Pac-12 programs primed for runs at 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships

John Lozano

NCAA MEET CENTRAL | WISCONSIN MEET CENTRALPAC-12 NCAA RELEASE (PDF) | PAC-12 NCAA HISTORY (PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 will enter a total of nine teams along with four individuals for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships this Saturday morning at Wisconsin's Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.

The Pac-12 enters the first NCAA Championships of the 2018-19 season with a national-best 513 all-time team national championships, including a national-best 28 combined men’s & women’s cross country crowns. The Pac-12 captured a national-best 12 NCAA team titles in 2017-18, marking the 52nd time in the past 58 years that the Conference of Champions led the country in NCAA crowns.

2018 NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S & WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, November 17, 2018 - Madison, Wis.
Thomas Zimmer Championship Course

RACE SCHEDULE
Women's 6k race: 8:45 a.m. PT/10:45 a.m. CT
Men's 10k race: 9:45 a.m. PT/11:45 a.m. CT

LIVE COVERAGE
Live stream: NCAA.com and flotrack.com ($)
Live results: via Record Timing
2018 NCAA Meet Central | Wisconsin Meet Central

COURSE DESCRIPTION
The Thomas Zimmer Championship Course is a world-class course offering challenging and exciting terrain for runners and elevated viewing for spectators. The home of the University of Wisconsin cross country program features an exterior loop of approximately 2,500 meters and an interior loop of 1,000 meters. Both loops cover the area’s rolling hills and valleys, while the outside loop also runs through a section of dense woods. It marks the first time since 1978 that Wisconsin hosts the national cross country meet as the school hosted the men’s championship at Yahara Hills Golf Course.

COURSE RECORDS
Women’s 6K: 19:28.5 - Elinor Purrier, New Hampshire, 2017 Pre-Nationals
Men’s 10K: 30:05 - John Mascari, Indiana State, 2013 NCAA Great Lakes Regional

NCAA MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP - PAC-12 PREVIEW
PAC-12 TEAM AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS
Washington - NCAA West Regional Runners-up

PAC-12 TEAM AT-LARGE QUALIFIERS (Regional finish)
Colorado (3rd), Oregon (5th), Stanford (4th)

PAC-12 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS
Carlos Villareal, Arizona (2nd at West Regional)
Garrett Corcoran, California (6th at West Regional)

With four representatives in the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships, the Pac-12 is tied for the most teams in the 31-team field for the fifth consecutive season. The quartet will be racing for the league’s 17th all-time national title, first since Colorado went back-to-back in 2013 and 2014.

Three top-10 programs - No. 6 WASHINGTON, No. 7 STANFORD and No. 8 COLORADO - are prime candidates to take home the title, though the tightly packed group will join a large list of contenders aiming to track down two-time defending NCAA champion and current No. 1 ranked Northern Arizona. No. 12 OREGON secured an at-large bid for its 43rd all-time appearance.

Washington has risen to an all-time high USTFCCCA national ranking under first-year head coach Andy Powell, climbing to No. 6 on the heels of a second consecutive runner-up West Regional showing. UW will not only be aiming for its first NCAA title in the sport, but also its best national finish (4th, 1989).

Stanford, which captured its second straight Pac-12 Championship back on Oct. 26, returns a large portion of the roster that led the league with a fourth-place showing at the 2017 national meet. Two-time defending Pac-12 individual champion Grant Fisher leads the Cardinal into its 25th consecutive and 27th all-time NCAA trip, in which he is slated to be joined by 2017 All-American Alex Ostberg and All-Pac-12 sophomores Alek Parsons and Callum Bolger. Stanford could threaten NAU’s title grasp should 2017 All-American Steven Fahy, who has not competed since Sept. 1, return.

Among the short list of individual favorites entering his final collegiate cross country race, Fisher aims to add a fourth All-America honor and national title to his long list of accolades. The senior already posted a victory on this Wisconsin course at the Pre-Nationals in early October and could etch his name alongside the Pac-12’s record of 25 all-time individual national champions.

Colorado enters the title meet with the league’s lengthiest streaks, making its 27th consecutive - dating to 1992 - and 48th all-time NCAA appearance. The Buffaloes are led by two-time reigning Mountain Regional champion Joe Klecker and 2017 All-American Eduardo Herrera.

