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Washington State Cross Country Closes Out Season
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/19/2010
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Jan. 19, 2010

THE 2009 SEASON RECAP: The Washington State University men's and women's cross country team were led during the 2009 season by first-year cross country coach Pete Julian...men's team found contributors from a variety of runners...Cougar men raced well all season, finishing seventh at the ISU Pre-Nationals Invitational behind sophomore Jono Lafler...male harriers earned a national ranking of 26th in the October 20, 2009, U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the first time the men have been nationally ranked in six years...WSU men took first place at Clash of the Inland Northwest with freshman Andrew Kimpel finishing third...Sam Ahlbeck led the Cougars to a fifth place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational...seniors Lisa Egami and Chelsea VanDeBrake were top finishers for the WSU women throughout the season...Egami finished 11th at the NCAA West Regionals to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana...Cougar women finished fifth at the Roy Griak Invitational and 15th at the NCAA West Regional.

LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE: The Cougars will have a full shelf of talent heading into the 2010 season...while the WSU team will lose both captains, Lisa Egami and Sam Ahlbeck, as well as four other seniors including Mark Moeller, Dominic Smargiassi, Marisa Sandoval and Chelsea VanDeBrake, there is plenty of young talent to keep the program heading in the right direction...Coach Julian found help from freshmen Andrew Kimpel, Andrew Gonzales, Alyssa Andrews, and Caroline Austin...men's team will return juniors Dan Geib and Luke Lemenager, sophomores Justin Englund, Jono Lafler and Peter Miller as well as freshmen Matt Cronrath, Drake da Ponte, Jason Stoker and Jason Taylor...four women runners who were redshirts in 2009 return including freshmen Molli Bahlenhorst, Hillary Norris, and Courtney Zalud and sophomore Michelly Foley...freshman Alyssa Andrews applying for medical hardship due to injury...Cougar women will also return juniors Amanda Andrews and Ashlee Wall as well as sophomore Emily Farrar.

WSU MEN: There were seven Cougar men who gave strong performances throughout the season, including captain Sam Ahlbeck and senior Mark Moeller with contributions from younger talent such as Jono Lafler...WSU men were one of two teams to finish ahead of four top-30 ranked teams at the ISU Pre-Nationals Invitation...Cougar men finished sixth at the Pacific-10 Championships.

Sam Ahlbeck (RS-Sr., Renton, Wash.) Named men's cross country captain...11th place finish (first on team) at the Roy Griak Invitational was highest of season...finished 49th (third on team) at the ISU Pre-Nationals Invitational...earned a 26th place finish (second on team) at the Pac-10 Championships...finished season in 51st place (second on team) at the NCAA West Regionals.

Matt Cronrath (RS-Fr., Odessa, Wash.) Did not compete.

Drake da Ponte (RS-Fr., Snoqualmie, Wash.) Finished 61st (third on team) at the Runners Soul/Erik Anderson Invite.

Justin Englund (So., Federal Way, Wash.) Competed in four races for WSU...ran unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest to earn 10th place finish (seventh on team)...placed 44th (sixth on team) at the Roy Griak Invitational...finished 38th (third on team) at Pac-10 Championships...closed season with a 41st place finish (first on team) at NCAA West Regionals...named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team while maintaining a 4.00 grade point average.

Dan Geib (RS-Jr., Reno, Nev.) Raced in five competitions for the Cougars...finished 13th (ninth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...placed 30th (fifth on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...45th place finish (second on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals was highest team finish of the season...earned 49th place finish (fifth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...closed season at NCAA West Regionals with a 66th place finish (fifth on team)...earned an honorable mention for the Pac-10 All-Academic team with a 3.25 GPA.

Andrew Gonzales (Fr., Kennewick, Wash.) Redshirt season...ran unattached at Runners Soul/Erik Anderson Invite, earning a third place finish (first on team).

