Nov. 14, 2008
Seven of our WCC cross country teams are gearing up for the 2008 NCAA West Regional Championships this weekend.
In the Men's Race (in order of finish at the WCC Men's Championships)...
Portland: WCC title-holder Portland will be among the top four teams in the country to compete in this year's 2008 NCAA West Regionals. Expected to lead the Pilots is senior All-American David Kinsella, who finished second in last year's Regionals and recently captured the conference title at the WCC Men's Championships. Kinsella will again face five top finishers from last year's Regionals, including defending champion Galen Rupp and third place finisher Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott of Oregon.
Loyola Marymount: The Lions finished 16th at the Regionals last season. This year, a mix of veterans and youth are looking to improve upon that finish. Senior Trevor Wiseman led the Lions at the WCC Men's Championships, finishing fifth overall for All-WCC First Team. Following close behind was teammate junior Brian McDonald, who finished in sixth.
Santa Clara: The Broncos come into the Regionals with a young squad, looking to gain invaluable experience. All-WCC First Team runner sophomore Robbie Reid and All-WCC Second Team runner junior Alex Harkins are expected to lead the Broncos at the West Regionals.
Pepperdine: The Waves will have six men running for them this year. Sophomore Seth Allison finished first for the Waves, gaining him a fifth place finish at the WCC Men's Championships. He is expected to lead the Waves again at this year's Regionals.
Saint Mary's: Saint Mary's finished in a disappointing sixth place this season. Senior Mario Mendoza has been quite the individual standout, however, leading the Gaels all season and garnering All-WCC First Team honors with a fourth place finish at the WCC Men's Championships. Accompanying Mendoza will be fellow seniors Nick Shea and David Stiles, who are looking to redeem themselves in the West Regional race.
San Diego: Featuring a very young team packed with nine freshmen and three sophomores, senior Chris Jacobs is the most experienced runner on the Torero squad. He finished 10th place at the WCC Men's Championships, earning him All-WCC First Team honors.
In the Women's Race (in order of finish at the WCC Men's Championships)...
Portland: After winning their seventh straight conference title, the Pilots look to continue their successful season with strong appearances at the NCAA West Regionals. WCC Women's Championship runner-up sophomore Dana Morgan returns to the race after finishing ninth in last year's Regionals. She will be supported by junior Natalie Hemphill, who placed fifth in the championships, and seniors Sifrash Ademe and Adrienne Nova, all of who were All-WCC honorees.
Loyola Marymount: The Lions are currently ranked 11th in the West Region. WCC Individual champion Tara Erdmann will lead the Lions. WCC Freshman of the Year Brieanna Delaney, WCC First Team selection senior Abby Fall, and WCC Honorable Mention freshman Stephanie Felix are all expected to make a strong showing as well.
Santa Clara: The Broncos' goal is to finish in the top 15 in this year's West Regionals. Seniors Veronica Vazquez and Stephanie Wilson, both All-WCC First Team honorees, will be heading the Bronco pack at the Regionals. Both runners finished in the top 10 at the WCC Women's Championships.
San Francisco: Last year, the Dons finished 12th as a team. This year, the team looks to improve upon that finish with the help of senior Michelle Born, who earned WCC First Team accolades after finishing fourth at the conference championships.
San Diego: The young squad surprised the conference by moving up the conference standings and almost taking the third place title. Toreros freshman Liz Ramos ran like an experienced runner, leading the Toreros at the conference tournament and finishing 11th overall. Her time of 22:39 earned her an All-WCC Honorable Mention.
Pepperdine: The Waves' roster features seven women for the Regionals. Last year, senior Brieanna Carroll led Pepperdine. She is expected to lead the Waves again along with sophomore Chelsea Wishard, who led the team at the WCC Women's Championships.
Saint Mary's: As a team, the Gaels struggled at the WCC Women's Championships. However, individually, senior Karrie Hagedorn ended her WCC career with a 13th place overall finish and an All-WCC Honorable Mention. Hagedorn will be making her last appearance after pacing the Gaels in every race this season and setting the record for the fastest time in Saint Mary's history.
The NCAA West Regional Championships...
The NCAA West Regionals is scheduled to take place this Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Stanford Golf Course. The men will run a 10K race while the women will run a 6K. The top two teams in each region, along with the top four individual finishers not on those teams, will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. There are also 13 at-large berths for grabs across the nation. Historically, the West Region has received the majority of these at-large bids.
The WCC Men's and Women's Championships...
Last weekend, the Portland Pilots swept the competition at the 2008 WCC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships.
On the men's side, the Pilots extended their streak to 30 consecutive league titles, the second longest in Division I athletics. Loyola Marymount finished second, separated only by 10 points, making it the closest race in league history. Finishing third was San Francisco, followed by Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and San Diego.
The next three finishes were all Lions, which secured a second place standing for Loyola Marymount. For these efforts, LMU's Head Coach Scott Guerrero garnered WCC Coach of the Year.
On the women's side, the Pilots were trailed by Loyola Marymount, who was led by Erdmann, the second LMU runner in the past three years to capture the WCC title with a time of 21:54. Finishing in third was Santa Clara, followed by San Francisco, San Diego, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, and Saint Mary's.Individually, Loyola Marymount and Portland had three runners finish in the top 10. Morgan trailed Erdmann with a time of 22:05 while Pepperdine sophomore Chelsea Wishard crossed the finish line two seconds later to take third.