2008 Pac-10 Men's & Womens Cross Country Championships Preview

Oct. 27, 2008

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MEN'S RACE (40th annual). . . A young ARIZONA squad, which lists only one senior on the roster, will be paced by sophomore Victor Zazueta... ARIZONA STATE sophomores Patrick Malloy and Ben Engelhardt lead a Sun Devil squad that is loaded with freshmen and sophomores... Seniors Yosef Ghebray and Mark Matusak will look to improve on No. 24 CALIFORNIA's impressive finish last season. The Golden Bears posted their best ever Pac-10 Championships outing with 70 points and a third-place finish... The top-ranked OREGON Ducks will be led by a pair of seniors in defending Pac-10 champion Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott and Galen Rupp. Rupp, an eight-time All-American, was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team and competed in the 2008 Bejing Olympics... No. 2 STANFORD will compete with senior Garrett Heath and freshman Chris Derrick. The Cardinal are coming off an impressive first place showing in the White race at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational... Seniors Laef Barnes and Drew Shackleton will keep No. 13 UCLA in the hunt. The Bruins finished fifth in the NCAA Pre-Invitational White race... No. 24 WASHINGTON will look to junior Jake Schmitt and senior Jeremy Mineau to lead the Huskies. Each have led the Huskies in separate races this season... WASHINGTON STATE has been led by senior Drew Polley. He's been the top-finishing Cougar in each of the two meets he's competed.

WOMEN'S RACE (23rd annual). . . A competitive race featuring three teams ranked among the nation's Top 10... Junior Irine Lagat and freshman Hannah Moen will lead the ARIZONA women. Lagat placed 38th at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational leading the Wildcats to a respectable 15th place in the Blue race... Senior Jenna Kingma and junior Ali Kielty have turned in strong performances this season for No. 15 ARIZONA STATE. The Sun Devils finished sixth at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational White race, with Kielty crossing the finish line first for Arizona State, 10th overall... CALIFORNIA junior Alison Greggor has been the top finisher for the Golden Bears in two of the three meets she's competed in this season... No. 2 ranked OREGON hopes to use its home course advantage and strong performances from sophomore Alexandra Kosinski and junior Nicole Blood to grab their first Pac-10 title since 1995. Those two finished third and fourth respectively at last year's Pac-10 Championships... OREGON STATE has been impressive this season and will be guided by senior Sylvia Veal. Veal has been the top Beaver finisher in two of three races... First-year coach Jason Dunn will attempt to guide No. 18 STANFORD to its 13th consecutive Pac-10 title. The Cardinal have won the last three consecutive NCAA Championships, and four of the last five. Sophomore Alexandra Gits and junior Kate Niehaus will contend for top honors... UCLA will be led by freshman Katja Goldring. She has been the Bruins top finisher in every meet this season... USC will be led by sophomores Zsofia Erdelyi and Sarah Cocco. The duo finished 1-2 at the Peppedine Invitational respectively and one of the two has won four of the five regular season meets in which they have competed. ... The top-ranked WASHINGTON Huskies are coming off an impressive showing at the NCAA Pre-Invitational where they captured the title in the Blue Race. Freshmen Kendra Schaaf and Christine Babcock, and sophomore Marie Lawrence finished third, fourth and fifth respectively for the Huskies... WASHINGTON STATE will be led by juniors Sara Trané and Lisa Egami. Trané was the top finishing Cougar at the NCAA Pre-Invitational, finishing 47th in the Blue Race.

THE COURSE . . . The men's course will cover 8,000 meters at Springfield Country Club, Springfield, Ore. 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 grass, with short sections run on dirt service road.

2008 PAC-10 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS . . . Following the championships, final results for the men's and women's races will be available on the Oregon web site (www.goducks.com) and the Pac-10 web site (www.pac-10.org).

CAN'T MAKE IT IN PERSON? . . . Comcast Sports Net Northwest will air the championships at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. The telecast will start with a delayed airing of the women's race, then proceed into a live showing of the men's race. In addition, video streaming of the Pac-10 Championships will be available on the Pac-10 website (www.pac-10.org).

PAC-10 PODCAST. . . Listen to what Arizona State's Ali Kielty and California's Yosef Ghebray have to say about their preparations for the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships - Click Here

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? . . . The NCAA West Regional Championships will be in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 15 (hosted by Stanford University), while the NCAA Championships will be Monday, Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind. (hosted by Indiana State).

NEXT YEAR . . . USC will host the 2008 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships.

LAST YEAR (MEN) . . . OREGON, which successfully defended its Pac-10 Championship with a 14th Pac-10 title, won its fifth NCAA title and first since 1977. Oregon juniors Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (22:54) and Galen Rupp (22:58) finished 1-2 in leading the Ducks to 39 points to edge STANFORD (55 points) at the Pac-10 Championships. Rupp (29:23) paced the Ducks with a second-place finish, while Kiptoo-Biwott (29:55) finished ninth at the NCAA Championships as Oregon collected 89 points to finish ahead of Iona (113 points). Kiptoo-Biwott was named the 2007 Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Freshman teammate A.J. Acosta, the Pac-10's highest placing freshman in the league championships with a 12th-place finish (23:24), was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Eight Pac-10 student-athletes earned All-America honors - Oregon's Rupp, Kiptoo-Biwott, sophomore Kenny Klotz, sophomore Diego Mercado and freshman Daniel Mercado; Stanford seniors Neftalem Araia and Russell Brown; UCLA senior Austin Ramos. Oregon's Vin Lananna was tabbed the Pac-10 Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year, and the seventh time he has earned the honor. In addition, Lananna was honored by the USTFCCCA and presented with the Bill Dellinger Men's Division I Cross Country Coach of the Year award.

LAST YEAR (WOMEN) . . . STANFORD made it a three-peat at the NCAA Championships, capturing its fifth NCAA title overall with a 27-point margin of victory over national runner-up OREGON. The Cardinal edged the Ducks at the Pac-10 Championships as well, bringing home their 12th consecutive Pac-10 title, and 14th overall. Stanford senior Arianna Lambie defended her Pac-10 individual crown with a clocking of 19:40, then paced the Cardinal at the NCAA Championships with a ninth-place finish (20:18). For her efforts, she was named the 2007 Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Oregon freshman Alexandra Kosinski was the league's top finishing freshman at the Pac-10 Championships where she placed third (19:54) and was named the Pac-10 Women's Newcomer of the Year. She was also the top placing freshman at the NCAA Championships, finishing 13th (20:33). Nine Pac-10 student-athletes earned All-America honors - ARIZONA STATE sophomore Ali Kielty and junior Jenna Kingma; Oregon sophomore Nicole Blood, the Pac-10's highest finisher at the NCAA meet (8th, 20:17), and Kosinski; Stanford senior Lauren Centrowitz, junior Katie Harrington, and Lambie; WASHINGTON junior Anita Campbell and sophomore Katie Follett. Stanford's Peter Tegen was named the Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year, and was honored by the USTFCCCA and presented with the Peter Tegen Women's Division I Cross Country Coach of the Year award.

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