2006 West Regional Results: RecapsNovember 11, 2006

Women's Winner

Portland, Ore. - Stanford Men's and Women's Cross Country continued to prove they are among the best squads in the country with a first and second place finish today at the 2006 NCAA West Region Championships at Blue Lake Park. The Cardinal women posted a low score of 42 to claim the Regional title, led by redshirt-junior Arianna Lambie's third individual title this season and second consecutive Regional championship on the 6,000 meter course. Redshirt-junior Neftalem Araia captured the men's 10,000 meter race to lead the Cardinal men to a runner-up performance with 88 points to champion Oregon's 69 points.

Lambie captured the women's title in a blazing 20:58.8 to lead a tight-knit group of Cardinal runners. Senior Katy Trotter followed in 21:12.1 for second place, beating out UC Irvine's Laura Olvera in 21:16.2. Fellow senior Amanda Trotter captured fourth place in 21:16.8, later followed by sophomore Lindsay Flacks in 13th place with a time of 21:42.3. Sophomore Alicia Follmar was the fifth scorer for Stanford in 22nd place (22:03.9), followed by true freshman Kate Niehaus in 26th (22:08.5) and junior Lauren Centrowitz in 35th (22:25.0). UC Santa Barbara placed four runner in the top 15 finishers to earn runner-up honors with 72 points, while Arizona State placed third with 83 points. Washington was fourth with 140, and UCLA rounded out the top five teams with 170 points.

Reshirt-junior Neftalem Araia captured his first NCAA West Regional title after covering the 10,000 meter course in 30:05.88, well ahead of Arizona State runner-up Aaron Aguayo in 30:13.6. Arizona's Obed Mutanya rounded out the top three finishers in 30:14.6. Redshirt-junior Forrest Tahdooahnippah (30:38.0) and redshirt-sophomore Garrett Heath (30:38.5) recorded top-20 finishes in 18th and 19th, respectively. Redshirt-sophomore Hakon DeVries followed closely behind in 30:54.1 to place 21st. Senior Jacob Gomez was the Cardinal's final scorer in 31st with a time of 31:12.5. Fellow senior Jonathan Pierce trailed closely in 31:16.5 for 36th place, while senior Brett Gotcher finished 55th in 31:51.8. The Cardinal posted a team score of 88 to secure second place, falling to Oregon who finished five runners in the top 20 to score 69 points. Host Portland posted 123 points to finish third, while Washingston scored 139 for fourth place. Arizona rounded out the top five teams with a score of 156.

Today's top-two finishes guarantee the Cardinal a trip to the NCAA Championships. Stanford will now travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, for the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships on November 20 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

-Courtesy Stanford



Men's Winner

PORTLAND, Ore. The University of Oregon mens and womens teams posted first- and sixth-place finishes in the second stage of the postseason Saturday in the NCAA West Regional Championships, held under 53-degree, partly cloudy skies at Blue Lake Park.

With their top-two finish Saturday, the Duck men will make their 20th NCAA Championships team appearance since 1963. The top four individuals from non-qualifying teams also advanced Saturday to the collegiate finale, scheduled for Mon., Nov. 20 at Indiana State Universitys LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

The No. 6 Duck men won Saturdays mens regional team race with a score of 69 points and edged No. 7 Stanford (second, 88) and No. 9 Portland (third, 123). Other top squads in the 25-team field included No. 29 Washington (fourth, 139), No. 24 Arizona (fifth, 156), UCLA (sixth, 167), No. 22 UC Santa Barbara (seventh, 170), Washington State (eighth, 201), No. 19 Cal Poly (ninth, 220) and California (10th, 260).

Individually, sophomore Galen Rupp ran among the race leaders the entire way and paced the Duck men with a fourth-place finish in his debut in the 10,000-meter regional race (30:15). For Rupp, it was the fourth straight time he led the mens team this fall and sixth in his young career, and also UO's top individual finish in the event since Jason Hartmann placed second in 2002.

During the race, it was fun to look around and see all the Oregon guys up front, Rupp said. That gives you confidence when youre able to work together and makes everything easier. We had so much support from our fans today and all season, and that was such a blessing. The course held fairly well it was a little soft, and even a little slick at times, but I only slipped noticeably once. The conditions were a good experience because it might be like this at nationals. Now we need to recollect ourselves and get ready for NCAAs.

Freshman Diego Mercado (11th, 30:34), senior Patrick Werhane (15th), freshman Kenny Klotz (19th, 30:41) and junior Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (20th, 30:42) also earned All-Region honors with their top-25 finishes, and other Duck finishers included senior Ben Stern (29th, 31:11) and junior Chris Winter (48th, 31:43).

