Willamette Ready to Host NCAA West Regional in Cross Country

Action Set for Saturday, Nov. 13 - Men at 11 a.m., Women at 12 p.m.

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University will host the 2010 NCAA Division III West Regional in cross country this Saturday, Nov. 13, on the grass course at Bush's Pasture Park. Action will get underway with the 8-kilometer men's race at 11 a.m. (PST), followed by the 6-kilometer women's race at 12 p.m.

The West Regional will feature teams from the Northwest Conference (NWC) and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Also competing will be Colorado College from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), plus independents Chapman University (Calif.) and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Regional Returns to Bush's Pasture Park

It is the fourth time Willamette has hosted the NCAA West Regional in the past 10 years. Willamette also hosted the event in 2001, 2005 and 2008.

National Rankings

Four of the West Region men's teams and three of the women's teams are nationally ranked by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

In this week's men's National Poll, Whitworth University is #15, with Colorado College at #19, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #24 and Willamette University at #29. In the women's National Poll, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is ranked #13, with Lewis & Clark College at #18 and Whitworth at #34.

Regional Rankings

Within the West Region, Whitworth holds the #1 men's ranking and Colorado College is ranked #2. CMS is listed as the #3 team, followed by Willamette at #4 and Lewis & Clark at #5. The women's rankings for the West Region are topped by CMS. Lewis & Clark is listed at #2, while Whitworth is #3, Willamette holds #4 and Whitman College is placed at #5.

Conference Championships

At the NWC Championships, held at Fort Steilacoom Park in Tacoma, Wash., on Oct. 30, Whitworth won the men's team title with a score of 33. Willamette took second place with a score of 36, while Lewis & Clark finished third at 66.

In the NWC women's race, Lewis & Clark claimed the championship with a score of 43. Whitworth was second at 73 and Willamette placed third at 94.

Leo Castillo (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) of Willamette won the NWC men's championship with a time of 25:18.66 for the 8-kilometer race. Stefan Redfield (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS), also from Willamette, earned second place, while Aaron Jenkins of Whitworth placed third. Kalen Darling of Whitworth was fourth and Richie LeDonne of LC& was fifth.

Willamette's Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) achieved the NWC women's championship. She concluded the 6-kilometer race in 22:09.52. Joy Shufeldt of Whitworth placed second, and Tonya Turner, also from Whitworth, was third. Fourth place went to Illana Livstrom of Lewis & Clark. Emily Thomas from L&C finished fifth.

The SCIAC Championships were held at Prado Park in Chino, Calif. In the men's competition, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the title with a score of 32. Pomona-Pitzer was second at 57 and Occidental College took third at 94. CMS also won the women's championship with a score of 47. University of Redlands (Calif.) claimed second place at 75 and Whittier College (Calif.) was third at 89.

Individual SCIAC titles when to Eric Kleinsasser of Occidental College and to Michele Callaway of Whittier. Kleinsasser won the men's race in 25:53.23. He was followed by Brian Sutter of CMS in second, A.J. Licon from the University of La Verne in third, Kris Brown of CMS in fourth and Charles Enscoe of Pomona-Pitzer in fifth.

Callaway took first place in the SCIAC women's race by finishing the course in 22:57.59. Annie Lydens of Pomona-Pitzer finished second, Jennifer Tave of CMS was third, Toccoa Kahovec of California Lutheran University was fourth and Emily Canales from the University of Redlands, was fifth.

Colorado College won the SCAC men's championship with a score of 57. Jackson Brainerd achieved first place in the men's race for the Tigers by completing the course in 25:09.6. Andrew Wagner of Colorado College was third.

West Regional Entries

A total of 17 full teams are entered in the West Regional men's race, with 17 teams also entered in the women's race. Partial women's teams from Chapman, George Fox University and Pomona-Pitzer also will compete, along with a partial men's team from Chapman. Pacific Lutheran University and UC-Santa Cruz will be participating only in the women's race.

Each team entered up to 10 runners and alternates. Seven runners will be allowed to compete per team, with the top five finishers determining the score.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is the defending men's team champion at the West Regional, while Brainerd of Colorado College is the defending men's individual winner. Kleinsasser of Occidental returns after placing second in 2009. The defending women's team champion at the West Regional is Whitworth and the top returning women's finisher is Tave of CMS, who took second place last fall.

Advancing to the NCAA National Championships

The top two teams in each of this year's races will receive automatic bids to the 2010 NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 20 in Waverly, Iowa. Teams placing third, fourth and fifth will be eligible for at-large berths to the NCAA Championship. A total of 16 automatic bids and 16 at-large bids from the eight NCAA Regionals will determine which teams advance.

Once the at-large bids have been announced, the top seven men's runners and the top seven women's runners from each Regional, whose teams have not received an automatic bid or an at-large bid, will complete the overall field for the National Championships.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
NCAA Division III West Regional
Bush's Pasture Park, Salem, Ore.
Nov. 13, 2010
Leo Castillo of Willamette won the 2010 Northwest Conference individual championship.

Leo Castillo of Willamette won the 2010 Northwest Conference individual championship.