Sept. 3, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
The Western Washington University men are third and the women fifth in their respective United States Track & field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Pre-season Polls released this week.
The Viking men were second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Coaches' Poll behind Alaska Anchorage, which has won the last four conference titles; and the WWU women were third, one point behind Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser, which tied for first. Fourth was UAA, which is working on a five-year winning streak as league champions.
Six members return from the WWU women's squad, which placed 18th nationally in 2013, as do five of the men's team, which finished 20th.
The Viking men have made seven straight national appearances and the WWU women have gone to nationals in five of the last six seasons.
Katelyn Steen (Sr., Sammamish/Eastlake), who earned All-America honors in 2013 by placing 34th at nationals, leads the WWU women. She is a three-time West Region all-star and twice a GNAC all-star.
In his 28th year as head coach of the WWU harriers is Pee Wee Halsell.
WWU will host two home meets this season, beginning with its 41st annual Classic on Oct. 11 at Lake Padden Park in Bellingham and followed by the Viking Invitational on Oct. 25 at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale.