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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Cross Country Looks to Earn National Bid at NCAA West Regionals
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/06/2007
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Nov. 6, 2007

THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams take part in the NCAA West Regionals hosted by the University of Oregon Saturday, Nov. 10...teams from the Big Sky, Big West, Pacific-10, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences will compete...men's 10,000m championship race starts at 11 a.m. and is followed by the women's 6,000m race at 12:15 p.m...Springfield Country Club course is mostly grass...additional information is available at http://goducks.com/.

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women runners are led by senior Isley Gonzalez, sophomore Sara Trané, and junior Meghan Leonard who all placed in the top-25 at the 2007 Pacific-10 Championships...senior Collier Lawrence looks to improve on recent performances...freshman Ashlee Wall and sophomores Lisa Egami and Chelsea VanDeBrake complete the women's line-up...WSU women will compete against Pac-10 opponents Stanford (No. 1), Oregon (No. 2), Arizona State (No. 5), and Washington (No. 7), as well as Big West contender UC Santa Barbara (No. 27) for the NCAA team slots.

WSU MEN: Seniors Andrew Jones and Alex Grant lead the WSU men...Jones and Grant have had strong performances for the Cougars throughout the season...junior Drew Polley, sophomore Daniel Geib and redshirt sophomore Sam Ahlbeck are also major contributors for WSU...rounding out the squad are redshirt sophomore Dominic Smargiassi and redshirt freshman Luke Lemenager...Cougars set to race against the ranked Pac-10 programs Oregon (No. 1), Stanford (No. 8), California (No.10), UCLA (No. 21), and Arizona State (No. 27)...other ranked opponents include Portland (No. 20) and Cal Poly (No. 28).

DRAKE'S TAKE ON NCAA WEST REGIONAL: "Both men's and women's teams' goals are to try and get an at-large bid to the nationals," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "I honestly feel that both teams have a legitimate shot at doing that. They're pretty excited, everyone's very optimistic and training has been going well. The women ran really well at the Pac-10s but I still think we have a little more in there. Sara was off, Meghan felt like she had a little more and Collier still was coming off illness. If Isley can run well again, and all that happens, I think that they can beat Santa Barbara. The guys have to cinch it up a little bit and compete a little better than they have. Then they have a shot. Andrew Jones has been running well all year, and Alex Grant. Drew Polley is coming around and feeling good. Anytime you talk about two or three individuals that can make it, the team should have a shot too."

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Cougar women finished fifth at Corvallis, Oct. 27; Isley Gonzalez (8th), Sara Trané (20th), Meghan Leonard (23rd), Collier Lawrence (36th) and Lisa Egami (51st) scored for WSU...the men finished seventh; Andrew Jones (23rd), Alex Grant (30th), Drew Polley (34th), Daniel Geib (48th) and Sam Ahlbeck (49th) all scored on the men's side.

NCAA WEST REGION RANKINGS: In the Oct. 29, 2007 USTFCCCA Division I West Region polls, the WSU women's team was ranked fifth and the men's team ninth.

LAST YEAR AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS: WSU men finished eighth in last year's meet at Portland, Ore., helping them earn an at-large berth to the 2006 NCAA National Championships...Alex Grant finished 23rd and Woody Favinger placed 25th to lead the Cougars...also competing in crimson in gray were Andrew Jones (42nd), Drew Polley (46th), Clay Hemlock (66th), Chris Williams (77th), and Daniel Geib (102nd)...WSU women raced to a ninth place finish, led by Haley Paul's 18th place...Collier Lawrence placed 52nd, Isley Gonzalez finished 70th, and Lisa Egami crossed the line 71st...Sara Trané (72nd) and Chelsea VanDeBrake (83rd) rounded out Cougar competitors.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: The top two teams at each regional event will qualify for the NCAA Championships November 19, at Terre Haute, Ind...top four individual runners from non-qualifying teams also advance to the championships....13 additional teams will be selected for at large bids to form the 31-team field that will compete in the NCAA Championships...at-large selections will be posted Sunday, Nov. 11 on the NCAA web sites (www.ncaasports.com and www.ncaa.org) by 4 p.m. Pacific time.

NEXT COMPETITION: The NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be held at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 19.

Washington State Cougars Cross Country
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