Anna Blue Runs to 78th at NCAA Championships

Nov. 24, 2003

WATERLOO, Iowa - Washington State's Anna Blue finished 78th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships at Waterloo, Iowa, Monday.

'Anna went out really well, and had a good finish,' said Cross Country Coach Jason Drake. 'Overall, I'd give her a B-plus or A-minus.'

Blue, a senior from Olympia, Wash., got off to a good start in the Championship race, despite running into a headwind that put the wind chill factor near zero degrees, before losing some momentum going around a large crash about 200 meters into the race. Blue settled into a comfortable pace for a few minutes midway through the race before picking it up with a strong finish. Blue finished the race in 21 minutes, six seconds.

'I only felt the cold for the first 1,000 meters (into the headwind),' explained Blue. 'I tucked into a pack so I didn't feel it too much.'

With 10 to 15 runners within two seconds of Blue throughout the race she was able to pass 15 women in the final 1,000 meter sprint to the finish.

'I'm satisfied (with the race),' said Blue. 'I gave it everything I had especially in the last 1,000 meters. It was my first experience at nationals, I'm really glad that I got to do it.'

Her finish was 23 seconds slower than her finish on the same course at the Pre-Nationals meet in October. Drake attributed the difference to the wind and cold.

Blue, who finished 12th at the NCAA West Regional at Gresham, Ore. Nov. 15, was again the 12th finisher from the West Region.

Blue is the first cross country athlete to represent WSU at the NCAA Championships since 2001 when Everlyne Lagat finished 30th.

The race was won by Shalene Flanagan, a senior from North Carolina, with a time of 19:30. Stanford won the team championship with a score of 120 points, with BYU finishing second with 128 points.

On the men's side, Dathan Ritzenhein, a sophomore from Colorado, won the 10k race. Stanford won the men's team title with an impressive score of 24.

The NCAA West Regional meet, which WSU competed in Nov. 15, will be aired on Fox Sports Northwest Wednesday, Dec. 3., at 6 p.m.

NCAA Championships (Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course, Waterloo, Iowa 6,000m)November 24, 2003Women's Race Top Team Results:  1. Stanford 120, 2. Brigham Young 128, 3. Providence 222, 4. Michigan 232, 5. Colorado 269, 6. North Carolina State 290, 7. UCLA 293, 8. North Carolina 294, 9. Princeton 348, 10. Notre Dame 352.Top Five Individuals:  1. Shalene Flanagan (North Carolina) 19:30.4, 2. Kim Smith (Providence) 19:42.7, 3. Sara Bei (Stanford) 19:49.1; 4. Michaela Mannova (Brigham Young) 19:52.2; 5. Mary Cullen (Providence) 19:53.0.WSU Results:  78. Anna Blue 21:06.1. 
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