Led by Fisher, six former All-Americans are set to race in the NCAA field:
Steven Fahy, Stanford (2017)
Grant Fisher, Stanford (2015, 2016, 2017)
Alex Ostberg, Stanford (2017)
John Dressel, Colorado (2016, 2016)
Eduardo Herrera, Colorado (2017)
Joe Klecker, Colorado (2016)

NCAA WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP - PAC-12 PREVIEW
PAC-12 TEAM AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS
Colorado - NCAA Mountain Regional Runners-up
Oregon - NCAA West Regional Champions

PAC-12 TEAM AT-LARGE QUALIFIERS (Regional finish)
Oregon State (6th), Stanford (3rd), Washington (4th)

PAC-12 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS
Addi Zerrenner, Arizona (17th at West Regional)
Erika Adler, UCLA (14th at West Regional)

No. 2 nationally ranked OREGON headlines the Pac-12’s pack of five women’s teams entered to compete for the NCAA Cross Country Championship this weekend. It marks the eighth consecutive year that at least five women’s teams from the Conference reached the national title race, the longest such streak in the country.

The Ducks are riding a dominant past two weeks over which they captured both the Pac-12 and NCAA West Regional titles, the first time the program pulled off that double since 2014. Should Oregon go on to capture the NCAA title, it would not only mark its fifth in program history and 13th in league history, the Ducks would become the seventh to sweep the trio of Pac-12, West Regional and NCAA crowns (ORE - 2014; WASH - 2008; STAN - 2003, 2005-07).

Each of the Pac-12’s five NCAA entrants appear in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings, including three of the nation’s top-seven programs in No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 COLORADO and No. 7 STANFORD. However, the Pac-12 quintet - along with No. 14 WASHINGTON and first-time NCAA qualifier and national poll debutante No. 29 OREGON STATE - joins the rest of the 31-team field in setting their sights on No. 1 ranked and two-time defending champion New Mexico.

The 12 combined national titles for Pac-12 programs are tied for the most of any conference in the country along with the Big East.

The past two NCAA title meets have proven successful for the Pac-12 as Oregon captured the national championship in 2016 and the league set a record with 14 All-America performers in 2017.

The Pac-12 will bring a strong list for the women’s individual race with nine past NCAA All-Americans in the field, including four who have achieved the status each of the past two years:
Christina Aragon, Stanford (2016)
Lilli Burdon, Washington (2017)
Mackenzie Caldwell, Colorado (2016)
Carmela Cardama Baez, Oregon (2017)
Elise Cranny, Stanford (2014)
Sage Hurta, Colorado (2016, 2017)
Dani Jones, Colorado (2016, 2017)
Fiona O’Keeffe, Stanford (2016, 2017)
Katie Rainsberger, Washington (2016, 2017)

The Pac-12 is the winningest conference in NCAA Cross Country history, as current league members boast:
• A national-best 28 NCAA Cross Country team titles (16 men, second-best among conferences & 12 women, tied for most among conferences)
• A national-best 28 NCAA Cross Country individual titles (25 men, most of any conference/3 women)
• 34 NCAA Cross Country runner-up team finishes (19 men/15 women)

Since expanding to the Pac-12 in 2011, the league has produced the most competitive and successful NCAA teams and individuals in the country, highlighted by:
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
• 2 NCAA men’s team national champions, the most of any conference.
• 12 Top 5 men’s team finishes at NCAA Championship, the most of any conference.
• 4 NCAA men’s individual national champions, the most of any conference.
• 60 men’s All-Americans, the most of any conference. The ACC is second with 33.
• The most men’s All-Americans in six of seven years, highlighted by 15 in 2014, 12 in 2015 and nine in 2016.
• 38 men’s NCAA Championship participant teams, the most of any conference. The ACC is second with 37.
• The most men’s NCAA Championship participant teams in 2014 (five), 2015 (league-record seven), 2016 (six), 2017 (six) and 2018 (four).

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
• 2 NCAA women’s team national champions, tied with the Big East and Mountain West for the most of any conference.
• 13 Top 5 women’s team finishes at NCAA Championship, the most of any conference.
• 64 women’s All-Americans, the most of any conference. The ACC is second with 31.
• 43 women’s NCAA Championship participant teams, the most of any conference.
• Eight consecutive years with at least five women’s NCAA Championship participant teams, the only conference in the nation with such a streak.
• The most women’s NCAA Championship participant teams in four of last eight years: 2011 (seven), 2012 (five), 2015 (five) and 2016 (six).

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