WSU Cross Country Readies for NCAA West Regionals

Nov. 12, 2008

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THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams take part in the NCAA West Regionals hosted by the Stanford University Saturday, Nov. 15...teams from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will be competing...the women's 6,000m race will take place at 11 a.m. and is followed by the men's 10,000m race at 12 p.m...additional information is available at

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women runners are led by juniors Sara Trané and Lisa Egami who both placed in the top-35 at the 2008 Pacific-10 Championships...juniors Chelsea VanDeBrake and Marisa Sandoval will both look to continue their strong performances...sophomore Amanda Andrews and freshmen Michelly Foley, Mietra Smollack and Emily Farrar complete the women's line-up...WSU women will compete against ranked Pac-10 opponents Washington (No. 1), Oregon (No. 2), Stanford (No. 11), and Arizona State (No. 16).

WSU MEN: Senior Drew Polley will lead the WSU men...Polley was the top finisher for WSU at the Pac-10 Championships placing 18th...juniors Sam Ahlbeck, Mark Moeller and Dominic Smargiassi will be looked to as major contributors... sophomore David Hickerson and freshmen Justin Englund and Jono Lafler round out the roster...the Cougars are set to race against ranked Pac-10 programs Oregon (No. 1), Stanford (No. 3), California (No. 20), Washington (No. 23) and UCLA (No. 26).

DRAKE'S TAKE ON NCAA WEST REGIONAL: 'Our goal at the meet is to try and advance to nationals on both the men's and women's sides,' WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. 'We want to go and run as well as we can because if a team messes up then we can sneak in there and beat some very good teams. But to do that, we hope that Drew can be in the top-25 giving him a shot at getting to nationals. I think Sam can be in the top-25 and with the way that Mark ran at Pac-10's, he can be around there as well. The women beat Oregon State last week and that was a pretty big deal. They are right on that bubble for the rankings and they have a legitimate shot of getting in. There are about six teams that can finish in fifth or sixth place, so they are going to have to run well. Sara and Lisa have a shot at being in the top-25 and maybe moving onto the nationals as well.'

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Cougar women finished fifth at Eugene, Oct. 31; Sara Trané (18th), Lisa Egami (29th), Michelly Foley (38th) Amanda Andrews (51st) and Chelsea VanDeBrake (52nd) scored for WSU...the men finished sixth; Drew Polley (18th), Mark Moeller (25th), Sam Ahlbeck (37th), Dominic Smargiassi (39th) and Justin Englund (50th) all scored on the men's side.

NCAA WEST REGION RANKINGS: In the Nov 3, 2008, USTFCCCA Division I West Region polls, the WSU women's team was ranked fifth and the men's team eighth...the women's team also received eight votes in the national rankings.

LAST YEAR AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS: WSU women finished sixth in last year's meet at Eugene, Oregon...Sara Trané placed 31st and Isley Gonzalez finished 34th to lead the Cougars...also competing was Meghan Leonard (36th), Collier Lawrence (59th), Lisa Egami (90th), Ashlee Wall (98th) and Chelsea VanDeBrake (140th)...on the men's side, Drew Polley finished 25th and Andrew Jones placed 27th to lead the Cougars...also running for WSU was Alex Grant (34th), Dan Geib (55th), Sam Ahlbeck (82nd), Dominic Smargiassi (84th) and Luke Lemenager (105th).

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 Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be held at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 24.
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