West Regional Meet, Stellar Competition Await Cougar Cross Country

Nov. 8, 2005

NCAA Cross Country West Regionals, Stanford Golf Course, Stanford, Calif.Saturday, November 12, 2005

11 a.m. - Men's 10,000m Championship Race

12:15 p.m. - Women's 6,000m Championship Race

THIS WEEK: The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams compete against the best of the West at the NCAA West Regionals Saturday...races will include teams from the Western Athletic, Pacific-10, Big Sky, West Coast and Big West Conferences...men will run the 10,000m championship race at 11 a.m. followed by the women's 6,000m race at 12:15 p.m...Stanford hosts the meet and additional information can be found at http://gostanford.collegesports.com.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: The top two teams at each regional event will qualify for the NCAA Championships November 21, at Terre Haute, Ind...top four individual runners from non-qualifying teams also advance to the championships....13 additional teams will be selected for at large bids to form the 31-team field that will compete in the NCAA Championships.

WSU WOMEN: The Cougar women are led by sophomore Haley Paul, the top finisher on the squad in each meet this season...Paul most recently placing sixth at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships in Tucson...juniors Natalie Smith, Kayle Peterson and Kelly Ramirez will also compete for WSU, with sophomore Isley Gonzalez, redshirt freshman Meghan Leonard and freshman Marisa Sandoval rounding out the team...Washington State women will face top-ranked Pac-10 opponents Stanford (No. 2), Arizona State (No. 5), Oregon (No. 21) and Washington (No. 26), along with No. 17 Northern Arizona.

OUTLOOK: Paul will put her season on the line against premiere competition in order to reach the NCAA Nationals meet...Cougar Head Coach Jason Drake says she has a good shot, and that he looks forward to the women's team putting it all together for one last race and run solid. 'If Haley runs the same as she has all season, she should get to the NCAAs,' Drake said.

WSU MEN: The Washington State men are led by redshirt junior Ryan Freimuth, redshirt freshman Woody Favinger and freshman Drew Polley...all three have consistently led the Cougars this year with Freiumth and Favinger running to impressive 16th and 21st place finishes respectively at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships...Freiumth is the only runner on the men's side with experience at a West Regional meet...freshman Sam Ahlbeck, redshirt sophomores Chris Concha and Chris Williams and senior Justin Ireland make up the rest of the WSU contingent...the Cougs will compete against the nationally-ranked Pac-10 programs of Stanford (No. 4), Arizona (No. 9), California (No. 28) and Washington (No. 29), along with 13th-ranked opponent Portland.

OUTLOOK: The Cougar men go into the West Regionals with the same competitive goals they took to the Pac-10 Championships October 29. 'On the men's side I'd like to see our number five, six and seven runners step up a bit in order for us to reach our potential at this meet,' Drake said. 'If our top four run as strong as they did at the Pac-10 meet, they will all turn in outstanding finishes once again.'

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Tucson Oct. 29, the Cougar women finished fifth; Haley Paul (6th), Kayle Peterson (27th), Meghan Leonard (42nd), Kelly Ramirez (44th), Isley Gonzales (49th) scored for WSU...the men finished eighth...Ryan Freimuth (16th), Woody Favinger (21st), Drew Polley (26th), Chris Concha (32nd) and Chris Williams (56th) were the top five men in that competition.

LAST YEAR AT NCAA WEST REGIONALS: The 2004 West Regional meet was held in Fresno, Calif...Danny Wolf was the top men's finisher in 41st place and Ryan Freimuth, then a redshirt sophomore, placed 63rd...on the women's side Haley Paul was the Cougar's top female finisher, coming in 54th place with Kayle Peterson following closely in 56th place.

NEXT COMPETITION: The NCAA Championships will be held at Terre Haute, Ind., Monday, Nov. 21.


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