Oct. 23, 2007
THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Corvallis, Ore., for the Pacific-10 Championships hosted by Oregon State University...Cougar men will race at 9:30 a.m. on an 8,000m, mostly grass course at the Trysting Tree Golf Club...women's 6,000m race takes place at 10:30 a.m.
THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Both races feature nationally-ranked competition...on the men's side the Cougars will face top-ranked Oregon, as well as No. 8 California, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 UCLA, and No. 25 Arizona State...four Pac-10 women's team are ranked in the top 10 in the country...No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 Arizona State, and No. 9 Washington...each team is allowed a maximum of 10 runners with five scoring and two used for team scoring displacement...the course terrain is comprised mostly of grass with short stretches on a dirt road...men's and women's team champion will be recognized following the women's race...top seven in each race will receive all-conference honors and the eighth through 14th place finishers will comprise the second team...for more information visit the Oregon State athletics website at http://www.osubeavers.com.
WSU MEN: Cougars will have 10 competitors in Corvallis...senior Andrew Jones looks to improve on his team-leading performances...WSU will also look to seniors Alex Grant, Drew Polley, and Chris Williams, as well as sophomores Dominic Smargiassi and Dan Geib for strong performances at the championships...other competitors for the men include senior Chris Concha, sophomore Sam Ahlbeck, redshirt freshman Luke Lemenager, and freshman David Hickerson.
DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE MEN SIDE: "The top five teams are ranked in the top 30 in America, UW just fell out of the rankings, and I think us and UW are really close to each other," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "If anyone messes up or has an off day we can sneak in and beat them. I think both teams are stronger than we've had in the past few years and we're excited to see what happens."
WSU WOMEN: Nine women will compete for the Cougars Saturday...leading WSU is sophomore Sara Trané who hopes to improve on an already strong season...seniors Isley Gonzalez and Collier Lawrence, and junior Meghan Leonard should place well for the Cougars...sophomores Chelsea VanDeBrake and Lisa Egami, as well as freshman Ashlee Wall have a chance to score...also competing for WSU are redshirt sophomore Marisa Sandoval and freshman Amanda Andrews...six of the Cougar runners competed last year at the Pac-10 Championships.
DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: "The top four teams are all ranked in the top 10 in America," Drake said. "We want to try to close in on the gap a little bit but it will tough for us. There are the top four and then everyone else is racing for fifth, and I feel our women are better than the rest of the conference. We are hoping to be in that top five."
LAST YEAR AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2006 Pac-10 Championships were hosted by Stanford at Palo Alto, Calif...Stanford won the women's race with four runners in the top five...Oregon beat out Stanford for the men's championship...WSU women finished in sixth place led by Haley Paul's 11th-place finish...other finishers for the Cougars were Collier Lawrence (31st), Kelley Ramirez (37th), Isley Gonzalez (38th), and Lisa Egami (39th)...top placers for the WSU men were Woody Favinger (18th), Alex Grant (19th), Andrew Jones (34th), Chris Williams (40th), and Drew Polley (49th)...men's team finished seventh overall.
COUGAR HISTORY AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: WSU hosted the Pac-10 Championships in 2003...eight Cougar men have won the individual title since 1969...two WSU men have won the Pac-10 race in the last 20 years, Bernard Lagat (1997) and Josephat Kapkory (1992 and 1993)...Danny Wolf placed ninth in the race in 2004...the last Cougar women to place in the top 20 were Everlyne Lagat, who finished fourth in 2001, Anna Blue, who finished 20th in 2002 and Haley Paul who finished sixth in 2005 and 11th in 2006...Ryan Gilmore placed 11th in 2000...Woody Favinger (18th) and Alex Grant (19th) both placed in the top-20 in 2006...Jennifer Bravard won the Pac-10 Championship in 1989, the only Cougar woman ever to take the title.
NEXT COMPETITION: WSU will take a week off before traveling to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA West Region Championships Sat., Nov. 10.