Nov. 9, 2013
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Both Western Washington University cross country teams qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships as the men placed fourth and the women fifth at the West Regional held Saturday morning at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex.
"Both squads did an amazing job," said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell (27th year). "This was an incredible day."
The top five teams in both divisions qualified for nationals, which take place Nov. 23 on the same site as regionals.
The WWU men, ranked third regionally and No.16 nationally coming in, had to do it without their No.2 runner Tanner Boyd (Sr., Camas), who dropped out midway through the 10-kilometer distance with a heel injury.
Despite that, the Vikings finished just 12 points behind third-place Cal Poly Pomona and 48 points ahead of fifth-place Cal Baptist. Chico State won for the second straight year and for the 10th time in the last 12 years with 33 points. Alaska Anchorage was second with 81 points.
"Even without Tanner I knew we had the depth to move on to nationals," said Halsell. "With him, I believe we had a good chance of finishing third."
The WWU women, ranked eighth regionally entering the meet, finished with 157 points, 90 better than sixth-place Cal State Stanislaus and just 20 behind fourth-place Seattle Pacific. Alaska Anchorage won for the third time in four years with 76 points, just three better than defending champion Chico State. Simon Fraser was third at 94.
"We felt going in that the women had a definite shot," Halsell said, "but to accomplish that as the eighth ranked team is pretty amazing."
"The key was to engage and mix it up with Seattle Pacific. It was awesome to see that."
The WWU men were led by Chip Jackson (Sr., Shoreline/Shorewood), who placed fourth with a time of 31:43. He earned region all-star honors for the second straight year by placing among the top 25.
Three other Vikings receiving regional honors were Isaac Griffith (So., Spokane/Lewis & Clark), who was 20th (32:33), Tabor Reedy (Jr., Poulsbo/North Kitsap) 21st (32:36) and Nathan Richards (Jr., Longview/R.A. Long/Clark CC) 24th (32:38).
Dylan Peterson (Sr., Seattle/Garfield) was 38th (33:10) and Cory Johnson(R-Fr., Enumclaw) 53rd (33:32) for WWU.
WWU's Katelyn Steen (Jr., Sammamish/Eastlake) placed third for the women, her time of 21:53 over the six-kilometer course being just seven seconds off the lead.
Steen and Taylor Guenther (So., Vancouver/Prairie), who finished 12th (22:38), were region all-stars. Steen also earned that honor as a freshman.
The Vikings' Haley O'Connor (Jr., Sammamish/Eastlake) was 35th (23:02), Austen Reiter (So., Camas) 49th (23:24), Haida Ikeda (Sr., Issaquah) 58th (23:33), Lillianna Stelling (Fr., Langley/South Whidbey) 68th (23:44) and Sofia Marikis (Fr., Nine Mile Falls/Lakeside) 75th (23:52).
Chico State had the top three runners in the men's race, led by Isaac Chavez in 30:56. Johnny Sanchez was second (31:33) and Dayne Gradone third (31:43).
Alaska Anchorage runners finished one-two in the women's race with Susan Tanui edging Joyce Kipchumba, 21:46 to 21:49.
The WWU men are going to nationals for the seventh straight time, and the Viking women will be making their fourth appearance in six years.
NCAA Division II West Regional Championships - Spokane, Wash.
(Plantes Ferry Sports Complex)
Team - 1. Chico State 33, 2. Alaska Anchorage 81, 3. Cal Poly Pomona 90, 4. Western Washington 102, 5. Cal Baptist 150, 6. UC San Diego 168, 7. Humboldt State 206, 8. San Francisco State 206, 9. Montana State Billings 250, 10. Simon Fraser 261, 11. Hawaii Pacific 272, 12. Western Oregon 290, 13. Central Washington 325, 14. BYU-Hawaii 376, 15. Alaska Fairbanks 391, 16. Seattle Pacific 408, 17. Cal State Stanislaus 452, 18. Saint Martin's 491.
WWU Placers: 4. Chip Jackson 31:43, 19. Isaac Griffith 32:33, 20. Tabor Reedy 32:36, 23. Nathan Richards 32:38, 36. Dylan Peterson 33:10, 49. Cory Johnson 33:32.
