Viking women third, men fourth at West Regional
Nov. 5, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. - Both the Western Washington University men's and women's cross country teams qualified for nationals by placing among the top four at the NCAA Division II West Regional Cross Country Championships held Saturday at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex.
The Viking women finished third and the men fourth. It is the fourth straight year that both teams are going to nationals, and the fifth consecutive trip for the men.
Alaska Anchorage successfully defended its title in both divisions with Chico State second. The teams entered the day with the positions reversed in the respective regional polls.
UAA dominated the six-kilometer women's run, 27-66 over Chico State. WWU was third with 148 points and Alaska Fairbanks placed fourth by seven points, 164-171, ahead of Cal Poly Pomona in the 24-team field.
In the men's race, the Seawolves edged Chico State by two points, 37-39, and Western Oregon was third at 126, two ahead of the fourth-place Vikings in the 17-team field.
UAA's Ruth Keino was the women's individual champion, winning by 27 seconds in 20:51; and the Seawolves' Micah Chelimo was the men's titlist, prevailing by one second over teammate Isaac Chavez in 30:19.
The national championships will be held at the same course on Saturday, Nov. 19.
"We're looking forward to being back here in two weeks," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell (25th year). "I'm very excited about what we can do after two very solid efforts today."
Three Viking men, Nick Abraham (Sr., Sammamish/Skyline), Eric Brill (Sr., Kent/Kentwood), and Dak Riek (So., Everett/Mariner); and two women, Rachael Johnson (Sr., Yakima/West Valley) and Katelyn Steen (Fr., Sammamish/Eastlake), earned regional all-star honors by placing among the top 25 in their respective divisions.
Brill, who was making his fourth regional appearance, had one of the best performances of his four-year career, placing 21st to lead the Vikings with a time of 31:52. Riek was 22nd in 31:55 and Abraham 24th in 32:05.
Cannon and Riek had placed fifth and 10th, respectively, to earn all-star honors at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships two weeks ago.
"Tyler was battling a cold, but we were able to deal with that as the other guys rose to the challenge," Halsell said. "Brill had a great race as did Riek and Abraham."
Rachael Johnson paced the Viking women, crossing the finish line 16th in 22:10. Steen 22nd in 22:16, and Lauren Breihof (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View), competing in her fourth regional, was 30th in 22:30.
Breihof placed ninth at the league meet to earn all-star honors.
"Lauren struggled a little bit, but Rachael had a superb race and Kaitlyn was terrific," said Halsell.
The Vikings' Sierra Brisky (Sr., Acme/Mount Baker) was 48th in 23:01 and Makhaila Thornton (Fr., Bend, OR/Mountain View) was 79th in 23:49.
Last year, WWU was the regional host with both its men and women placing third. In 2009, the Viking men were second and the women fourth, and in 2008, the WWU men finished third and the women fifth as five teams qualified for nationals in that division.
Alaska Anchorage Sweeps Division II West Regional Team Titles
Ruth Keino finished first to lead Alaska Anchorage to its third consecutive women's team title in the NCAA Division II West Regional cross country championships at Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane Saturday.
The Seawolves, who are unbeaten this fall, finished with a team score of 27 posting the lowest women's team score since 1998 when UC Davis won the West Regional title with a score of 29. Chico State placed second for the third year in a row with 66 team points.
Keino, who has won all six of her races this fall and is the first UAA woman to ever win the region individual title, covered the 6,000 meter course in a time of 20:51, finishing 27 seconds ahead of runner up Bridget Berg of Humboldt State.
Alaska Anchorage made a clean sweep of the team titles also winning the men's title for the second year in a row edging Chico State 37-39.
Last year, the Seawolves won their first-ever men's regional team title beating Chico State by five points (49-54) in the meet at Bellingham. Chico had won the previous eight team titles (2002-09).
Micah Chelimo of UAA finished first in the men's 10,000 meter race in a time of 30:19, one second ahead of Isaac Chavez of Chico State and four seconds ahead of Barak Watson of Northwest Nazarene.
The three athletes battled throughout the race for the top position before Chelimo came out on top in the final home stretch earning UAA its third consecutive individual title. The Seawolves' Marko Cheseto won the regional title each of the past two years.
Saturday's two races each qualified four teams and two individuals for the NCAA Division II national championships which will return to Spokane in two weeks on Nov. 19.
In the men's division, Western Oregon and Western Washington, which finished third and fourth, respectively, will join Alaska Anchorage and Chico State in the national meet.
Qualifying as individuals were Watson and Kyle Van Santen of Saint Martin's, who placed seventh.
In the women's division, Western Washington and Alaska Fairbanks, which finished third and fourth, respectively, will join Alaska Anchorage and Chico State at nationals. It will be the first-ever national cross country berth for Fairbanks.
Individual qualifiers were Berg and Tiffany Dinh of Cal Poly Pomona, who finished sixth.
The Top 25 finishers in each race are accorded all-region honors by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
For complete individual and team results please click on the appropriate links. For split times for the two races (3K for the women's 6K and 5K for the men's 10K), visit www.milliseconds.com.
Women - Alaska Anchorage 27, Chico State 66, Western Washington 148, Alaska Fairbanks 164, Cal Poly Pomona 171, Seattle Pacific 212, San Francisco State 216, UC San Diego 224, Cal State Stanislaus 239, Cal State L.A. 262, Humboldt State 305, BYU-Hawaii 312, Northwest Nazarene 339, Western Oregon 417,Cal State San Bernardino 423, Sonoma State 511, MSU Billings 517, Cal State Monterey Bay 517, Grand Canyon 532, Cal State East Bay 540, Central Washington 551, Cal State Dominguez Hills 561, Hawaii Pacific 569, Saint Martin's 578. Individuals (Top 10) - 1. Ruth Keino, Alaska Anchorage, 20:51; 2. Bridget Berg, Humboldt State, 21:18; 3. Miriam Kipn'geno, Alaska Anchorage, 21:25; 4. Ivy O'Guinn, Alaska Anchorage, 21:28; 5. Alia Gray, Chico State, 21:37; 6. Tiffany Dinh, Cal Poly Pomona, 21:42; 7. Shoshana Keegan, Alaska Anchorage, 21:45; 8. Chia Chang, UC San Diego, 21:46; 9. Amy Schnittger, Chico State, 21:52; 10. Rachel Young, Dixie State, 21:54.
Men - Alaska Anchorage 37, Chico State 39, Western Oregon 126, Western Washington 128, Northwest Nazarene 200, San Francisco State 211, Seattle Pacific 247, Humboldt State 250, UC San Diego 252, Saint Martin's 261, Cal Poly Pomona 277, BYU-Hawaii 306, Central Washington 321, Grand Canyon 332, MSU Billings 342, Alaska Fairbanks 449, Cal State Monterey Bay 482. Individuals (Top 10) - 1. Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage, 30:19; 2. Isaac Chavez, Chico State, 30:20; 3. Barak Watson, Northwest Nazarene, 30:23; 4. Alfred Kangogo, Alaska Anchorage, 30:52; 5. Connor Kasler, Western Oregon, 30:58; 6. Johnny Sanchez, Chico State, 31:07; 7. Kyle Van Santen, Saint Martin's, 31:10; 8. Yonatan Yilma, Alaska Anchorage, 31:12; 9. Adrian Sherrod, Chico State, 31:19; 10. Joseph Rivera, Chico State, 31:20.
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