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WCC Teams Compete At NCAA West Regional

Nov. 11, 2006

Men's 10K Race

University of Portland junior John Moore (pictured) finished in ninth place to lead the Pilots to a third place team finish with 123 points at the NCAA West Region Men's Cross Country championship at Blue Lake Park in Gresham, Oregon. With the strong finish in arguably the nation's best region, the Pilots are likely to receive one of 13 at-large team bids to the NCAA Championship meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 20.

Moore's time of 30:31.64 was less than two tenths of a second behind the mark of last year's defending regional champion, Arizona senior Robert Cheseret. Moore's classmate Michael Kilburg was the next Portland runner across the line in 30:55.60, good for 22nd place. Despite losing a shoe on the first lap of a muddy course, senior Matt Sheeks recovered to place 24th with a time of 31:06.31 with what head coach Rob Conner called a "spectacular" effort to seal the Pilots third place finish. Senior Micah Rolfe (28th, 31:10.31), sophomore Justin Houck finished (40th, 31:31.46), senior Chuck McKenzie (60th, 31:58.41) and sophomore Colin Longmuir (67th, 32:08.93) were the other Portland finishers.

Junior Cheyne Inman led the San Francisco Dons to an 18th place finish with his 85th place finish in 32:47.93. The Dons tied their mark from last season as a team, finishing with a total time of 2:47:45.13. Santa Clara followed Portland and USF among WCC teams, coming in 20th place. Chris Gumbs paced the Broncos, finishing in 80th place with a time of 32:35.39. The LMU men, led by senior co-captain Drew Haberkorn, finished 22nd, while San Diego, which finished 25th, was led by Chris Jacobs. Gonzaga University senior Joe Miller finished 51st at the NCAA West Regional, his fourth straight appearance in the meet.

The NCAA will announce the thirteen teams that will receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championship to join the eighteen automatic qualifiers from the nine regional meets. Selection criteria for the at-large bids is based on teams' head-to-head records against other actual and potential qualifiers for the NCAA Championship, but given the strength of the West Region, Portland coach Rob Conner said he expects as many as five teams from today's race to receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championship.

Women's 6K Race

The host University of Portland was the top from the West Coast Conference, finishing seventh with 255 points. The Pilots were led by freshman Dana Morgan's 27th place finish in 22:11.59. Sophomore Sifrash Ademe (31st, 22:19.96) was the next Portland runner to cross the line, followed by senior Kristen Rohde (43rd, 22:31.51), junior Bobeya Krishnek (50th, 22:43.93), freshman Natalie Hemphill (110th, 23:42.65), sophomore Adrienne Nova (118th, 23:48.43) and sophomore Janel Sislow (25:07.82). The Pilots, though only having one senior on the squad, finished with the third best result in school history. The 2005 team tied the school record, placing sixth at regionals.

Loyola Marymount junior Laura Mickelson became the first Lion ever to qualify for the NCAA National Cross Country Championships when she finished seventh in the women's 6k at the 2006 NCAA West Regional Saturday at Blue Lake Park in Gresham, Ore. Mickelson, who was crowned West Coast Conference Champion just two weeks ago to the day, earned the national bid with a time of 21:19.59. Mickelson (El Segundo, Calif./Mira Costa HS) helped the LMU women to finish 14th of 30 teams in the competitive West Region, equaling the program-best mark from a year ago.

Jennifer Hartford's 22:45.88 in the 6k earned her the top spot overall for USF and her 53rd place finish is the highest for a Don since Jeannine Hagedorn took 27th in 2004, just narrowly missing a trip to the nationals. USF finished 16th out of 30 teams with a total time of 1:57:09.11.

Shannon Bell paced Santa Clara with an 85th place finish as the Broncos' finished in 20th place. Freshman Caitlin White was the top individual performer for Pepperdine, which finished 27th, while San Diego, which finished one spot behind the Waves, was led by freshman Mariana Monasi.