Oregon, Colorado claim Pac-12 cross country titles
By the Pac-12 Conference
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- On a windy day in Southern California, the OREGON women won the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at the Robinson Ranch Golf Course on Saturday morning. Following the Ducks' win, the COLORADO men captured its seconds-straight cross country crown. Individually, ARIZONA's Lawi Lalang won his second-straight league title, while STANFORD's Kathy Kroeger won the women's crown.
Tape-delayed coverage of the Pac-12 Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will air on the Pac-12 Networks beginning Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. PT. Re-airs are scheduled for Nov. 6, Nov. 7 and Nov. 8.
The women's race was close from start to finish. The top-five runners crossed the finish line within 10 seconds of each other with STANFORD's Kathy Kroeger taking top honors for the first time in her career, running in a time of 20:06. Kroeger had finished second in 2010 and 2011.
In the women's team race, the Ducks claim their first team title since 1995. All-American senior Jordan Hasay was the team's top finisher, coming in second place just four seconds behind the winner. Hasay was the 2010 league individual champion. Oregon scored 47 points on the strength of three top-five finishers.
ARIZONA scored 69 points to finish third. Elvin Kibet and Jennifer Bergman placed third and seventh, respectively, to lead the team. STANFORD was third, tallying 82 points. In addition to Kroeger, Aisling Cuffe placed 10th to help the Cardinal.
WASHINGTON scored 92 points to place fourth in the team standings, followed by COLORADO (124) in fifth and UCLA in sixth (172). UTAH scored an even 200 points for seventh place, improving one spot from last year when the Utes competed in their first Pac-12 Championship. CALIFORNIA was eighth with 209 points, edging ARIZONA STATE, who scored 210 points for ninth place. USC placed 10th with 295 points, OREGON STATE was 11th with 305 points, and WASHINGTON STATE rounded out the field with 308 points.
Other notable individual finishers were UTAH's Amanda Mergaert, who cross the finish line in sixth place, while ASU's Shelby Houlihan, last year's Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, was eighth among all placers. Cal sophomore Kelsey Santisteban came in ninth place.
In the men's individual race, ARIZONA's Lawi Lalang and teammate Stephen Sambu led the field the entire race. Both were neck-and-neck until the final straightaway, when Lalang was able to edge out Sambu in the final strides to cross the finish line first with a time of 22:49, just one second faster than his fellow countryman from Kenya.
COLORADO scored 49 points, 33 points more than second-place STANFORD, who tallied 82 points for second place. It was the largest margin of victory since the Cardinal defeated OREGON, 91-23, in 2003. The Buffs had runners finish seventh, eighth and ninth, and the top-five all finished in the top 15 overall. Blake Theroux led the Colorado pack, placing seventh.
STANFORD collected 82 points for third place, with Joe Rosa and Benjamin Johnson both crossing the finish line in the top 10 in sixth and 10th overall. OREGON's Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson battled for second and third place throughout the 8k race, helping the Ducks place third overall with 105 points, just four points ahead of fifth-place finisher ARIZONA STATE. UCLA scored 113 points for fifth place.
WASHINGTON's 119 points were good for sixth place, followed by seventh-place ARIZONA (166). WASHINGTON STATE placed eighth with 200 points, and CALIFORNIA's 239 points rounded out the field.
Also finishing in the top 10 of the field was UCLA sophomore Lane Werley, who's time of 23:33 was good for fifth place overall among the individual men's finishers.
Entering the meet, four of the top six women's teams ranked in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll were Pac-12 teams, including No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Arizona and No. 6 Washington. On the men's side, Colorado was ranked No. 2 in the country, Stanford was third, Oregon was eighth and UCLA was 15th.
All teams look to the NCAA Regional meet on Friday, Nov. 9. Washington hosts the West Regional, with the Mountain Regional taking place in Fort Collins, Colo. Teams and individuals that advance go on to compete for the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 17.
PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
Robinson Ranch Golf Course, Santa Clarita, Calif.
1. Oregon (47)
2. Arizona (69)
3. Stanford (82)
4. Washington (92)
5. Colorado (124)
6. UCLA (172)
7. Utah (200)
8. California (209)
9. Arizona State (210)
10. USC (295)
11. Oregon State (305)
12. Washington State (308)
INDIVIDUAL WOMEN'S RESULTS
1. Kathy Kroeger, STAN (20:06)
2. Jordan Hasay, ORE (20:10)
3. Elvin Kibet, ARIZ (20:11)
4. Alexi Pappas, ORE (20:12)
5. Allie Woodward, ORE (20:16)
6. Amanfa Mergaery, UTAH (20:22)
7. Jennifer Bergman, ARIZ (20:25)
8. Shelby Houlihan, ASU (20:26)
9. Kelsey Santisteban, CAL (20:30)
10. Aisling Cuffe, STAN (20:32)
1. Colorado (49)
2. Stanford (82)
3. Oregon (105)
4. Arizona State (109)
5. UCLA (113)
6. Washington (119)
7. Arizona (166)
8. Washington State (200)
9. California (234)
INDIVIDUAL MEN'S RESULTS
1. Lawi Lalang, ARIZ (22:49)
2. Stephen Sambu, ARIZ (22:50)
3. Trevor Dunbar, ORE (23:28)
4. Parker Stinson, ORE (23:28)
5. Lane Werley, UCLA (23:33)
6. Joe Rosa, STAN (23:35)
7. Blake Theroux, COLO (23:40)
8. Jake Hurysaz, COLO (23:41)
9. Hugh Dowdy, COLO (23:42)
10. Benjamin Johnson, STAN (23:43)