Cross Country Headed to West Region Championships

Nov. 3, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The Western Washington University cross country teams travel south to Oregon on Saturday for the NCAA II West Region Championships, competing against Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponents as well as schools from the California Collegiate Athletic Association and PacWest Conference at Ash Creek Preserve in Monmouth, Ore.

The women's 6,000-meter race begins at 10 am followed by the men's 10,000 meter race at 11:15 am. Live results will be available while host Western Oregon University will also be providing a multi-camera video stream of the races.

Teams will battle for berths to the national championships, with the top three finishing teams from each regional meet this weekend automatically qualifying for the national meet. An additional eight at-large berths spread amongst all the regionals taking place around the country are given by a committee using a formula to fill the 32-team field. The West Region, considered one of the strongest regions, could end up sending five or more teams per gender to the national meet, though no more than three are guaranteed heading into the weekend.

The formula for advancing replaces the previous selection process which had a set number of berths per region for top-placing teams plus additional berths determined by the number of teams per region that placed among the top eight at the previous year's national championships.

Competitors can also advance to the national meet as individuals, with the top two individuals from non-advancing teams automatically qualifying for the national championships. Individuals who finish among the top five at regional meets automatically qualify. In addition, similar to the team at-large berths, eight at-large individual berths spread amongst all the regionals are given by a committee using a formula.

The WWU men placed 7th while the women were 8th at the regional meet last season, finishing just outside the needed placing to be among the top five men's team and top six women's teams, respectively, in order to advance to the national championships. Senior Andrew Wise (Denver, CO/East) and senior Lillianna Stelling (Langley, WA/South Whidbey) were each All-Region honorees during 2016, with Wise placing 20th at the regional meet and Stelling finishing 21st.  

Among the field for the 2017 West Region Championships are 12 teams ranked among the top 25 of the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national polls. Chico State is the defending champion in both the women's and men's races. Two of the top-10 placers from the men's race at the West Region Championships last year return while four top-10 placers from the women's race return.

The Vikings last competed at the GNAC Championships on Oct. 21 with the women placing 3rd and the men taking 4th. A total of 25 points separated the top four men's teams with WWU (76 points) just six points back of Simon Fraser (70 points) in 3rd. The women (87 points) were 22 points back of Simon Fraser in 2nd (65 points) while Alaska Anchorage totaled 28 points in claiming the title.

Redshirt sophomore Tracy Melville (Lamont, WA/Lin-Ritzville/Sprague) placed 13th (22:23.83) at the GNAC Championships to lead WWU on the 6,000-meter course, followed by seniors Alexandra Laiblin (Oak Harbor, WA) in 16th (22:31.21), Stelling in 17th (22:33.40) and Maddy Hutchison (Snoqualmie, WA/Mount Si) in 18th (22:38.66). Freshman Jane Barr (Seattle, WA/Roosevelt) was 23rd (22:58.47) to complete the scoring.

The WWU men were led at the conference championships by junior Jadon Olson (Mill Creek, WA/Jackson) in 6th (25:29.10) and Wise in 10th (25:41.50) to net All-GNAC honors on the 8,000-meter course. Senior Sean Eustis (Washougal, WA) followed in 19th (26:08.69) while redshirt freshman Eric Hamel (Enumclaw, WA) was 20th (26:09.59) and junior Dylan Hayes (Seattle, WA/Garfield) was 21st (26:11.20) to round out the scoring for the Vikings.

The 2017 National Championships will be held at Angel Mounds on Nov. 18 in Evansville, Ind.

 

NCAA West Regional WWU Recent History

YEAR

MEN

WOMEN

2016

7th  

8th

2015

6th

2nd

2014

4th

6th

2013

4th

5th

2012

3rd

7th

2011

3rd

4th

2010

3rd`

3rd

2009

2nd

4th

2008

3rd

5th

2007

2nd

10th

 

NCAA II West Region Cross Country Championships Meet Links:

 

2017 WWU Cross Country Schedule

DATE

MEET

SITE

TIME

Sept. 9 (Sat.)

Central Washington Invitational

Host: Central Washington University

Yakima, WA (Apple Ridge Run)

Cancelled

Sept. 9 (Sat.)

Saint Martin's University Cross Country Meet

Host: Saint Martin's University

Lacey, WA (SMU Campus)

10 am

Sept. 16 (Sat.)

Sundodger Invitational

Host: University of Washington

Seattle, WA (Lincoln Park)

9 am

Sept. 23 (Sat.)

Roy Griak Invitational

Host: University of Minnesota

Falcon Heights, MN (Les Bolstad Golf Course)

9:50 am CT

Sept. 23 (Sat.)

Saint Martin's University Invitational

Host: Saint Martin's University

Lacey, WA (SMU Campus)

9:30 am

Oct.  7 (Sat.)

44th Annual WWU Classic

Host: Western Washington University

BELLINGHAM (E. Lake Padden Park)

10 am

Oct.  21 (Sat.)

GNAC Championships

Host. Western Washington University

BELLINGHAM (E. Lake Padden Park)

10 am

Nov.  4 (Sat.)

NCAA Division II West Regional

Host: Western Oregon University

Monmouth, OR (Ash Creek Preserve)

10 am

Nov.  18 (Sat.)

NCAA Division II National Championships

Host: Evansville Sports Corporation

Evansville, IN (Angel Mounds)

TBA

 

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