West Regional: RecapNovember 3, 2007

Women's Recap

Seattle Pacific sophomore Jessica Pixler successfully defended her individual title leading the Falcons to their first women's team title in more than a decade Saturday in the NCAA Division II West Regional Cross Country championships.

Pixler, who won last year's championship in a time of 20:46.1 and then went on to place 10th in the national meet, covered the 6,000 meter Eagle Island State Park layout in a time of 19:52.9, finishing 33 seconds ahead of her teammate Jane Larson, who placed second in a time of 20:26.0. Sarah Montez of Chico State placed third in a time of 20:27.0.

Seattle Pacific placed three athletes in the top six and four in the Top 15 and outpointed defending champ Cal State L.A. 45-54 to win the team title, its first since edging UC Davis 56-59 for the 1996 crown.

Chico State finished third with 64 points and UC San Diego placed fourth with 125. All four teams advance to the NCAA national championships Saturday, Nov. 17 at Joplin, Mo.

Also qualifying for the national meet as individuals were Ashley Puga of Northwest Nazarene, who finished fourth in a time of 20:35.5 and Sarah Porter of Western Washington who placed 13th in a time of 21:15.9. Karla Alburez of Cal State L.A., who won the CCAA title two weeks ago, finished fifth in a time of 20:44.8.

Seattle Pacific is the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference team to win the regional title since Central Washington won in 2000. Pixler's time is also the only sub 20 minute time in the regional championships in at least the last 10 years.

The top 15 finishers are awarded all-region honors. SPU and Cal State L.A. each grabbed four all-region berths, while Chico placed three in the Top 15. Cal State Stanislaus, UC San Diego, Northwest Nazarene and Western Washington had one each.

Men's Recap

Chico State placed six runners in the Top 15 and cruised to its sixth consecutive NCAA Division II West Regional men's cross country team title Saturday.

Tim Tollefson led the Wildcats finishing third in a 10,000 meter time of 30:40.20.

Chico finished with 39 team points finishing well ahead of Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion Western Washington, which finished second with 93 points. UC San Diego edged Western Oregon 135-140 for third place.

Chico State, Western Washington and UC San Diego all qualified for the NCAA Division II national meet Saturday, Nov. 17 at Joplin, Mo.

John Riak of Saint Martin's won the region's individual title covering the 10,000-meter layout at Eagle Island State Park in a time of 30:32.75. Two weeks ago Riak won the GNAC title.

Riak was one of three GNAC athletes to qualify for the national meet as individuals. Sam Scotchmer of Central Washington, who placed second in a time of 30:35.40, and David Kiplagat of Alaska Anchorage, who placed fourth in a time of 30:44.78, also secured national berths.

Chico, which has had an averaging winning margin of 58 points during its six-year title run, dominated the all-region team with six selections. Also earning regional berths from Chico State with Top 15 finishes in addition to Tollefson were Brendan Scanlon (8th), Michael Wickman (10th), Manny Mejia (11th), Jordan Page (12th) and Angel Marquez (15th).

Only one other school Cal State Stanislaus- had more than one runner in the Top 15. The Warriors' Vincente Moreno, who won the CCAA individual title two weeks ago, placed sixth in a time of 30:50.20. CSUS' Bobby Olivera placed 14 th .

Saint Martin's, Central Washington, Alaska Anchorage, Western Washington, Humboldt State, Western Oregon and Brigham Young-Hawaii all placed one runner in the Top 15.

-Courtesy GNAC