Men Third, Women Fourth At Pac-12 Champs
SALT LAKE CITY – Led by first year Dawgs Brian Fay and Kieran Lumb on the men's side, and All-American Haley Herberg on the women's side, the UW men's cross country team took third and the women finished fourth at the Pac-12 Championships, held at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City.
The third-place showing for the men is the third time in the past four years that the Dawgs have been in the top-three, after only going top-three twice in the previous 23 years. The women also extended a streak of top-four Pac-12 finishes going back to 2003, a span of 19 meets placing fourth or higher.
In the men's 8,000-meter race, third-ranked Colorado and fourth-ranked Stanford went first and second, but the 26th-ranked Huskies came on strong in the latter stages to catch and pass 12th-ranked Oregon for a big head-to-head win. The Buffaloes won with 39 points, the Cardinal had 52, then the Huskies scored 68 and the Ducks finished with 72 points for fourth. It was then a gap back to Washington State which scored 146 for fifth.
"Our guys were extremely tough and did a great job of running together in tough conditions," said Head Coach Andy Powell. "A lot of them are not used to the elevation at all, but they ran tough had an impressive 1-5 spread. For Brian Fay to open up and be our top runner was a great performance by him. I'm happy with the consistency of our program, to finish top-three in the best conference in the country for the third time in four years now."
The Huskies put their scoring five runners all in the top-20, with a spread of 34 seconds from one to five. Senior transfer Brian Fay led the Huskies in his first collegiate race, placing ninth in a time of 24:00. Fellow senior transfer Kieran Lumb was 10th overall in 24:09. Both will earn All-Pac-12 Second Team distinction.
Second-year Leo Daschbach will earn All-Pac-12 Second Team for the second year in a row, as he was 14th in 24:14. Five seconds after Daschbach was Luke Houser, in 16th-place, and then Joe Waskom capped the team score in 19th-place in 24:34. Talon Hull made his season debut and placed 30th overall in 25:04, and Isaac Green was 33rd in 25:11. Rounding things out was Isaac Mohn in 36th-place, Ryan Renken in 44th, and Tibebu Proctor in 49th.
In the women's 6k, defending champion Haley Herberg set the early pace as she did back in the spring, but the rest of the field did not let Herberg break free as she was able to in her wire-to-wire win. But Herberg still fought hard after surrendering the lead, and she came across in eighth-place today to lead the Huskies in a time of 21:00.
"Really proud of how these women competed today, huge steps forward from two weeks ago," said Director of Track & Field Maurica Powell. "Haley was fantastic and we had three women really step up—Sophie Cantine, Andrea Markezich, and Sophie O'Sullivan—when we ran into trouble in the final straightaway."
A couple Huskies had hard finishes, pushing themselves through the high elevation, but other Huskies were able to come through today with some clutch performances. Allie Schadler was in the lead pack throughout but hit a wall late and had to fight her way across the finish line, still managing to score for the Dawgs in 27th-place, fourth on the team. Madison Heisterman had also moved up into the top-20 at the 4k split but she was unable to make it to the line.
"We had a couple scares. Allie was running her best race but collapsed and crawled across the line, and Madi collapsed 80-meters out and needed oxygen," said Powell. "So we lost some big points there, but the silver lining was seeing new women step into a scoring role to help."
But rallying for the Dawgs was Sophie Cantine in her first Pac-12 meet, as the Princeton transfer also overcame a fall in the early stages of the race where she was knocked down by another runner, losing about 10 places. Cantine got back to work and finished 21st overall in 21:30. Right behind her was Andrea Markezich, who placed 23rd overall to match her finish from the spring. Then running in the top-five for the first time was second-year Sophie O'Sullivan, who was 31st today in 21:45.
The sixth Husky today was Naomi Smith in 35th-place, followed by Anna Gibson in 41st, then Julia David-Smith in 42nd and Camila David-Smith in 44th.
Fourth-ranked Colorado won the women's title with 24 points and eighth-ranked Utah was second with 52 points. Oregon edged the Huskies for third with 92 points, and UW was fourth with 107 ahead of 23rd-ranked Stanford which was fifth with 120 points.
"Excited to take this grit and toughness back to sea level in two weeks," said Powell.
Two weeks will be the NCAA West Regional Championships, held Nov. 12 in Sacramento, where the Huskies will look to secure spots for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 20.
Washington Cross Country
2021 Pac-12 Championships
Oct. 29, 2021
Salt Lake City, Utah | Regional Athletic Complex
Team Results: 1. Colorado 39; 2. Stanford 52; 3. Washington 68; 4. Oregon 72; 5. Washington State 146; 6. UCLA 190; 7. Arizona State 205; 8. California 208; -- Arizona DNF
Individual Champion: Charles Hicks, Stanford, 23:34
Husky Finishers: 9. Brian Fay 24:00; 10. Kieran Lumb 24:09; 14. Leo Daschbach 24:14; 16. Luke Houser 24:19; 19. Joe Waskom 24:34; 30. Talon Hull 25:04; 33. Isaac Green 25:11; 36. Isaac Mohn 25:15; 44. Ryan Renken 25:40; 49. Tibebu Proctor 25:48.
Team Results: 1. Colorado 24; 2. Utah 52; 3. Oregon 92; 4. Washington 107; 5. Stanford 120; 6. Oregon State 156; 7. Washington State 179; 8. UCLA 230; 9. California 265; 10. Arizona State 299; 11. USC 332; 12. Arizona 343.
Individual Champion: Abby Nichols, Colorado, 20:25
Husky Finishers: 8. Haley Herberg 21:00; 21. Sophie Cantine 21:30; 23. Andrea Markezich 21:31; 27. Allie Schadler 21:37; 31. Sophie O'Sullivan 21:45; 35. Naomi Smith 21:51; 41. Anna Gibson 21:59; 42. Julia David-Smith 21:59; 44. Camila David-Smith 22:02; -- Madison Heisterma DNF.