Top 10: 1. Isaac Chavez, Chico State, 30:56; 2. Johnny Sanchez, Chico State. 31:33; 3. Dayne Gradone, Chico State, 31:35; 4. Chip Jackson, Western Washington 31:43; 5. Victor Samoei, Alaska Anchorage, 31:49; 6. Alfonso Cisneros, Chico State, 31:53; 7. Bryton Reim, Cal Baptist, 31:56; 8. John Carrell , Cal Poly Pomona, 32:05; 9. Dylan Anthony, Alaska Anchorage, 32:15; 10. Bruk Assefa, San Francisco State, 32:18.
Team - 1. Alaska Anchorage 76, 2. Chico State 79, 3. Simon Fraser 94, 4. Seattle Pacific 137, 5. Western Washington 157, 6. Cal State Stanislaus 247, 7. Humboldt State 259, 8. Western Oregon 261, 9. Cal Baptist 265, 10. Central Washington 275, 11. UC San Diego 282, 12. Cal Poly Pomona 305, 13. Hawaii Pacific 328, 14. Cal State L.A. 355, 15. San Francisco State 375, 16. Cal State East Bay 392, 17. Cal State San Bernardino 419, 18. Northwest Nazarene 434, 19. Montana State Billings 450, 20. Alaska Fairbanks 553, 21. BYU-Hawaii 567, 22. Sonoma State 692.
WWU Placers: 3. Katelyn Steen 21:53, 12. Taylor Guenther 22:38, 35. Haley O'Connor 23:02, 49. Austen Reiter 23:24, 58. Haida Ikeda 23:33, 68. Lillianna Stelling 23:44, 74. Sofia Marikis 23:52.
Top 10: 1. Susan Tanui, Alaska Anchorage, 21:46; 2. Joyce Kipchumba, Alaska Anchorage, 21:49; 3. Katelyn Steen, Western Washington, 21:53; 4. Lindsey Butterworth, Simon Fraser, 22:03; 5. Ayla Granados, Chico State, 22:08; 6. Connie Morgan, Central Washington, 22:19; 7. Sara Mikesell, Chico State, 22:21; 8. Natalie Evans, Northwest Nazarene, 22:27; 9. Annie Wade, Western Oregon, 22:33; 10.
Alaska Anchorage, Chico State Win NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Titles
SPOKANE, Wash. - Susan Tanui of Alaska Anchorage won the NCAA Division II Women's West Regional cross country individual title at the Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex Saturday in a 6,000-meter time of 21:45.4 to lead the Seawolves to their fourth team title in the past five years.
Chico State, meanwhile, cruised to a 48-point victory in the men's race - its largest victory of margin since 2007 - in winning its 10th title in the past 12 years. The Wildcats posted a team score of 33 points, well-ahead of second-place Alaska Anchorage's 81 - as Isaac Chavez led a 1-2-3 CSUC sweep in a 10,000-meter time of 30:55.9.
In the women's race, Chico State, Simon Fraser, Seattle Pacific and Western Washington finished second, third, fourth and fifth to join UAA as team qualifiers for the NCAA national meet Nov. 23 at Plantes Ferry.
Connie Morgan of Central Washington, Natalie Evans of Northwest Nazarene and Annie Wade of Western Oregon qualified for the national meet as individuals by placing sixth (22:18.4), eighth (22:26.5) and ninth (22:32.9), respectively.
Tanui's victory was her second in a row as she also won the individual title last year in Hawaii in a time of 21:18. GNAC athletes have now won the individual title in eight consecutive years.
Tanui finished just three seconds ahead of teammate Joyce Kipchumba (21:48.4), a trasfer from American International University.
Their 1-2 finish helped the Seawolves finish three points ahead of defending champion Chico State 76-79. UAA's winning score is the highest since UC Davis won the women's team title in 2002 with 86 points.
"We're happy with the win," UAA coach Michael Friess said. "Our goal was to run solid and get to the national meet. Having Susan and Joyce go 1-2 really helped accomplish that.
"Now we'll just try to focus on getting better in the next couple of week and that is something we are capable of doing."
Chavez posted an impressive 36.3 second victory in the men's race which was run in near perfect conditions (mid 40 degree temperatures and no wind) as teammate Johnny Sanchez claimed second in a time of 31:32.2. Chico's Dayne Gradone finished third in a time of 31:34.6.
