Cross Country Teams Ready For NCAA West Regionals

Nov. 8, 2000

NCAA District 9 Regionals
Woodward Park, Fresno, Calif.
Saturday, November 11, 2000
10 a.m. Women's 6,000 meter race
11 a.m. Men's 10,000 meter race

THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams travel to Fresno, Calif for the NCAA District 9 Regional Cross Country Meet Saturday. The women's 6,000 meter race will begin at 10 a.m., and the men will run an 10,000 meter course beginning at 11 a.m. at Woodward Park. The top two teams on the men's and women's side gain automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. Because the West Region is so strong, historically, five or six teams receive at-large bids to the NCAA's. The top four individuals whose teams do not qualify, also get automatic bids. Two at-large individual bids to the NCAA's are also available. Selection of the 31 team field for the NCAA Championships will take place Monday, November 13.

'Our women's team has a good chance of making it to NCAA's, as well as some of our men on an individual basis,' Cougar head coach James Li said.

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women are coming off a fifth place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, their best since 1990. The four teams that finished ahead of the Cougars, Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona and Washington, are all ranked in the top nine nationally. Senior Megan Maynard is the last WSU woman to compete in the NCAA Championships, when she received an at-large bid in 1998. She went on to place 22nd at the NCAA's that year, the best finish ever by a member of the women's cross country team. Last year at the West Regionals, the Cougar women placed ninth in a 28-team field. If the women's team does not qualify, junior Ryan Gilmore and seniors Alishia Booterbaugh and Maynard have a good shot at the NCAA's as individuals. At the Pac-10 Championships, Gilmore placed 11th, Booterbaugh 16th, and Maynard 17th. Joining these three in Fresno are junior Jenny Filipy, sophomore Greta Johnson and freshmen Anna Blue and Ana Cabrera.

WSU MEN: The last time Regionals were held on this course, the Cougar men's team finished third in 1998. The team went on to place 18th at the NCAA's that year. Hopes of an NCAA Championship berth are also still very much alive for sophomore Jon Welsh and junior Oscar Franco-Parra, who finished 21st and 22nd respectively at the Pac-10 Championships. Franco-Parra had consistently led the Cougars this year until Welsh placed just ahead of him at Pac-10's. Accompanying Franco-Parra and Welsh to Fresno are junior Scott Johnson, sophomore Kyle Barker and freshman Jim Neeway.

NEXT WEEK: Those who qualify will travel to Ames, Iowa for the NCAA Championships, November 20.

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