2006 Midwest Regional Results: RecapsNovember 11, 2006

Women's Winner

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- The Fighting Illini women's cross country team claimed its first NCAA Midwest Regional Championship title in program history Saturday morning at the Les Bolstad University Golf Course on the University of Minnesota campus in Falcon Heights. The title automatically qualifies the Illini for their third berth to the NCAA National Championships to be held on Nov. 20.

"We got out to an aggressive start today," head coach Karen Harvey said. "We were packed up from the get go and stayed tight throughout the race. We've been doing that in practice but haven't been able to bring it into a racing situation until today. The pack was a huge key to our performance."

The Orange and Blue tallied a mere 44 team points in their regional championship effort, thanks to the performances of five Illini that finished within the top 15. Freshman Angela Bizzarri led the Illinois charge as the second individual competitor to cross the finish line with a time of 20:47. Following closely was senior Stephanie Simms in fifth-place. Sophomore Maggie Carroll, senior Cassie Hunt and freshman Stephanie Baliga rounded out the Illini's scorers, bombarding the finish line with a wave of orange as the 11th, 12th and 14th finishers, respectively.

"Angela [Bizzarri] ran really smart," Harvey continued. "Second in regionals is a great place for a freshman to be. Maggie Carroll's awesome performance was also huge today. The girls are finally showing what they can do and will only continue to improve."

Also automatically advancing to Nationals are the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, who entered Saturday's regional race ranked No. 6 in the United States Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches' Association's top 30 poll.

The Fighting Illini will compete in the NCAA National Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 20 in Terre Haute, Ind., at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.

-Courtesy Illinois



Men's Winner

Oklahoma State's men's cross country team earned a spot in the NCAA Championships with a first-place win at the Regional Meet.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Oklahoma States mens cross country team earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships with a dominating win at the 2006 Midwest Regional meet on Saturday.

With five runners placing in the top 25, the Cowboys finished with a team score of 72 to take home its second-straight regional title. OSU standouts Joe Gray and David Jankowski led the way for the Pokes. Gray, a senior from Tacoma, Wash., finished sixth with a time of 30:56.74 while Jankowski, a junior from Idaho Falls, Idaho, finished seventh with a time of 30:57.49.

Redshirt freshman Daniel Watts rounded out the top three for OSU. The Big 12 Newcomer of the Year finished 18th with a time of 31:22.34. He was followed by junior Brian Ehlis in 19th place and sophomore Alejandro Ruiz in 22nd place. Seniors Michael Breshears and David Pomies finished 39th and 73rd, respectively.

This is a huge win for our guys, said Cowboy head coach Dave Smith. They went out and executed perfectly. As a team, they ran exactly how they were supposed to run.

Oklahoma State (72) finished ahead of second-place Kansas (88) and third-place Iowa (121). Fourth-place Missouri (122) and fifth-place Iowa State (132) rounded out the top five. Iowa senior Micah Vandenend captured the individual title with a final time of 30:40.14.

Head Coach Dave Smiths Cowboys will now prepare for next weeks trip to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The Cowboys finished eighth at the last years national meet after winning the 2005 Midwest Regional.

Our guys have felt all year that they have had something to prove, said Smith. They have been very focused and have worked very hard all season and today they went out and showed everyone what they are capable of.

-Courtsey Oklahoma State