Sept. 12, 2011
PULLMAN -- The Washington State Cougars men and women's cross country teams moved up one spot each in the NCAA Division I regional rankings for week one of the 2011 cross country season that were released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Monday.
The men are now ranked seventh in the West behind five other Pac-12 teams and Portland (West Coast Conference). The Cougar women moved up to claim the 14th spot in front of Long Beach State (Big West Conference). Throughout the West region on both the men and women's sides, no team gained or lost more than two spots in the regional rankings after preseason rankings.
The Cougar cross country teams are coming off of a strong win at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet September 3. Both the men and women's teams took first among the five teams competing. The men's team, led by a strong upper class in seniors Jono Lafler and Justin Englund and junior Andrew Gonzales, scored sixteen points in its first competition. More impressively, the cougar men had eight runners finish in the top ten - four of which were the first to finish. The women scored 31 points en route to their first place finish at the Clash and were led heavily by their large sophomore class. Ruby Roberts was the first Coug to cross the finish line, taking fourth overall. Roberts finished in front of all her teammates in every race in her freshman season.
The Washington State cross country teams will not race again until September 24 where they will compete in the Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane. The Cougars are using this three-week break from competition training for the tough competition ahead.
The next regional rankings release will be September 19, before the Cougars' next competition, meaning they will have no impact on any shifting that may happen in the ranks of the West between week one and week two. The national week one coaches' poll will be released September 13.