Pac-12 cross country teams look to earn NCAA bids at Regional meets
SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 men’s and women’s cross country teams are headed to the NCAA Regional meets this Friday, Nov. 14. League teams will go to Stanford, Calif., for the NCAA West Regional or the Mountain Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., to try to earn berths to the NCAA Championships being held on Saturday, Nov. 22.
On the men’s side, four-time Pac-12 Champion COLORADO will represent the Pac-12 at the NCAA Mountain Regional race which is being hosted by the University of New Mexico. Ranked No. 1 all season long, the Buffs have earned a spot in the NCAA Championships every year since 1992, but have not won the regional race since 2008, coming in second at last year’s Mountain Regional. The top two teams at each regional earn automatic bids to the national meet.
The men’s West Regional meet features eight Pac-12 teams, led by No. 2-ranked OREGON. The field of 32 teams features three other ranked squads from the Pac-12, including host and No. 9 STANFORD, No. 11 WASHINGTON, and No. 17 UCLA. Also participating in the West Regional are ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, and WASHINGTON STATE. A Pac-12 team has won the West Region every year since the start of the event in 1997. Oregon or Stanford have claimed the title every year since 2007, with the Cardinal having won the last three and 12 in all. The 2014 Pac-12 Men’s Cross Country Champion, Edward Cheserek of Oregon, will look to repeat his victory in last year’s West Regional, as the league had eight men finish in the top 15 in the 2013 regional.
The women’s West Regional race will feature six ranked teams, five of which are from the Pac-12. Led by No. 3 OREGON, the league will also see No. 10 STANFORD, No. 15 WASHINGTON, No. 24 ARIZONA STATE and No. 27 UCLA compete at the West Regional. Also participating in the meet will be ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, USC, and WASHINGTON STATE. A Pac-12 team has captured the West Region title every year since the start of the event in 1997. The Wildcats claimed last year’s crown, while the Huskies won the event four-straight years from 2008-2011, before UO won the crown in 2012. ASU’s Shelby Houlihan, the 2014 Pac-12 Women’s Cross Country champion, finished second overall in last year’s West Regional, one of 12 Pac-12 runners to finish in the top 15.
The UTAH and COLORADO women will be among the field at the Mountain Regional title. The Buffs, who are ranked 12th in the country, are the reigning 2013 Mountain Regional champions and finished third at the Pac-12 Championships with five runners scoring, including two in the top 10. The Utes finished ninth at the league championships, as five runners finished in the top-57.
The West Regional begins with the women’s 6K race at 11 a.m. PT and the men’s 10K race at 12 p.m. PT at the Stanford Golf Course. The Mountain Regional starts with the women’s race at 12 p.m. MT and concludes with the men’s race at 1 p.m. MT. A full list of team and individual qualifiers for the NCAA Championship meet will be released on Saturday.
For more information, visit the USTFCCCA’s NCAA Regional Meet Central here: