Cougars Prepare for NCAA Cross Country West Regional Meet

Nov. 6, 2006

THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams compete with the best of the West at the NCAA West Regionals Saturday...races includes teams from the Western Athletic, Pacific-10, Big Sky, West Coast and Big West Conferences...women will run the 6,000m championship race at 11 a.m. followed by the men's 10,000m race at 12:15 p.m...the course terrain is flat and comprised mostly of is hosted by the University of Portland and additional information can be found at

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women harriers are led by juniors Haley Paul and Collier Lawrence who were the individual leaders for WSU at the Pac-10 Championships...junior Kelly Ramirez and senior Isley Gonzalez, also front runners for WSU, will compete this weekend...freshmen Chelsea VanDeBrake and Lisa Egami along with redshirt freshman Sara Trané round out the team...WSU women face top-ranked Pac-10 opponents Stanford (No. 1), Arizona State (No.8) and Washington (No. 29) along with Big West power UC Santa Barbara (No. 7).

WSU MEN: The Washington State men are led by sophomore Woody Favinger and juniors Alex Grant and Andrew Jones...Favinger, Grant and Jones have consistently combined as the Cougars top finishers this year with Favinger running to an impressive 18th place finish at the Pac-10 Championships...senior Clay Hemlock, junior Chris Williams, sophomore Drew Polley and freshman Dan Geib make up the rest of the WSU contingent...Cougars compete against the ranked Pac-10 programs of Oregon (No.6), Stanford (No. 7) and Arizona (No. 24) along with ranked opponents Portland (No. 9) and UC Santa Barbara (No. 22).

OUTLOOK: 'Both the men and women fell a little short of their goal at the Pac-10 Championships so this weekend will be the last shot to do a little better,' Head Coach Jason Drake said. 'If both the men and women can match or beat their score or place at the Pac-10's, it would be a phenomenal day. From an individual standpoint, Haley Paul wants to make sure she runs a smart race and puts herself in position to get to the NCAA nationals. With the way Woody Favinger and Alex Grant ran at the Pac-10's, they also have a legitimate shot of qualifying.'

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Cougar women finished sixth at Palo Alto, Oct. 28; Haley Paul (11th), Collier Lawrence (31th), Kelly Ramirez (37th), Isley Gonzalez (38th) and Lisa Egami (39th) scored for WSU...the men finished seventh; Woody Favinger (18th), Alex Grant (19th), Andrew Jones (34th), Chris Williams (32nd) and Drew Polley (49th) all scored on the men's side.

NCAA WEST REGION RANKINGS: In the Oct. 30, 2006 USTFCCCA Division I West Region polls, the women's team ranks seventh and the men's team ranks 10th.

LAST YEAR AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS: The WSU women placed eighth at last year's competition at Palo Alto, Calif...Haley Paul was the first Cougar to cross the finish line with a ninth place finish...Meghan Leonard ran to a 35th place finish with Kayle Peterson, Isley Gonzalez and Kelly Ramirez finishing 84th, 85th and 86th...Cougar men raced to an 11th place finish led by Drew Polley coming in at 48th...Ryan Freimuth finished 55th with Woody Favinger and Chris Concha placing 61st and 63rd...Chris Williams also competed for the Cougars finishing 74th.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: The top two teams at each regional event will qualify for the NCAA Championships November 24, at Terre Haute, four individual runners from non-qualifying teams also advance to the championships....13 additional teams will be selected for at large bids to form the 31-team field that will compete in the NCAA Championships.

NEXT COMPETITION: The NCAA Championships will be held at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 20.

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