Strong Pac-12 contigent gears up for NCAA Championships
PAC-12 MEN’S TEAMS IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS ... COLORADO and OREGON both picked up automatic qualifiers after winning the Mountain and West regionals, respectively. The Buffs make their 23rd-straight appearance at the NCAA meet after picking up their first region title since 2008, placing all five scorers in the top 13 for a total of 45 points. The CU men were also the Pac-12 Cross Country team champion for the fourth-straight year. The Ducks picked up their ninth-overall regional title, as five runners finished in the top 20, with three scorers finishing within three seconds of each other for a total of 60 points.
STANFORD, UCLA and WASHINGTON all earned at-large bids to compete in the Championships. The Cardinal picked up its 21st-consecutive and 23rd-overall NCAA appearance after finishing third at the NCAA West Regional. The Bruins finished just behind Stanford at fourth, returning to the national championship for the second time in three years and 10th appearance overall. The Huskies pick up their first championship berth since 2009 and 13th all-time.
Individual runners that qualified were Chris Walden of CALIFORNIA and Ryan Herson of ARIZONA STATE. Walden picks up the individual berth after finishing fifth at the NCAA West Regional and 10th at the Pac-12 Championships. Herson, who placed eighth at the regional meet, came in at 20th in the Pac-12 Championships.
PAC-12 WOMEN’S TEAMS IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Oregon and Colorado were also automatic qualifiers on the women’s side. The Pac-12 Champion Ducks picked up their 14th NCAA West Region title, with all scoring runners finishing in the top 24 with 88 total points. The Buffs won their second-straight NCAA Mountain Region meet and 12th overall with 43 points as six of CU’s runners finished in the top 16.
Stanford, UCLA and Washington mirrored the men’s at-large selections for the league. The Card tied for second at the NCAA West Regional but lost the tiebreaker for the automatic qualifier to Boise State. Stanford earns its 22nd-consecutive team appearance and 27th overall. The Bruins are making their first appearance in the women’s championship since 2004. It will mark the first time since 1985 that both UCLA cross country programs will participate in NCAAs in the same season. The Huskies, who finished fourth in the West Region, pick up their eighth-consecutive selection and 16th in the past 18 years.
Individual runners that qualified on the women’s side were Shelby Houlihan of ARIZONA STATE and Bethan Knights of CALIFORNIA, who were the first- and third-place finishers at this year’s Pac-12 Cross Country Championships. Houlihan won the individual title at the NCAA West Regional meet, while Knights finished fourth.
POLL NOTES ... Five men’s teams enter the NCAA Championships ranked in the top 16, led by consensus No. 1 Colorado, which has held the top spot throughout the entire season. Oregon comes in at No. 3, while Stanford is ninth. UCLA jumped up five spots to No. 12 in the pre-NCAA rankings, and Washington slipped to No. 16.
On the women’s side, five Pac-12 teams are ranked, including three in the top 10. Oregon leads the charge at No. 3, and Colorado jumped into the top 10 to weigh in at eighth while Stanford stayed at No. 10. Washington is ranked 19th and UCLA is 29th.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS ... Following the meet, final results for the men’s and women’s races will be posted on the NCAA website at www.ncaa.com.
WHERE CAN I WATCH? ... A live webcast of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships will be broadcast beginning at noon ET/9 a.m. PT on NCAA.com on Saturday, Nov. 22. Links will be available on the home page and on the cross country page.
NCAA REGION RESULTS ... The Pac-12 picked up four regional team titles as Oregon swept the West Regional meet, while Colorado swept the Mountain Regional. At the West meet, Stanford graduate transfer Maxsim Korolev had a strong final sprint to take home the individual men’s crown while Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan outdistanced herself by five seconds to win the individual women’s title.
USTFCCCA REGION HONORS ... The Pac-12 swept the USTFCCCA West Region Athlete of the Year honors, as graduate transfer Maxsim Korolev of Stanford was named the Male Athlete of the Year and senior Shelby Houilhan of Arizona State was named the Female Athlete of the Year. It marks the fourth-straight year a Pac-12 runner has picked up the men’s honor. Colorado’s Mark Wetmore was named the Mountain Region Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year; he earns the women’s honor for the second year in a row.
ALL-REGION TEAMS ANNOUNCED ... The Pac-12 had 21 male runners named to the USTFCCCA all-region squad, while 23 women from league teams also earned spots on the team. For a full list of names, visit pac-12.com or ustfccca.org.
ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS AND SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED ... The Pac-12 Conference announced the all-academic teams for both men’s and women’s cross country, as well as scholar-athletes of the year. For the full teams and scholar-athlete info, visit page 4.
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