Cross Country Teams Compete for Pac-10 Title on Saturday
2010 Pac-10 MEN'S & WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010
Jefferson Park Golf Course, Seattle, Wash.
Hosted by the University of Washington
41ST-ANNUAL MEN'S RACE
A stellar men's field heads to the men's Pac-10 Championships, looking to compete for the Conference team crown which has belonged to OREGON or STANFORD in recent years, with the Cardinal claiming the 2009 crown. It will be difficult to break the stranglehold the Ducks and Cardinal have had on the title lately, as each have had strong team performances leading up to the meet. But eight other teams will make a case for their right to hold the trophy.
Ranked No. 1 in the country in the USTFCCCA Coaches poll, STANFORD comes into the Pac-10 Championship after an impressive performance at the Pre-National Invitational meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 16. The Cardinal won the Blue Race, with all five scoring runners placing in the top 20 of the field, including the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 spots. JR Chris Derrick won the individual field, posting a time of 23:16. Derrick's target will be especially large, given he is the reigning Pac-10 Individual Champion, winning last year's race with a Pac-10 meet-record time of 22:35.
Looking to compete for the Conference crown is third-ranked Oregon. The Ducks did not participate in the Pre-NCAA meet but hosted their own meet the same weekend, competing against a field which included No. 6 Wisconsin, and won the Bill Dellinger Invitational, with SR Matthew Centrowitz leading the pack. Centrowitz was also a top-five finisher at last year's Pac-10 Championship.
CALIFORNIA also enters the Pac-10 Championship ranked in the latest USTFCCCA poll, coming in at No. 22. Led by RS SR Michael Coe, the Golden Bears came in seventh place in the Blue Race of the Pre-National meet. Coe was Cal's top finisher, coming in seventh individually.
UCLA is receiving votes in this week's USTFCCCA Coaches poll after coming in 11th in the Blue Race at the Pre-National meet. RS JR Kent Morikawa ran a solid race to lead the Bruins, placing 29th overall and help them finish in the top third of the field. He will have to lead the squad at Pac-10s as UCLA's top-three finishers from last year all graduated.
Also competing in the Blue Race was WASHINGTON (26th place) and ARIZONA (34th place). Top finishers for the Huskies and Wildcats at the Pre-National meet were SO Joey Bywater and RS JR Abdi Hassan.
ARIZONA STATE and WASHINGTON STATE were the only Pac-10 teams in the White Race and placed 19th and 23rd, respectively. ASU's SR Ben Engelhardt finished 18th overall in the competitive field, while JR Jono Lafler came in 52nd.
The Pac-10 had eight runners finish in the top 30 of the Blue race, more than any other conference.
25TH-ANNUAL WOMEN'S RACE
A talented field of runners takes centerstage for the 25th edition of the women's Pac-10 Championships with five teams ranked in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches poll.
Ranked 20th in the nation this week, the Huskies look to defend their back-to-back titles after coming off a strong performance at the Pre-National Invitational where they placed ninth overall. WASHINGTON had two top-25 finishers in the meet, with SR Mel Lawrence coming in 19th place for the top UW finish.
It will not be easy for Washington to claim its third-straight title. The challengers begin with OREGON who is ranked No. 2 in the nation this week and is looking for its first Pac-10 win since 1995. At the Ducks' Bill Dellinger Invitational on Oct. 16, UO beat the competition with, UO beat the competition with SO Jordan Hasay winning the overall individual meet. Third at last year's Pac-10 Championship, Hasay is the top-returning finisher at this year's meet.
Ninth-ranked STANFORD looks to get back to the top of the podium after being knocked off by UW two years ago, snapping a 12-year Cardinal streak. Stanford was third in the White Race of the Pre-National Championship meet, as SO Kathy Kroeger was the top Pac-10 finisher, crossing the finish line in third.
ARIZONA has come on strong this fall, making a 15-place jump in the USTFCCCA polls on Oct. 5, after winning the prestigious Ron Griak Invitational. Ranked sixth in the country, the Wildcats ran a strong race at the Pre-National Championship meet, coming second in the Blue Race, placing four scoring runners in the top 25. JR Hannah Moen led the squad with an 11th-place showing.
Also making a good showing at the Pre-National Championship meet was No. 22 CALIFORNIA, who came in eighth in the Blue Race. JR Deborah Maier was the top Pac-10 individual finisher in that race, coming in third place.
SR Shannon Murakami led UCLA to a 19th-place finish in the Blue Race. In the White Race, FR Ruby Roberts led a pack of young Cougars to 34th place. Four of the five scoring runners for WASHINGTON STATE were underclassmen.
USC's SR Zsofia Erdelyi leads a young Trojan squad. She won the Cal State Northridge Invitational on Oct. 16, leading USC to a third-place finish, and was also seventh at the Stanford Invitational.
OREGON STATE finished fourth at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. OSU's top runner, JR Laura Carlyle, placed 14th at the competition.
The Pac-10 Conference is celebrating 25 years of women's sports. Cross country was one of the 10 sports first sponsored by the Conference in 1986-87. The Pac-10 owns more NCAA women's titles than any other conference.
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