Today, our goal was to qualify as a team, Mercado said, so we approached it that way, and didnt worry about the individual part. This season, Ive tried to constantly say positive things to my teammates about what we could do this year, and now Im really starting to believe it. The level of competition in the Pac-10 and Region is so deep so its an honor to do well against the nations top region and conference.

For the Oregon men, their fifth win of the season came two weeks after the squad notched its 14th Pac-10 Conference victory, while Rupp won UOs 10th individual league championship that day on the Stanford Golf Course.

Our men ran really composed and tough, and I was proud of their effort, Oregon associate athletic director Vin Lananna. Up front they got a little excited after 7,500 meters and moved to the very front, but that was only because of a lack of experience in that position in this race, and a win is a win. Going in, we wanted to be relaxed and run as controlled and up front as long as possible. At the finish we had a tight gap between our scorers which is a tribute to their execution. Most of our runners up front today are young but have stepped forward and created a great atmosphere and enthusiasm that this program will continue to build off in the future.

For the Men of Oregon, Saturdays team win was their fourth regional title since 1982 when the meet was held separately from the Pac-8 Championships, and first since the team scored a perfect score of 15 points in 1989 and was led by regional individual champion Brad Hudson. Other Oregon mens regional team titles came in 1982, 83 and 88.

Individually up front, Stanford senior Nef Araia escaped from the rest of the164-runner field in the final kilometer to win by eight seconds (30:06) over Arizona State senior Aaron Aguayo (second, 30:14), Arizona senior Obed Mutanya (third, 30:15) and Rupp (fourth, 30:15).

On the womens side, senior Dana Buchanan (20th, 21:59) led the Ducks for the third time in four meets this season. The Beachburg, Ont., native placed top-20 for the second straight season for UO after she placed 18th in 05, and competed for the University of Hawaii in the event in 2004 (45th) and 03 (90th).

Freshman Bria Wetsch followed in 34th (22:25), and other scorers included sophomore Zoe Nelson (37th, 22:29) and freshman Nicole Blood (39th, 22:29) and sophomore Rebekah Noble (49th, 22:44), while junior Sarah Pearson (79th, 23:20) and freshman Amanda Stopa (121st, 23:51) rounded out the Duck unit.

I liked having 2K loops on the course, Wetsch said, and weather was fair - certainly better than at home in Minnesota where they just got 12 inches of snow. I was able to stay in a pack with our front five fairly close together the first 1/3 of the race. The middle 1/3 we got separated some so I lost my focus a little, but I was still able to run with some other runners so I was never truly alone. At the end I was able to move up well end, especially when I saw Zoe near the finish, and I was able to get up by her. My endurance and training are starting to get back where it needs to be so this was a confidence booster.

Other Ducks besides Buchanan with past regional experience included Pearson (37th in 05, 58th in 04), Nelson (19th in 05) and Noble (63rd in 05).

The Oregon women capped a season where their young unit recently finished fourth in the Pac-10 Championships and featured four, top-20 Pac-10 finishers Nelson (14th), Buchanan (19th), Wetsch (22nd) and Blood (28th) with the latter two making their collegiate debuts.

From where our women started this year to where they ended it, weve seen some real progress, Lananna said. Our 1-5 front group today had a fairly tight split, but needed to be a little farther up overall if we would have had a chance to contend for a spot for nationals. Dana was one of several of our individuals who did really well today, including Rebekah who ran fabulous considering her limited training schedule this fall coming back from a long track season.

The No. 1 Stanford women won their eighth straight regional team crown with 42 points, and were trailed in the 30-team field by No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (second, 72), No. 8 Arizona State (third, 83), No. 29 Washington (fourth, 140), UCLA (fifth, 170), Oregon (sixth, 177), Portland (seventh, 256), UC Irvine (eighth, 264), Washington State (ninth, 275) and Arizona (10th, 309).

Overall, Stanford swept three of the top four places in the 199-woman individual standings, and was led by junior Arianna Lambie (first, 20:59) and senior twins Kathleen Trotter (second, 21:13) and Amanda Trotter (fourth, 21:17).

Looking ahead, on the evening of Sun., Nov. 12, another 13 at-large teams and two at-large individuals will be added from across the nation to the 31-team, 255-runner M&W NCAA Championships fields. At-large team selection criteria is based on teams head-to-head records against other actual and potential NCAA qualifiers. More info on the NCAA Championships are available at the www.NCAAsports.com and http://www.indstate.edu/athletic/cross websites.

-Courtesy Oregon