2004 Pac-10 Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships Preview
Oct. 25, 2004
MEN'S RACE (36th annual). . . STANFORD will look to make it five straight Pac-10 titles, which would give the Cardinal eight titles in the last nine years. The defending Pac-10 and NCAA champions are currently ranked No. 2 in the latest MONDO poll... ARIZONA sophomore Robert Cheseret, who finished third at least year's Pac-10 Championships, and freshman Mohamed Trafeh look to lead the Wildcats. Cheseret was a triple winner (1500m, 5000m, 10,000m) at the 2004 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships... ARIZONA STATE (No. 9 in the MONDO poll) will be led by junior Aaron Aguayo and junior Casey Burchill. Aguayo, the 2004 Pac-10 steeplechase champion, has been the top Sun Devil finisher in each race he's run this season... CALIFORNIA will be paced by junior Giliat Ghebray and senior Girmay Guangul. Ghebray has been the top finisher for the Golden Bears in two races this year... Seniors Ryan Andrus and Eric Logsdon will provide leadership to a young OREGON (No. 28 in the MONDO poll) squad. Andrus was the Ducks' top finisher at the Pre-NCAA Invitational (12th overall)... STANFORD senior Ryan Hall is fresh off a victory at the Pre-NCAA meet. While he did not run at last year's Pac-10 Championships, he did turn in a second place finish at last year's NCAA Championships. The Cardinal will also look to freshman Neftalem Araia to challenge for individual honors... UCLA will rely on seniors Jon Rankin and Erik Emilsson. Rankin has been the Bruins top finisher in each race this season... WASHINGTON juniors Mark Mandi and Andy Fader will look to keep the Huskies in contention... WASHINGTON STATE seniors Danny Wolf and Mike Heidt take their final shot at a Pac-10 title.
WOMEN'S RACE (19th annual). . . Similar to the men's side, the STANFORD women will be shooting for their ninth straight Pac-10 title, which would give the Cardinal 11 titles in the last 12 years. The defending Pac-10 and NCAA champions are currently ranked No. 1 in the latest FinishLynx poll... ARIZONA will be led by senior Beth Hoge, a top finisher for the Wildcats all season, and junior Amber Steen.... ARIZONA STATE (No. 8 in the Finishlynx poll) will counter with junior Amy Hastings and senior Desiree Davila. Hastings, the Pac-10 steeplechase champion, is a returning All-American having finished 25th at last year's NCAA meet... CALIFORNIA sophomore Samantha Jones has been the Golden Bears' top finisher in each race she's competed this season. Jones and junior Maja Ruznic hope to take advantage of the home course... OREGON senior Laura Harmon and junior Haripurkh Khalsa will pace a Duck squad that features six newcomers... OREGON STATE will be competing in the Pac-10 Championships for the first time since 1988. The Beavers will be led by sophomores Ashley Younce and Neoma Palmer... STANFORD once again will be led by seniors Sara Bei, the two-time defending champion, and Alicia Craig. The duo finished one-two at last year's Pac-10 Championships. At the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships last spring, Bei captured individual honors in the 5,000 meters, while Craig took home the title at 10,000 meters... UCLA (No. 26 in the FinishLynx poll) will turn to sophomores Alison Costello and Ashley Caldwell... USC will rely on sophomore Kristen Berglas, the Women of Troy's top finisher in each race this season, and senior Iryna Vashchuk (2004 Pac-10 1500m champion)... Strong races are expected from WASHINGTON senior Lindsey Egerdahl and sophomore Dallon Williams... WASHINGTON STATE senior Ana Cabrera and freshman Haley Paul will pace the Cougars.
THE COURSE . . . The men's course will cover 8,000 meters at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif. The women, meanwhile, will run a course of 6,000 meters. The terrain for both the men's course and women's course will be run over a mixture of grass, packed dirt trail with some sand and moderate hills.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? . . . The NCAA West Regional Championships will be in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 13, while the NCAA Championships will be Monday, Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.
NEXT YEAR . . . Arizona will host the 2005 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships.
2004 PAC-10 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS . . . Following the championships, final results for the men's and women's races will be available on the California web site (www.calbears.com) and the Pac-10 web site (www.pac-10.org).
LAST YEAR . . .
MEN: STANFORD won its seventh Pac-10 title in eight years with a 68-point margin of victory. The Cardinal also took first place at the NCAA West Regionals and capped off the 2003 season with their fourth NCAA title. At the NCAA Championships, Stanford collected a team score of 24 points to easily outdistance the field by 150 points. It was the largest margin of victory in Championships history. The team score was the second-best showing in Championships history, trailing only the 17 points scored by UTEP in 1981... Stanford's Ryan Hall was tabbed Pac-10 Athlete of the Year. Hall finished second at both the NCAA West Regionals and the NCAA Championships. ARIZONA's Robert Cheseret garnered Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year honors, while Stanford's Andrew Gerard was named men's Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
WOMEN: The STANFORD Cardinal made it a clean sweep by winning both the men's and women's Pac-10 and NCAA Cross Country titles. It marks the third time that one school has captured both the men's and women's NCAA titles in the same year (Wisconsin 1985, Stanford 1996)... Sara Bei and Alicia Craig finished one-two in leading the Cardinal to their eighth consecutive Pac-10 title and 10th in the last 11 years. Bei and Craig were Stanford's top two runners at the NCAA meet, finishing third and sixth respectively... Bei was tabbed the Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year, teammate Arianne Lambie was named the Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, while Stanford's Dena Evans was honored by her peers and received Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors.