Pac-10 Cross Country Teams Take Aim At National Titles
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Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in both the men's and women's 2010 NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. Among the teams competing for a national title are CALIFORNIA, OREGON and STANFORD on the men's side, and on the women's side ARIZONA, the Ducks, Cardinal and WASHINGTON will be vying for top honors.
Individually, Arizona's Stephen Sambu and Arizona State's Ben Engelhardt earned at-large bids. Cal's Deborah Maier was the only individual women's competitor from the Pac-10 to earn an entry.
The top two, seven-person teams from each of the NCAA regional meets, for a total of 18 teams, automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large.
Thirty-eight individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process. All individual qualifiers finished in the top 25 in their region.
On the men's side, Oregon is coming off a win at the NCAA West Regional held on November 13 in Springfield, Ore., edging out the 2010 Pac-10 Champion Cardinal, 63-65. Both teams automatically qualified for the national championship meet. The Golden Bears were picked as an at-large after placing third with 78 points.
A newcomer to the Pac-10, JR Sambu was the top Pac-10 men's individual finisher at the regional meet and was narrowly edge out by West-Region individual winner, Trevor Dunbar of Portland. Dunbar's time of 29:57.89 was just a hair better than Sambu's second-place time of 29:57.95.
The Cardinal men enter the NCAA Championships atop the USTFCCCA national coaches poll, after spending just one week at No. 2. Oregon is third in the poll, earning a first-place vote, while Cal moved up two spots to No. 22.
The women's regional race was nearly as close as the men's with the Huskies taking top honors with a score of 73, while the Ducks placed second with 77 points. Stanford was third with 86 points. The Wildcats are having a breakout season, placing fourth at the West Regional to earn an at-large bid.
Oregon's Jordan Hasay, only a sophomore, won her second-straight big meet, taking first place at the regional after taking the individual title at the Pac-10 Championships by nearly a five-second margin. Maier earned the at-large individual berth after finishing behind Hasay at the West Region meet.
In the national polls, UW made a seven-spot leap to No. 4 after winning the regional competition, the Ducks are sixth and the Cardinal seventh. Among the Pac-10 teams, the NCAA Championships race is anyone's race. At the Conference Championships, the four teams finished within six points of each other, with Stanford taking first with 62 points, followed by the Wildcats with 65 points, and UO and UW tied for fourth with 68 points.
Indiana State University will host the Championships, November 22, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The women's race begins at approximately 12:08 p.m. ET, followed by the men's race at approximately 12:48 p.m.
A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET, Monday, November 22, on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, December 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS HD.