Nov. 15, 2003
GRESHAM, Ore. - The Washington State men's cross country team placed ninth and the women placed 14th at the NCAA West Regional Saturday, at Blue Lake Regional Park at Gresham, Ore.
In what turned out to be the final race of the season for WSU, senior Anna Blue was the first Cougar to finish in the women's race placing 12th. Blue, who was in 20th place with 1,000 meters left, outkicked several runners en route to a strong finish.
"I was at the back of a group," explained Blue. "There was a USC girl and the girl from Idaho, and I knew that I had to catch them to get to Nationals."
Junior Ana Cabrera raced to a 47th place finish with freshman Kayle Peterson and junior Molly Bull finishing 91st and 93rd respectively. Junior Julia Corbett completed the scoring for WSU placing 128th.
"Anna Blue ran a smart race, she had a perfect race plan and executed it perfectly," said Cross Country Coach Jason Drake. "She passed several people down the last stretch which really made the difference. Ana Cabrera had a nice race, about 20 places better than a year ago. The other women started a little too slow, but ran a good race, they were just coming from too far behind. They had good times."
"I watched the men's race and saw how it unfolded," said Blue. "Just before the race (Coach Drake) told me to be like Mike (Heidt)."
Stanford harriers claimed the top three spots in the women's race en route to the conference championship. Junior Alicia Craig successfully defended her West Regional title, while Arizona State's Amy Hastings took second.
The Cougar men's team was led by junior Mike Heidt's 29th place finish. Junior Danny Wolf and senior Ian Johnson finished 39th and 40th respectively despite an early showing near the front of the pack. Wolf ran the first 5,000 meters with the lead group with Johnson following closely before both tired. Freshman Andrew Jones finished 64th and junior Justin Ireland placed 80th to round out WSU's scoring squad.
"Mike Heidt was the Cougar athlete of the day," said Drake. "He ran a really smart race, started well and kept it up throughout. Justin Ireland also had a really good race. Jones ran the first 8,000 faster than he's gone all year, but this was his first ever 10k. He ran pretty well as a freshman."
Heidt's performance was made more impressive by his recovery from a disappointing 32nd place finish at Pac-10 Championship race two weeks ago. In that race Heidt suffered from leg cramps early in the race making the final push difficult.
"The longer course really helped me," explained Heidt. "With the way I train, the longer distance we go the more time I have to move up and catch people."
Stanford placed all five of its scorers in the top six in the men's race and six runners in the top ten. Senior Ian Dobson defended his West Region title and was followed closely by teammate Ryan Hall.
Both Cougar squads finished out of contention for bids to the NCAA Championships at Waterloo, Iowa, November 24. However, Blue still has a chance to qualify. The top four finishers in the top 25 of the region, not on teams that qualify for Nationals, will qualify individually.
According to Drake, if the third and fourth place teams (Washington and Arizona State) from the West Region both receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championships Blue will qualify as an individual. However, if either team misses Nationals, individuals from those teams would displace her. Championship qualifiers will be announced Monday.
NCAA West Regionals (Blue Lake Regional Park, Gresham, Ore. 10,000m) November 15, 2003 Men's Race Team Results: 1. Stanford 18, 2. Cal Poly 110, 3. Arizona 132, 4. Washington 162, 5. Oregon 164, 6. Portland 169, 7. UCLA 178, 8. Arizona State 189, 9. Washington State 252, 10. California 257, 11. UC Santa Barbara 282, 12. Boise State 359, 13. Idaho 435, 14. Cal State-Fullerton 435, 15. Long Beach State 437, 16. UC-Irvine 451, 17. Eastern Washington 476, 18. Portland State 508, 19. UC-Riverside 518, 20. Cal State-Northridge 567, 21. Gonzaga 614, 22. Santa Clara 628, 23. Sacramento State 692, 24. Pepperdine 724, 25. UC-San Diego 772, 26. San Jose State 809. Top Five Individuals: 1. Ian Dobson (Stanford) 29:32; 2. Ryan Hall (Stanford) 29:33; 3. Robert Cheseret (Arizona) 29:35; 4. Donald Sage (Stanford) 29:42; 5. Adam Tenforde (Stanford) 29:44. WSU Results: 29. Mike Heidt 30:28; 39. Danny Wolf 30:45; 40. Ian Johnson 30:48; 64. Andrew Jones 31:22; 80. Justin Ireland 31:52; 91. Matt Knoff 32:05; 101. Alex Grant 32:23.
NCAA West Regionals (Blue Lake Regional Park, Gresham, Ore. 6,000m) November 15, 2003 Women's Race Top Team Results: 1. Stanford 45, 2. UCLA 69, 3. Washington 94, 4. Arizona State 112, 5. UC-Santa Barbara 175, 6. Idaho 193, 7. Cal Poly 274, 8. Arizona 290, 9. Oregon 290, 10. California 308, 11. UC-Irvine 309, 12. Portland 328, 13. Santa Clara 350, 14. Washington State 362, 15. San Diego State 415, 16. Long Beach State 421, 17. Portland State 495, 18. Fresno State 498, 19. Boise State 509, 20. Eastern Washington 526, 21. Cal State-Northridge 609, 22. Hawaii-Manoa 665, 23. San Diego 668, 24. San Jose State 672, 25. Pepperdine 677, 26. Cal State-Fullerton 701, 27. San Francisco 740, 28. UNLV 793, 29. Sacramento State 828, 30. UC-Riverside 852, 31. Pacific 954. Top Five Individuals: 1. Alicia Craig (Stanford) 20:06; 2. Amy Hastings (Arizona State) 20:22; 3. Sara Bei (Stanford) 20:27; 4. Valerie Flores (UCLA) 20:30; 5. Ingvill Makestad (Washington) 20:37. WSU Results: 12. Anna Blue 20:51; 47. Ana Cabrera 22:00; 91. Kayle Peterson 22:46; 93. Molly Bull 22:47; 128. Julia Corbett 23:18; 148. Katie Troy 23:35; 149. Natalie Smith 23:36.