Sept. 25, 2007
THIS WEEK: Washington State University top cross country runners head to Minneapolis, Minn., for the 22nd Annual Roy Griak Invitational Saturday, Sept. 29...both the men's and women's teams will also send runners to Williamette.
THE GRIAK: The Griak feature 10 races with the WSU teams competing in the Gold level races reserved for NCAA Division I schools...men's 8K Gold race begins at 12:10 p.m. CT and features 24 teams...Minnesota (18), Northern Arizona (19), Michigan State (23), Virginia (28), and Iowa State (29) were all ranked in this week's US Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Division I polls...Kansas and Washington State also received votes...women's Gold race will be run on a 6k course at 12:55 p.m. CT, where the Cougars will race against 26 other Division I teams...Cougars will battle three ranked teams: Arizona State (6), Michigan State (9), and Virginia (10)...Nebraska and UC Santa Barbara also received votes in the USTFCCCA polls this week...detailed information on the meet can be found at www.gophersports.com.
DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE GRIAK: "There are two or three big meets in the country this weekend," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "This is one of them, and both the men's and women's fields are good with a handful of ranked teams on each side."
WSU RECEIVES RANKINGS: Both the men's and women's teams were recognized in the Sept. 24 Division I Cross Country Regional Rankings...Cougar men ranked seventh in the west region...women ranked eighth...WSU men also received votes in the USTFCCCA Division I poll...west region includes Wash., Ore., Idaho, Calif., Nev., and Ariz.
WSU WOMEN: The squad headed to the Griak include seniors Isley Gonzalez and Collier Lawrence, junior Meghan Leonard, sophomores Sara Trané and Lisa Egami, and freshmen Ashlee Wall and Amanda Andrews...Egami, Wall, and Andrews were the top finishers at the Sundodger, the rest of the top women focused on training runs the past few weeks and will compete on rested legs.
WSU MEN: The Washington State men will be led by seniors Alex Grant, Andrew Jones, Chris Williams, and Chris Concha...juniors Woody Favinger and Drew Polley, sophomores Dan Geib, Sam Ahlbeck, and Dominic Smargiassi, along with freshman David Hickerson round out the men's competitive roster...Jones is coming off a third place finish at the Sundodger...Williams, Concha, Ahlbeck, Smargiassi, and Hickerson also competed in Seattle...the rest of the squad enters the race rested after spending the past few weeks working on conditioning to gear up for Minnesota.
RETURNING TO THE GRIAK: Six of the runners competing this weekend have previous experience at the Griak...senior women Isley Gonzalez and Collier Lawrence competed as freshmen...Chris Concha and Chris Williams also took part in the race as a freshmen...Andrew Jones and Alex Grant have competed in Minnesota twice, as freshmen and sophomores...this experience could be pivotal for the Cougars.
RUNNING AT WILLIAMETTE: Runners for the men's and women's squads will compete at Williamette this weekend...Sean Coyle, Luke Lemenger, and Evan Blanshan will run for the men...Marisa Sandoval, Becky Williams, Anna Layman, and Jessica Crannell are slated to take part for the women.
NEXT COMPETITION: WSU squads will split for competition Oct. 13...Cougars will travel to compete in the Pre-Nationals Invitational and will head north for the Eastern Washington University Invitational.