Lagat Second, Cougar Men Third at NCAA West Regional Championships
November 15, 1997
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Cougar sophomore Bernard Lagat was the runner-up in the men's 10,000 meter race during the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships held at the Dell Urich Golf Course. Lagat automatically qualified for a trip to the 1997 NCAA Championships held Monday, Nov. 24 at Greenville, S.C.
Washington State's 10th-ranked men finished third overall behind champion Stanford and Oregon. The Cougars will have to wait until Monday afternoon to find out if they will advance to the NCAA meet with one of the four available at-large berths. The Cougars have not sent a complete men's squad to the NCAA Championships since 1984.
"I'm so impressed with our runners," WSU assistant coach Dr. Li Li said of his men. "It's unprecedented for us in recent years to have four runners finish in the top 20."
UCLA's Mebrahtom Keflezghi, who finished second to Lagat at the Pacific-10 Championships, turned the tables by posting a winning 10,000-meter time of 30 minutes, 16 seconds. Lagat finished 17 seconds behind at 30:33.
Cougar sophomore Brad Treat finished 14th overall in 31:24, junior Jon Murray was 17th in 31:36 and junior Eric Kamau was 19th in 31:49. WSU's fifth runner, senior Rasto Kiplangat, started as WSU's second runner early in the race, but faded to 51st as he was hit with back spasms.
Sophomore Tammi Green clocked 18:42 for 5,000 meters to finish 31st as WSU's top finisher. Stanford and Oregon finished one-two in the women's team race with the Cougars seventh.
Arizona junior Amy Skieresz won her 13th straight meet and captured the West Region title for the third year in a row. Skieresz posted a 13-second victory over Stanford freshman Julia Stamps with a time of 17:00.
WEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (Tucson, Ariz., 10,000 meters) - Men's Results
WEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (Tucson, Ariz., 5,000 meters) - Women's Results
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