North Cental Regional: RecapNovember 3, 2007Women's recap

VERMILLION, S.D. Led by first-time winner Tanya Gaurmer (Westminster, Colo.), the Adams State College womens cross country team placed five runners in the top nine while dominating the rest of the field to claim their fifth NCAA Division II North Central Regional Championship title in the last six years, Saturday at the Don Baker Cross Country Course on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

The impressive 58-point victory over Augustana (S.D.) and Western State, who tied for second, qualified the 4-time defending national champion Grizzlies, ranked first in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, for this years championships, slated for Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.

The Grizzly men, ranked second in the nation, also easily qualified for the national meet but came just one point short of a third straight as third-ranked Western State squeaked out a 45-46 win.

Joining the Grizzly women at the national championships will be second-ranked Western State, fifth-ranked Augustana, the host and 23rd-ranked Coyotes, who finished fourth with 115 points, and 15th-ranked North Dakota, which placed fifth with 149.

Nebraska-Kearney, ranked fourth in the region poll and 14th nationally, finished sixth 187 points and will miss out on the national meet.

Gaurmer, a 9-time All-American and 3-time national champion on the indoor track, had never won a collegiate cross country race before finishing the 6,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 44.63 seconds. She and USD sophomore Ramsey Kavan, running with the advantage of the course, battled through much of the race before Gaurmer pulled away to win by more than 10 seconds.

Senior Brittany Somers (Los Alamos, N.M.), the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference individual champion, finished fourth in 21:07.80 behind Kavan and North Central Conference Champion Rachel Stangler of Augustana. Junior Lavenna Mullenbach (Georgetown, Texas) was sixth in 21:09.02 while RMAC Freshman of the Year Ashley Quintana (Pecos, N.M.) finished eighth in 21:21.76.

Grizzly junior Heather Wood (Los Alamos, N.M.) completed ASCs 28-86 victory by finishing ninth in 21:22.47. Sophomore Janette McCarroll (La Jara, Colo.) also earned all-region honors that go to the top 15 finishers by claiming 13th place with a time of 21:51.76. Redshirt freshman Sofia Monroe (Pueblo, Colo.) also competed, finishing 40th in 22:50.33.

The Grizzly men were led by sophomore Reuben Chebon-Mwei (Kapsabet, Kenya), who finished second on the 10K course in 30:16.20. New Mexico Highlands Laurent Ngirakamaro set a course record of 29:44.58 to win.

Western States Iain Donnan, who did not run at the RMAC Championships, which the Grizzlies won by 11 points, was third while the Mountaineers Aaron Clark was fourth.

Grizzly sophomore Aaron Braun (Fort Collins, Colo.), the RMAC Runner of the Year, finished fifth in 30:23.92 while Western States Scott Dahlberg was sixth. ASCs Brian Medigovich (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) was seventh in 30:44.45.

The Mountaineers Tyler Pennel, the RMAC Freshman of the Year finished ninth, four spots ahead of ASCs Ryan McNiff (Los Alamos, N.M.) and was the biggest difference in the ultimate razor-thin Mountaineer victory.

The Grizzlies can take solace in the fact that their fifth, sixth and seventh runners all finished ahead of WSCs fifth man Tyler Rasmussen, who finished 23rd. Sophomore Antonio Lopez (Alamosa, Colo.) led that group of Grizzlies finishing 19th while junior Giacomo Butler (Simi Valley, Calif.) and senior Nick Lara (Alamosa, Colo.) finished 21st and 22nd respectively.

Joining the Grizzlies and Mountaineers at the NCAA Division II National Championships will be sixth-ranked Minnesota State, Mankato, No. 9 Colorado Mines and No. 15 New Mexico Highlands. The North Central Conference Champion Mavericks finished third with 89 points while Colorado Mines finished with 97.

The Cowboys, led by Ngirakamaros run, had 149 points, 35 fewer than the Metro State Roadrunners, who are ranked 14th in the nation but will not be going to the national meet. Minnesota-Duluth, ranked 25th in the nation, will also not be going after finishing seventh with 194 points.

The Bulldogs will be sending an individual in Eric Atkinson, who finished eighth. Wayne States (Neb.) Nate Preston will also be going to the national meet after finishing 18th.

Colorado State-Pueblos Lauren Dunsmoor and Minnesota-Duluths Liz Palkie were the two individual qualifiers on the womens side after finishing seventh and 11th, respectively.

-Courtesy Adams State

Men's recap

The Western State mens cross country edged Adams State to claim the North Central Regional Championship today in Vermillion, S.D.

The Mountaineers squeaked out a 45-46 victory over RMAC Champion Adams State. The Western women finished tied for second with Augustana. Adams State won the womens race 28-86.

Westerns quest for the mens championship was paced by the impressive pack of Iain Donnan, Aaron Clark, Scott Dahlberg and Tyler Pennel.

Donnan and Clark finished third and fourth with times of 30:19.59 and 30:21.02. Dahlberg wasnt far behind, finishing sixth in 30:38.35.

With both Western and Adams having three racers across the finish line, Pennel made the difference by finishing ninth in 30:58.09. The Grizzlies next finisher was 13th when Ryan McNiff finished in 31:29.31.

Red-shirt freshman Tyler Rasmussen came across next for the Mountaineers in 32:01.78 - which was good enough for 23rd place and a victory for the Mountaineers.

Ryan Wilbur finished 31st in 32:24 and Daniel Wallis finished 37th in 32:29.

The victory was even more impressive for the Mountaineers, as they were racing without junior Kim Hogarth.

The Western women were paced by the 12th place finish of freshman Julianne Payton. Payton finished in 21:51.70. Senior Shannon Filar was right behind Payton, finishing 14th in 21:51.99.

Next up for the Mountaineers was the group of Hillory Davis, Alexandra Tayrien and Lisa Thomas.

Davis finished 20th (22:14.67), Tayrien finished 21st (22:15.90) and Thomas finished 22nd (22:16.47).

Sheila Salil finished 25th (22:26) and Elsa Goshu finished 31st (22:31).

Both teams now advance to the Nov. 17 NCAA Division II National Championships.

-Courtesy Western State