UAA Men Go for 5th Straight Title; SFU Women Look For 1st
WWU's Nathan Richards (371) and Isaac Griffith (365) placed eighth and 11th last year, while Simon Fraser's Oliver Jorgensen (338) finished ninth and UAA's Kevin Rooke (215) placed 12th.
WWU's Nathan Richards (371) and Isaac Griffith (365) placed eighth and 11th last year, while Simon Fraser's Oliver Jorgensen (338) finished ninth and UAA's Kevin Rooke (215) placed 12th.
WWU's Katelyn Steen finished second in last year's women's race.
WWU's Katelyn Steen finished second in last year's women's race.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MONMMOUTH, Ore. – Alaska Anchorage’s Dylan Anthony will try to join an elite group of runners when the Great Northwest Athletic Conference  Cross Country Championships return to the Ash Creek Preserve on the campus of Western Oregon University for the third year in a row Saturday.

To view, download or print a copy of the PDF version of the offical Meet Program click here.  Please note printed copies of the program will not be available at the meet.  However, flip cards with QR codes which will link you to the online program will be distributed for free.

The men's 8,000-meter will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the women's 6K at 11:30 a.m.

Anthony has an opportunity to became the seventh male athlete in the meet's history to earn four all-conference honors with a Top 10 finish.

The Seawolves,  who are ranked second in the West Region and seventh in Division II, will be the prohibitive favorite to win their eighth men’s team title – and fifth straight - in the 14th rendition of the annual championship.   

UAA has been virtually unchallenged this fall winning four races, three with perfect team scores of 15.  In the fourth, the Seawolves cruised to an easy 18-39 victory over second-place University of Victoria in the Western Washington University Classic.

Anthony finished third last year in a time of 24:54.09 on the 8,000-meter course after placing seventh in his freshman season and fifth in his sophomore.  Following that mathematical progression (i.e., 7-5-3-1) would earn him the individual championship.  

Anthony is one of six Top 10 finishers back including UAA’s Victor Samoei who placed second in his freshman season in a time of 24:52.14. 

Anthony finished first in the WWU Classic ahead of UAA freshmen Henry Cheseto, who posted victories in each of UAA’s first three races.

In addition to Anthony and Cheseto, UAA’s Dominik Notz and Michel Ramirez have finished in the top six in all four of the Seawolves’ meets.

Four other athletes return from last year’s Top 10 including Tabor Reedy (7th), Nathan Richards (8th) and Jonathan Quimby (10th), all from Western Washington, and Oliver Jorgensen of Simon Fraser, who placed ninth a year ago.

Western Washington, which also returns Isaac Griffith, who placed 11th in 2013, has finished either first or second in the GNAC championships in nine consecutive years.

The Vikings, however, are ranked seventh in the region this year in back of UAA and No. 6 Simon Fraser putting that streak at risk.

In addition to Cheseto and Anthony,  four GNAC athletes have won races this fall including Robert Peterson of Montana State Billings (Carroll Invitational, Sept. 5, and MSUB Yellowjacket, Oct. 3);  Richards (Saint Martin’s, Sept. 27); Frank Krause of Saint Martin’s (George Fox Classic, Oct. 11) and WWU’s Cody McCranie  last Saturday in the Western Washington Open at Ferndale.

While Alaska Anchorage’s men will be seeking its fifth consecutive men’s title,  Simon Fraser’s women will be out to end a run of three consecutive runner-up  finishes and end UAA’s five-year title run.  Prior to 2009, the Seawolf women had never finished first in the meet.

The Clan,  who are ranked eighth nationally and second in the West Region, have had an impressive fall placing second in the WOU Ash Creek Invitational, the UW Sundodger and the WWU Classic along with a third at Stanford.

SFU, which outraced UAA 90-107 at the WWU Classic, has been led by Rebecca Bassett, who finished 15th as a freshman in last year’s conference meet.

This fall Bassett has a win at Western Oregon, a third at the Sundodger and an eighth at Western Washington.

SFU has also been led by Georgetown transfer Jennifer Johnson (7th at UW, 14th at WWU) and 2013 all-conference performance Kansas Mackenzie.

Mackenzie, who placed eighth a year ago, is one of four returning all-conference performers led by 2013 runnerup Katelyn Steen of Western Washington.

Steen placed eighth in the university division of the UW Sundodger and finished third, in back of two Canadians, in the Western Washington Classic.  She also won the Saint Martin’s Invitational  Sept. 27 in her only other start.