Chavez is the first male athlete to finish in the Top 5 in the regional meet in four consecutive years. He also placed fourth in 2010 and 2012 and was the runner-up in 2012.
"Obviously it was great to watch the run evolve," Chico State coach Gary Towne said. "Isaac (Chavez) looked like he was running a training run and Daye (Gradone) and Johnny (Sanchez) were really under control. We've never had a 1-2-3 finish in the regionals before."
The first non-Chico finisher was Chip Jackson of Western Washington who placed fourh in a time of 31:42.5.
Victor Samoei, who was the first freshman to complete the 10K race (31:49.0), led Alaska Anchorage to its runnerup finish.
The Seawolves will join Chico State, third-place Cal Poly Pomona, fourth-place Western Washington and fifth place Cal Baptist as national team qualifiers.
Earning individual slots were Bruk Assefa of San Francisco State (10th, 32:18.0), Tareq Alwafai of UC-San Diego (4th, 32:26.2) and Nicolas Rifflard of Academy of Art (15th, 32:26.7).
NCAA WEST REGIONAL (Nov. 9 at Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex)
Women - Alaska Anchorage 76, Chico State 79, Simon Fraser 94, Seattle Pacific 137, Western Washington 157, Cal State Stanislaus 247, Humboldt State 259, Western Oregon 261, Cal Baptist 265, Central Washington 275, UC San Diego 282, Cal Poly Pomona 305, Hawaii Pacific 328, Cal State L.A. 355, San Francisco State 375, Cal State East Bay 392, Cal State San Bernardino 413, Northwest Nazarene 434, MSU Billings 450, Alaska Fairbanks 553, BYU-Hawaii 567, Sonoma State 692, Saint Martin's 707.
Top 10 Individual (6,000 Meters) - 1. Susan Tanui, UAA, 21:45.4; 2. Joyce Kipchumba, UAA, 21:48.4; 3. Katelyn Steen, WWU, 21:52.9; 4. Lindsey Butterworth, SFU, 22:02.7; 5. Ayla Granados, Chico State, 22:07.3; 6. Connie Morgan, CWU, 22:18.4; 7. Sara Mikesell, Chico State, 22:20.2; 8. Natalie Evans, NNU, 22:26.5; 9. Annie Wade, WOU, 22:32.9; 10. McKayla Fricker, SPU, 22:36.5.
Other GNAC All-Region (Top 25) - 12. Taylor Guenther, WWU, 22:37.6; 14. Anna Patti, SPU, 22:38.2; 16. Rebecca Bassett, SFU, 22:40.4; 18. Ivy O'Guinn, UAA, 22:44.7; 19. Susan Bick, UAA, 22:46.4; 20. Kansas Mackenzie, SFU, 22:49.1; 21. Dani Eggleston, CWU, 22:49.4; 25. Kirsten Allen, SFU, 22:51.9.
Men - Chico State 33, Alaska Anchorage 81, Cal Poly Pomona 90, Western Washington 102, Cal Baptist 150, UC San Diego 168, Humboldt State 206, San Francisco State 214, MSU Billings 250, Simon Fraser 261, Hawaii Pacific 272, Western Oregon 290, Central Washington 325, BYU-Hawaii 376, Alaska Fairbanks 391, Seattle Pacific 408, Cal State Stanislaus 452, Saint Martin's 491.
Top 10 Individuals (10,000 Meters) - 1. Isaac Chavez, Chico State, 30:55.9; 2. Johnny Sanchez, Chico State, 31:32.2; 3. Dayne Gradone, Chico State, 31:34.6; 4. Chip Jackson, WWU, 31:42.5; 5. Victor Samoei, UAA, 31:49.0; 6. Alfonso Cisneros, Chico State, 31:52.9; 7. Bryton Reim, Cal Baptist, 31:55.5; 8. John Carrell, Cal Poly Pomona, 32:04.3; 9. Dylan Anthony, UAA< 32:14.4; 10. Bruk Assefa, San Francisco State, 32:18.0.
Other GNAC All-Region (Top 25) - 12. Isaac Kangogo, UAA, 32:20.2; 19. Oliver Jorgensen, SFU, 32:31.4; 20. Isaac Griffith, WWU, 32:32.9; 21. Tabor Reedy, WWU, 32:35.2; 23. Kevin Rooke, UAA, 32:36.6; 24. Nathan Richards, WWU, 32:37.7.