Cougars Host Pac-10 Cross Country Championships

Oct. 28, 2003

Cougars Host Pac-10 Cross Country Championships

Saturday, November 1, 2003Open Races - 10 a.m. Men's 8,000m, 11 a.m. Women's 6,000mPac-10 Championships Meet, WSU Golf Course, Pullman, Wash.Noon - Men's 8,000m Championship Race1 p.m. - Women's 6,000m Championship Race

THIS WEEK: Washington State hosts the Pac-10 Cross County Championships Saturday...nine women's and eight men's teams will compete...women's field includes four of the FinishLynx Top-25... men's race includes five teams ranked in the MONDO Top-30.

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS FORMAT: Teams will be allowed to use 10 runners with five scoring and two used for team scoring displacement.

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women harriers are led by senior Anna Blue, juniors Ana Cabrera, Molly Bull and Julia Corbett...the upperclassmen will be joined by sophomore Hailey Young and freshmen Kayle Peterson, Kelly Ramirez, Natalie Smith, and Katie Troy...Blue is coming off of a 14th place finish at Pre-Nationals in Waterloo, Iowa..

WSU MEN: The Cougars are led by junior Danny Wolf...seniors Ian Johnson and Steve Barrus, juniors Mike Heidt and Justin Ireland, and freshmen Alex Grant, Andrew Jones, Matt Knoff, and Chris Williams, and redshirt freshman Ryan Freimuth round out the squad...Freimuth, who is day-to-day, has been injured but recently returned to running...if Freimuth is unable to compete, sophomore Reid Carrell will replace him...Johnson was the top finisher for the Cougars in their last competition at Pre-Nationals.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: The WSU men's team fell out of the Mondo Men's NCAA Division I Oct. 20 poll, conducted by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association...WSU had been ranked in the Top-30 since the second regular-season poll of Sept. 30...the Cougar women's team has not been ranked this year.

LAST YEAR AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The WSU men placed fifth at last year's competition at Pasadena, Calif...Wolf was the first Cougar to cross the finish line with a 23rd place the women's race the Cougars placed sixth...Blue paced the women finishing 20th and Cabrera finished 37th.

COACH Jason Drake ON PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: 'This is the most important day of the year. We ran on the course twice this year in practice and obviously at our home meet. I would guess this is the hilliest course the Pac-10 has run on in years. I think that our region and probably the Pac-10 Conference is the toughest in the country on the men's side and the women's side is tough as well.'

DRAKE ON THE MEN'S RACE: 'Stanford is the overwhelming favorite, with seven teams ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. WSU received votes and Cal was not too far behind us in the last meet. We got walloped by Arizona last time around, (but) we were a lot closer at the Griak. Aside of Freimuth, everyone's healthy. We're finally rested a little bit. We'll be as rested compared to any time we've run so far. Stanford is probably untouchable but after that everybody's been beating each other. The men's race will probably depends upon who competes that day for spots four through eight and its going to be very close.'

DRAKE ON THE WOMEN'S RACE: 'Again Stanford is an overwhelming favorite with Arizona State and UCLA pretty much ahead of everyone else. Us, Washington, and Oregon are next and hopefully we can sneak in there and beat a couple of those teams.'

DRAKE ON THE WEATHER FACTOR: 'It's harder for us to go run in the heat than it is for heat team to come to the cold, so physiologically it probably doesn't help. But then again when you've been running in the 80s and 90s like the teams in Southern California or Arizona 20 degrees will feel a little different. Most of these teams are preparing for the NCAAs as well and typically Iowa in late November is very cold as well.'

NEXT COMPETITION: The next competition for WSU will be November 15, when the Cougars travel to Portland, Ore. for the NCAA West Region Championships.

Now on Pac-12 Network
1:00 PM PT

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