Pac-12 adds national-best fifth cross country teams to national ranks

SAN FRANCISCO – The WASHINGTON STATE men’s and UTAH women’s cross country teams entered the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings on Tuesday, giving the Pac-12 a national-best five teams in both Week 2 polls.

The WSU men and Utah women joined their men’s and women’s counterparts from COLORADO, OREGON, STANFORD and WASHINGTON to put five Pac-12 teams in the top 30 of each of the polls for the first time this season.

WSU topped nationally-ranked rival Washington for the title of the Sundodger Invitational to enter the men’s poll at No. 27, while Utah beat then-No. 25 Weber State to win the Montana State Bobcat Invitational and climb to No. 26 in the women’s ranks.

On the men’s side, Oregon edged then-No. 22 Portland to claim the crown of its own Bill Dellinger Invitational, yet dropped one spot to No. 3 in the nation behind top-ranked Syracuse and No. 2 Northern Arizona. No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Colorado maintained their positions, Washington fell to No. 21 after its runner-up finish behind WSU at the Sundodger, and UCLA continued to receive votes. The ARIZONA STATE men, behind CJ Albertson’s second individual victory of the fall, won the Dave Murray Invitational.

No. 3 Colorado, No. 4 Oregon, No. 7 Stanford and No. 12 Washington continue to lead the Pac-12 in the women’s rankings. Along with Utah’s triumph, Oregon won its own Bill Dellinger Invitational for the second consecutive year, Washington captured its 10th straight Sundodger title, and host ARIZONA took the title of the Dave Murray Invitational. CALIFORNIA is also receiving votes.

In addition to seven team victories, several individuals won races during the first countable week of NCAA competition:
MEN
- Arizona State's CJ Albertson won the Dave Murray Invitational, his second individual race victory this fall
- Oregon’s Sam Prakel won the Bill Dellinger Invitational
- Washington’s Colby Gilbert won the Sundodger Invitational, his second race victory this fall
WOMEN
- Arizona’s Claire Green won the Dave Murray Invitational
- Oregon State’s Emily Weber won the Bill Dellinger Invitational
- Washington’s Charlotte Prouse won the Sundodger Invitational

This week’s Pac-12 racing is highlighted by Stanford at Virginia’s Panorama Farms Invitational and Arizona and UCLA in the Roy Griak Invitational. Six weeks remain until the 2016 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships hosted by Arizona at Randolph North Golf Course in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, Oct. 28. The NCAA Mountain and West Regionals will be held Friday, Nov. 11 in Logan, Utah and Sacramento, Calif., respectively, with teams advancing to the 2016 NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The Pac-12 will be looking to add to its distinction as the winningest conference in NCAA Cross Country history this fall as current league members boast the most combined team national championships (27 – 16 men/11 women) and individual titles (28 – 25 men/3 women) of any league in the country.

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