David Hickerson (Jr., Spokane, Wash.) Raced in three meets for WSU...ran unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest to earn fourth place finish (second on team)...placed ninth (second on team) at Northwest Cross Country Classic...finished 60th (seventh on team) at Roy Griak Invitational.

Andrew Kimpel (Fr., Spokane, Wash.) Scored in four races for the Cougars and ran unattached in another...first place finish while running unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest was best finish of the season...placed 19th (second on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...finished 80th (fifth on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals...competed at Pac-10 Championships to earn a 47th place finish (fourth on team)...finished 68th at NCAA West Regionals (sixth on team) to end the season.

Jono Lafler (So., Maple Valley, Wash.) Raced in five events for WSU...finished eighth (fifth on team) running unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest...placed 25th (fourth on team) at Roy Griak invitational...40th place finish (first on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals was strongest race of the year...earned a 57th place finish (sixth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...ended the season with a 58th place finish (fourth on team) at NCAA West Regionals.

Luke Lemenager (RS-Jr., Maple Valley, Wash.) Competed in two races for the Cougars...placed 24th (second on team) at Runners Soul/Erik Anderson Invite...finished 69th (fifth on team) at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.

Peter Miller (RS-So., Spokane, Wash.) Raced in three events...seventh place finish (fourth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest was highest of the season...placed 157th (seventh on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals invitational...finished the season with a 59th place finish (seventh on team) at Pac-10 Championships...was a Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention.

Mark Moeller (RS-Sr., Spokane, Wash.) Was a consistent scorer for WSU in four races...earned a 23rd place finish (third on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...finished 60th (fourth on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals...17th place finish (first on team) was highest finish for a Cougar man at Pac-10 Championships since 2004...placed 57th (third on team) at NCAA West Regionals.

Dominic Smargiassi (RS-Sr., Auburn, Wash.) Competed in four races for the Cougars...finished sixth (third on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...placed 119th at ISU Pre-Nationals Invitational...63rd place finish (eighth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...ended the season with a 99th place finish (seventh on team) at NCAA West Regionals.

Jason Stoker (RS-Fr., Liberty Lake, Wash.) Was a consistent scorer for the Cougars...31st place finish (10th on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest was highest of the season...finished 42nd (fourth on team) at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic...65th (fourth on team) at Runners Soul/Erik Anderson Invite.

Jayson Taylor (RS-Fr., Liberty Lake, Wash.) Had an impressive 11th place finish (eighth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...earned 19th place (third on team) at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.

JULIAN'S TAKE ON THE COUGAR MEN: "I think it was a very successful season. We received a national ranking for the first time in a few years and I think we saw some pretty good improvement across the board from all of the athletes. We didn't get to the NCAA Championships and that was our goal, but to be fair, we just weren't quite ready yet to move on to the NCAA Championships. I feel confident that we have a lot of great guys coming back next year and we should be able to make it."

JULIAN'S TAKE ON THE MEN NEXT SEASON: "We lose two key runners in Sam Ahlbeck, a team captain, and Mark Moeller. We have a lot of young guys who will contribute with Jono Lafler, Dan Geib, Justin Englund and Andrew Kimpel, who after another year of development should be quite strong. We have a great core coming back and I think we will have a very strong recruiting class."

WSU WOMEN: Lisa Egami and Chelsea VanDeBrake finished one-two on the team in five races this season...Emily Farrar, Marisa Sandoval and Amanda Andrews were consistent scorers for the Cougars...women had a disappointing Pac-10 Championship Race before closing out season with a 15th place finish at the NCAA West Regionals.

Alyssa Andrews (Fr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) Applying for a medical hardship...highly touted freshman who competed in two races...finished sixth (third on team) running unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest...placed 46th (fourth on team) at Roy Griak Invitational.

Amanda Andrews (Jr., Gig Harbor, Wash.) Raced in five events for WSU...12th place finish (seventh on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...placed 47th (fifth on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...finished 186th (fifth on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals Invitational...earned a 65th place finish (third on team) at Pac-10 Championships...closed the season with a 127th place finish (fifth on team) at NCAA West Regionals.

