jamboree on September 12th to win her first collegiate cross country meet.

With competition heating up, all WCC cross country teams will face off at this year's Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Belmont, Calif. For full coverage and results, make sure to log on to WCCsports.com.

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

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

SATURDAY, OCT. 31
TEAM(S)
INVITATIONAL/MEET
LOCATION
TIME
WCC Men's Teams
WCC Championships (8K) Belmont, CA
9:00 AM
WCC Women's Teams
WCC Championships (6K) Belmont, CA
9:45 AM
SATURDAY, NOV. 14
TEAM(S)
INVITATIONAL/MEET
LOCATION
TIME
All WCC Teams
NCAA DI West Regionals Eugene, OR
TBA
MONDAY, NOV. 23

INVITATIONAL/MEET
LOCATION
TIME

NCAA DI National Championships Terre Haute, IN
TBA

AROUND THE WCC

WCC September Runners of the Month: Robbie Reid & Stephanie Wilson, SCU
Santa Clara swept the men's and women's awards with Robbie Reid and Stephanie Wilson earning the honors. Reid set the school record at Stanford Invite, finishing 10th. 24:30 (8K). He currently has the second fastest time of the month in the WCC for an 8K. Reid also had a 10th place finish at the Hornet Jamboree (20:14).

Wilson won the Sac State Invite on Sept. 12. She ran a 17:23 to win her first career college cross country meet. She then set the school record for a 6K (20:57), finishing 10th in the Stanford Invitational last Saturday. She is the first female in Bronco history to run a 6K under 21 minutes. At Stanford, eight of the top 15 teams in their region and Division II powerhouse Chico State, who is ranked in the top five nationally, were entered in the women's race.

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.

Sophomore Alfred Kipchumba paced Portland with an eighth place finish to help the team to a fourth place finish at the 2009 NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind.


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


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES
  • Both Gonzaga squads got their final tune-ups for this year's WCC Championships at the Inland Northwest Cross Country Challenge, hosted by the University of Idaho.

  • The Bulldog men defeated the University of Idaho 25-33 and Washington State University 28-31, while Eastern Washington University downed the Bulldogs 25-31 in the dual meeting scoring format. The women defeated EWU 15-50 and Idaho 26-31.

  • Redshirt junior Corrina O'Brien turned in a solid performance, finishing second overall with a time of 17:59.49 over the 5K course. The men's top six runners improved their 2009 8K time with sophomore Chris Boyle leading the pack and finishing 10th overall at 25:08.39.

  • Gonzaga will look to improve on their sixth place finish on the men's side and seventh place finish on the women's side at last year's WCC Championships.

  • At the Chile Pepper Cross County Festival, the Loyola Marymount women placed seventh overall, while the men placed sixth.

  • Freshman Sheree Shea continued her impressive career, again pacing the women's squad, placing 17th overall. For the men, freshman Sterling Lockert led the Lions for the first time this season, placing 37th overall.

  • At the Cal State Fullerton Titan Invitational, the women were led by sophomore Stephanie Felix who ended her season with her fastest 5K time of 19:26 to come in 23rd overall. The men were once again led by freshman Greg Innes, who finished 17th overall in the 8K race.

  • The Lions look forward to competing at the WCC Championships on Saturday (10/31), in hopes of taking home the conference crown. Both the men's and women's squads landed in second place in last year's conference meet.

  • The Pepperdine women placed eighth and the men finished 11th at this year's Bronco Invitational.

  • Junior Chelsea Wishard once again was the Waves' top runner, completing the flat and fast 5K race with a 12th place time of 17:43, between 10-15 seconds faster than last year's mark. Freshman Wesley Blundell led the men for the second straight competition and was the WCC's second fastest freshman at the race, finishing 41st overall.

  • At the Titan Invitational, senior Liz Lyons ended her collegiate career with a 25th place finish, leading the Waves and recording her second best mark of the season. For the men, freshman Jonathan Rahaeuser finished first for the Waves, landing in 41st place overall.

  • Pepperdine will compete at this year's WCC Championships on Saturday (10/31) after taking fifth in last year's men's race and sixth in the women's race.

  • The No. 8 Portland men placed fourth in the White Race at the 2009 Pre-Nationals Invitational, hosted by Indiana State. Four Pilots finished among the top 31 individually, and the team finished behind three programs ranked in the top six nationally.

  • Sophomore Alfred Kipchumba paced Portland with an eighth place finish, while freshmen Joash Osoro was the 15th person to cross the line.

  • The women placed second at the Mike Hodges Invite and were led by redshirt freshman Bethany McInturff, who came in 12th in the individual race with a 5K time of 18:25.

  • At the recent Beaver Classic, junior Theresa Hailey placed second overall to lead Portland to the team title, while junior Dan Prahl placed 13th to help his team to a fourth place finish.

  • Both Saint Mary's teams competed at the Bronco Invitational, hosted by conference rival Santa Clara University. The men placed 13th overall in the 8K event, while the women took 17th in the 5K.

  • Junior captain Tess Grannemann led the women's team and finished 71st with a time of 18:54, a new personal record. In second for the Gaels and 98th overall was freshman Rosie Smith, who set a personal record as well, with a time of 19:25.

  • On the men side, the Gaels were again led by junior Mark Blucher, who finished 21st overall with a time of 25:14, just one second behind his personal best.

  • The Saint Mary's squads return to action at the WCC Championships on Saturday (10/31) where they look to improve upon their seventh place finish on the men's side and their eighth place finish on the women's.

  • The San Diego women took 12th and the men took 15th at the Bronco Invitational.

  • Freshman Emerald Raney led the Toreros and placed 46th overall. The men's squad was paced by sophomore Shane Smith, the 85th runner to cross the line.

  • Five of the top 13 women have never put on a cross country jersey for San Diego and have broken into the top times. On the men's side, two of the top 12 runners that have never put on a San Diego are posting top times as well.

  • Newcomer John Maehu came in 21st place overall to lead the men's team at this year's Titan Invitational, while newcomer Christine Nolan led the women's team, coming in 31st place.

  • Both San Diego squads are scheduled to compete at WCC Championships (10/31).

  • The San Francisco men placed fifth at the Bronco Invitational, while the women took home second. Runners on the men's and women's squads recorded program bests at the invite.

  • Sophomore Hillary Kigar ran the fastest 5K in USF history, finishing the course in 17:22 and placing fourth overall. Freshman Eva Krchova continued her solid career, coming in 11th, followed by junior Nicole Bowler, who rounded out the top 15.

  • For the men, sophomore Ganbileg Bor ran the fastest 8k in men's program history, taking sixth with a time of 24:45. Finishing second for the Dons was sophomore Thomas Estrada, who placed 29th overall.

  • San Francisco will compete at the WCC Championships on Saturday (10/31), hoping to move up in the team standings from 2008.

  • At their home invitational, the Santa Clara men and women took fourth and seventh, respectively, while two individual Bronco runners led the field in their respective races.

  • Junior Stephanie Wilson was the top collegiate woman to finish and was only defeated by unattached runner Lauren Weaver. Wilson's time of 16:53 is more than a minute better than her personal best and now the collegiate course record at the Bronco Invite.

  • On the men's side, junior Robbie Reid won his first 8K of the year, crossing the line just one second ahead of Fresno State's Paul Zwama. Reid clocked in a time of 24:32.

  • The men will compete at the WCC Championships on Saturday (10/31), looking to break into this year's top three after finishing fourth at last year's Championships. The women, who finished third last year, are also scheduled to compete at the conference duel.