The only other returning all-conference performers from 2013 are Connie Morgan and Dani Eggleston, both of Central Washington.  Morgan, who finished first last Saturday in the WWU Open,  placed sixth and Eggleston, who won the CWU Invitational Sept. 13, was seventh.

Alaska Anchorage has wins this fall from Bryn Haebe (Hawaii Hilo, Aug.30) and Beatrice Decker  (Hawaii Big Wave Invitational Sept. 6). Metro State transfer Amy Johnston finished 12th at Western Washington in her only race of the season helping the Seawolves to a fourth-place finish.

That also helped catapult the Seawolves into fifth place in the West Regional rankings ahead of both Central Washington and Western Washington.  UAA is ranked 20th nationally.

The Vikings, who won the WWU Open last Saturday, moved up to  No. 6 in this week’s final regional poll, dropping the Wildcats to seventh.

One other GNAC woman, Montana State Billings’ Nocona Frame, who finished first at MSUB (Oct. 3) and Black Hills State (Oct. 18), has won a race this fall.

ALL ADVANCE TO REGIONALS: Regardless of their performances at the conference meet all GNAC teams are eligible to compete in the NCAA West Regionals Nov. 22 at Amend Park in Billings, Mont.  Six men’s teams and six women’s teams from the regional qualify for the NCAA National meet Dec. 6 at Louisville, Kentucky.

FOUR-TIMERS:  Previous male athletes to post four Top 10 all-conference performances have included Alaska Anchorage’s Micah Chelimo (2009-12) and Alfred Kangogo (2008-09, 11-12); Bennett Grimes (2007-10), Blake Medhaug (2007-10) and Jordan Welling (2007-10), all from Western Washington, and Louie White of Humboldt State (1999-02).  Eight women have also accomplished that feat.

FINAL NCAA WEST REGIONAL RANKINGS: Men - 1. Chico State, 2. Alaska Anchorage, 3. UC San Diego, 4. Cal Baptist, 5. Cal Poly Pomona, 6. Simon Fraser, 7. Western Washington, 8. Cal State Stanislaus, 9. Humboldt State; 10. San Francisco State. Women - 1. Chico State, 2. Simon Fraser, 3. UC San Diego, 4. Cal Baptist, 5. Alaska Anchorage, 6. Western Washington, 7. Central Washington, 8. Humboldt State, 9, Azusa Pacific, 10. Cal Poly Pomona.


Oregon State Beaver Classic (Oct. 24 at Corvallis): Men – Southern Oregon 28, Portland 87, Portland State 94, Humboldt State 115 (10. Western Oregon 262).  Individuals (8,000 Meters) –  1. Matthew Clowes, Concordia, 24:56.6; 55. David McLeod, WOU, 27:51.4. Women – Portland State 43, Portland 61, Humboldt State 64, Southern Oregon 100, Concordia 118 (9. Western Oregon 259).  Individuals (6,000 Meters) -  1. Tatiana Gillick, HSU, 22:03.8; 72. Dara Tillery, WOU, 25:51.9.

Western Washington Open (Oct. 25 at Ferndale): Men – Western Washington 15, Central Washington 55, Northwest 75.  Individuals (7,000 Meters) – 1. Cody McCranie, WWU, 22:33.3; 2. Matt Lutz, WWU, 22:35.9; 3. Max Romey, WWU, 22:39.2; 4. Tabor Reedy, WWU, 22:47.8; 5. Andrew Wise, WWU, 22:48.3. Women – Western Washington  17, Central Washington 36, Northwest 77. Individuals (5,000 Meters) – 1. Connie Morgan, CWU, 18:43.1; 2. Dani Eggleston, CWU, 18:43.2; 3. Taylor Guenther, WWU, 18:44.2; 4. Austen Reiter, WWU, 18:55.3; 5. Haley O’Connor, WWU,  18:57.1.


Men Cody McCranie, Western Washington (So., Auburn, WA) led his team to a perfect team score of 15 in winning the Viking Cross Country Open at Ferndale in a 7,000-meter time of 22:33.3.  In his three previous races this fall, he was the 4th, 7th and 12th Viking to cross the finish line.   

Women – Connie Morgan, Central Washington (Sr., Hoquiam, WA) led a 1-2 Wildcat finish at Ferndale covering the 5,000-meter course in a time of 18:43.1, one-tenth of a second ahead of teammate Dani Eggleston.