Cross Country Sends Two To NCAA Championships

Nov. 12, 2001

NCAA Cross Country Championships, Furman University Golf Course, Greenville, S.C.
Monday, November 19, 2001
11:30 a.m. EST Men's 10,000 meter race
12:15 p.m. EST Women's 6,000 meter race

PULLMAN--Two Washington State University runners have qualified to compete in the 2001 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Cougar junior Everlyne Lagat represents the WSU women after placing fifth at the NCAA West Regional, Saturday, November 10. Oscar Franco-Parra, a senior from Beaverton, Ore., will run for the Cougar men. Both runners qualified by placing as one of the top four individual finishers at the NCAA West Regional meet, not on team that qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Lagat has paced the Cougar women throughout the season as the team's top finisher in every meet. The junior transfer from Malone College in Ohio, and the younger sister of former WSU standout and Olympic Bronze Medallist Bernard Lagat, started the year off fast with a victory at the Idaho Invitational, September 7. She went on to place 34th at the Furman Pre-NCAA Invitational and eighth at the Roy Griak Invitational, both fields of 300 or more runners. Her fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, October 27, was the highest by a Cougar at the event since Jennifer Bravard placed fourth in 1992. At Malone College last year, Lagat claimed victory at the 2000 NAIA Cross Country Championships.

Franco-Parra started the year off well, placing second at the Idaho Invitational. He followed that performance up with a third-place effort at the Sundodger Invitational, where his team defeated intrastate rival Washington on its home course. In 300-plus runner fields at the Roy Griak and Furman Pre-NCAA Invitational Franco-Parra placed 70th and 42nd, respectively. He broke through with a 16th-place finish at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, Saturday October 27, before running another strong race to grab 16th place at the NCAA West Regional meet.

JUNIOR (2000)
...Won first three meets of season and was WSU's top placer in three of the last four races...finished 53rd at 28th Memorial Cross Country Classic at Ames, Iowa (1-/14/00)...placed 22nd (2nd on team) at Pac-10 Championships (10/28/00, Seattle)...also 22nd at NCAA West Region Championships (11/11/00, Fresno) but tops on team...SOPHOMORE (1999)...Won the Idaho Invitational (9/10/99, Moscow)...finished 39th 3rd on team) at Pac-10 Championships (10/30/99, Long Beach)...37th at NCAA West Region Championships (11/13/99, Troutdale, Ore.) and second on team...FRESHMAN (1998)...Third WSU runner and 74th overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships...he was the fourth fastest freshman in the race...fourth Cougar finisher and 33rd overall at the West Regional Championships at Fresno...fourth on team and 30th overall at Pac-10 Championships.

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