Caroline Austin (Fr., Chehalis, Wash.) Had an impressive freshman season competing in four events...finished 21st (ninth on team) running unattached at Clash of the Inland Northwest...223rd place finish (sixth on team) at ISU Pre-National Meet...placed 80th (sixth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...earned a 133rd place finish (sixth on team) at NCAA West Regionals to finish the season.

Molli Bahlenhorst (Fr., Black Diamond, Wash.) Redshirt season...placed 43rd (third on team) running unattached at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.

Lisa Egami (Sr., Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada) Finished first on team in every race this season...started the season with a first place finish at Clash of the Inland Northwest...finished 19th at Roy Griak Invitational...placed 55th at ISU Pre-Nationals...earned a 24th place finish at Pac-10 Championships...11th place finish at NCAA West Regionals was the highest finish for a WSU woman since 2005...earned an individual bid to NCAA Championships to finish 169th...earned a Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention with a 3.49 GPA.

Emily Farrar (So., Bainbridge, Wash.) Consistent scorer in all five races for the Cougars...placed 8th (fourth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...earned a 40th place finish (third on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...137th place finish (third on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals...finished 70th (fourth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...finished the season with a 94th place finish (third on team) at NCAA West Regionals...received Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention with a 3.59 GPA.

Michelly Foley (So., Prineville, Ore.) Redshirt season...finished 23rd (first on team) running unattached at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.

Hillary Norris (Fr., Edgewood, Wash.) Redshirt season...ran unattached at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic to finish 72nd (fourth on team).

Marisa Sandoval (RS-Sr., Los Alamos, New Mexico) Competed in all five races for WSU...finished 10th (fifth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...earned a 72nd place finish (seventh on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...placed 179th (fourth on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals...83rd place finish (seventh on team) at Pac-10 Championships...closed the season with a 122nd place finish at NCAA West Regionals...named Pac-10 All-Academic second team with a 3.80 GPA.

Chelsea VanDeBrake (Sr., Yakima, Wash.) Had strong season finishing second on team in every race...placed second at Clash of the Inland Northwest...earned a 25th place finish at Roy Griak Invitational...finished 117th at ISU Pre-Nationals...finished 47th at Pac-10 Championships...closed out senior season with an 82nd place finish at NCAA West Regionals...named to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team for third consecutive year with a 3.95 GPA.

Ashlee Wall (Jr., Walla Walla, Wash.) Competed in five races for the Cougars...11th place finish (sixth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest...finished 64th (seventh on team) at Roy Griak Invitational...placed 226th (seventh on team) at ISU Pre-Nationals...earned a 76th place finish (fifth on team) at Pac-10 Championships...finished the season with a 153rd place finish at NCAA West Regionals...made first team Pac-10 All-Academic for second consecutive year in a row with a 4.00 GPA.

Courtney Zalud (Fr., Colbert, Wash.) Redshirt season...raced unattached in two races for the Cougars...13th place finish (eighth on team) at Clash of the Inland Northwest was best of season...placed 31st (second on team) at Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic.

JULIAN'S TAKE ON THE COUGAR WOMEN: "The women's season to some degree was frustrating on the surface but a lot of good things happened. They trained a lot harder than perhaps they had in the past and sometimes it takes time to adjust and the results don't come out right away. With our sport it might take a season or two and I expect we will see all of that hard work come out this spring and next fall. So even though these results aren't exactly what we wanted to see, we did have some great things happen, particularly Lisa Egami qualifying for the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She is a middle distance girl so it bodes well for her outdoor season."

JULIAN'S TAKE ON THE WOMEN NEXT SEASON: "I think the women's team is going to be very strong next fall. We redshirted a couple of girls who would have made a big impact on our team this year. We also have a strong recruiting class coming in so I feel like we will be quite strong and we will be able to compete with teams who are in the top half of the Pac-10."

Washington State Cougars Cougar Athletic Fund
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