Nov. 21, 2005
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Washington State University sophomore Haley Paul finished 14th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships held at the LaVerne Gibson Championship Course at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday afternoon.
Paul, a sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., ran the 6,000m course in a time of 20-minutes, 11.9 seconds after running a 3,000m split time of 10:11. Paul was the third highest individual finisher from the Pacific-10 conference, behind eighth-place Arianna Lambie from Stanford (19:59.1) and 13th-place Amy Hastings from Arizona State (20:09.0).
The individual women's winner was Northern Arizona's Johanna Nilsson (19:33.9) while Stanford won the women's team title with 146 points. Simon Bairu was the men's individual winner and led the Wisconsin men to the team title as the highest Pac-10 men's team was Stanford at sixth.
"I'm so pumped," Paul said post-race. "I ran according to the plan. Maybe a couple of girls passed me but that whole race I was just passing people and moving up. At the 3k I was still back but I knew I was in All-American position and from there I kept going. Ashley Caldwell (UCLA) was with me at the last straight-away and I was like, you know what, I have a little more and I got her. It just couldn't have been a better race."
Paul, the 20th WSU woman to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, had the highest finish for a Cougar woman runner in the history of the program. She becomes the third WSU woman to earn cross country All-American honors. The other two were Everlyne Lagat who finished 30th in 2001 and Megan Maynard who finished 22nd in 1998.
"I think I knew exactly where I'd start hurting," Paul said. "And I knew where people would start hurting and where I would have to push it and make a conscience effort to start moving up and I did. This course is great. I've run it three times and I know the little intricate things about it so that definitely helped me."
Paul had raced on the same course at both the 2004 and 2005 Pre-Nationals Meets, where this fall she finished 21st (Oct. 15).
"Haley ran very well," Cougar Head Coach Jason Drake said. "She went out, ran her race plan, hung back a little bit from the early pace and rolled people up the second half. She had gone out a little too fast last time and didn't feel real strong at the end at the Pre-Nationals. Since this was the nationals and people get really excited and go out too fast so we told her to hang back to about 50th place at the mile and she was right there. She came through the 3k pretty fast but just maintained that pace and started catching people. She ran about 30 seconds faster than she did here at the pre-Nationals. She had her best race of the year at the national championships."
Drake described the race-time weather as similar to Pullman at about 40 degrees, a little cloudy with a light breeze. "Perfect for racing."