Nov. 12, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Both the Cal men's and women's cross country teams finished in fifth place at the NCAA West Region meet Saturday, putting the two squads in position to earn at-large berths to the NCAA championships. Should the teams receive their invitations, it will mark the first time in school history the men and women will compete together at nationals.
In the final standings, the Golden Bear men helped their cause by finishing ahead of two ranked teams - No. 17 Oregon and No. 21 UCLA. Junior Collin Jarvis was Cal's lead runner, taking 12th among the 172 competitors in the field, a 10-spot improvement from last year. He covered the 10,000-meter route at the Stanford Golf Course in 30:06.
The Bears totaled 173 points for a two-point edge over Oregon and UCLA, which tied for sixth. No. 6 Stanford captured the team title with 50 points, with eighth-ranked Portland second, Cal Poly third and Washington State fourth.
"I thought the men responded very well today, knowing that they had to run a perfect race to be in position to for an at-large selection," head coach Tony Sandoval said. "Collin and Maxime ran an aggressive race from the start and their teammates followed. We paid for it at the end, but we felt running from behind was more risky with everything on the line."
In the women's race, the 26th-ranked Bears matched their fifth-placing showing from last year for their highest finish since Cal was second at regionals in 1988, the last time the team qualified for the national meet.
Senior Deborah Maier was the regional runner-up for the second year in a row - no Golden Bear has ever finished higher in the NCAA race - covering 6000 meters in 19:51, just six seconds behind Oregon's Jordan Hasay.
Senior Chelsea Reilly also had a career-best performance by taking ninth in 20:08, topping her 44th-place effort from her true freshman year in 2007. Others to score for Cal were senior Taylor Dutch (26th), sophomore Elisa Karhu (35th) and junior Keena Kohl (70th).
No. 6 Washington totaled 50 points for first place in the team race, followed by No. 16 Arizona (98), No. 8 Stanford (111), No. 11 Oregon (120) and Cal (141).
"The women ran a more conservative race knowing that an at-large selection was nearly a guarantee," Sandoval said. "Deborah returned to action after missing the Pac 12 meet (ankle) with an impressive runner-up finish, and Chelsea Reilly ran a career-best cross country race."
The top two teams from each of Saturday's regional races automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships meet set for Monday, Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. The rest of the 31-team field - 13 at-large schools after factoring in all regional qualifiers - will be announced Sunday.
NCAA West Regional
Men's Results (10,000m)
Team Leaders: 1. Stanford 50; 2. Portland 53; 3. Cal Poly 122; 4. Washington State 141; 5. California 173; 6. Oregon 175; 6. UCLA 175; 8. Arizona State 214; 9. Long Beach State 288; 10. UC Santa Barbara 322.
Women's Results (6000m)
Team Leaders: 1. Washington 50; 2. Arizona 98; 3. Stanford 111; 4. Oregon 120; 5. California 141; 6. San Francisco 169; 7. Arizona State 241; 8. UC Davis 247; 9. Cal Poly 270; 10. Portland 315.