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Washington State Cross Country


Cougar Runners, Including Lagat, Ready For Mountain West Classic

September 22, 1998

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University will send both men's and women's cross country squads to Missoula, Mont., this Saturday, Sept. 26 for the Mountain West Cross Country Classic.

This is the ninth annual running of the Classic, which begins at 9:15 a.m. PDT with the men's 8,000 meters. The women's race, run at the longer 6,000 meter distance, follows at 10 a.m. PDT. Several high school races are also scheduled. All races, held at the University of Montana Golf Course, are free to the general public.

At least 18 colleges will be represented at the Classic, including Washington State, Arizona, Brigham Young, Michigan, Oregon, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Idaho State, and host Montana.

WSU is expected to be at full strength this week, which means junior Bernard Lagat (Nandi, Kenya) is likely to make his first appearance of the fall. Lagat was the third collegian to cross the line at last year's Classic as he clocked 24:45.2. Kimberly Schmolka (Port Orchard, Wash./South Kitsap) was WSU's top woman as she finished as the 17th scorer in 22:18.

Last year the WSU Cougar men and women each placed third at the Classic. WSU's women won the Classic in 1990.

The BYU women's squad, the defending NCAA champion, has returned to defend its Classic team titles of 1996 and 1997. The BYU Cougars return all top five of its runners from last season. They won the Classic will 26 points, while an all BYU freshmen squad finished second with 106 to edge both Arizona and WSU. Arizona's All-America runner Amy Skieresz clocked 20:32.1 to win the women's individual title by 26 seconds.

Michigan's men put together another strong showing by holding off Oregon 48-70. Wolverines John Mortimer (24:24.6) and Kevin Sullivan (24:32.8) were the top two collegiate runners, while former WSU All-American Patrick Muturi won the men's meet in 24:16.8.

Over 700 athletes from 37 high school teams have committed to the Classic, including regional powerhouse Mead High in Spokane, Wash.

Additional Note - Freshman Oscar Franco-Parra (Portland, Ore./Sunset) has been the most consistent runner this fall for WSU's men. Last week at the Big Cross Invitational, Franco-Parra placed 14th overall as WSU's No. 1 runner. He opened the year by winning the Spokane Harrier Classic Sept. 5 in his first college race.

Washington State University Cross Country

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball