NCAA CROSS COUNTRY WEST REGIONAL RETURNS TO SACRAMENTO ON FRIDAY

NCAA CROSS COUNTRY WEST REGIONAL RETURNS TO SACRAMENTO ON FRIDAY

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Many of the best cross country runners in Div. I will make their way to Sacramento this week for the NCAA Div. I Cross Country West Regional. The meet will take place on Friday, Nov. 11, at Haggin Oaks Golf Course and will be co-hosted by Sacramento State and the Sacramento Sports Commission.

The women's 6K race will start at 11 a.m. while the men's 10K event will get under way at 12 p.m. This is the second time that Sacramento has hosted the NCAA West Regional since 2013. The top two team finishers from both races will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. Admission is free to the races but there will be a charge for parking.

"Sacramento State has played a huge role in hosting track and field and cross country events at a regional and national level," Sacramento State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Jeff Magley said. "To welcome the top 30 teams in the West to Sacramento is a tremendous honor. It's also a great experience for our student-athletes to race at a meet like that on their home soil in front of friends and family.

"This is a very fast, spectator friendly course, which should allow the athletes to compete at their best. We should have great weather and I'm looking forward to the meet."

The women's race features six teams ranked among the top 30 in the latest United State Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association poll, including three in the top 10. Washington is the top ranked team in the field and is ranked fourth nationally. The Huskies are coming off a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships and have three meet titles this season. Senior Amy-Eloise Neale was the Pac-12 champion after a sprint to the final gave her a victory by 0.4 seconds.

Three other Pac-12 teams are ranked in the polls. Stanford is tied for seventh and Oregon, which has won the last two NCAA West Regional titles, is 11th. Cal completes the trio by being ranked 27th.

Portland is the top ranked team in the field outside of the Pac-12. The Pilots are 10th nationally after winning the West Coast Conference championship. Junior Lauren LaRocco was the WCC individual champion. San Francisco rounds out the ranked teams and is ranked 16th.

In the men's race, Stanford is the top ranked team in the field. The Cardinal finished second at the Pac-12 Championships to Colorado and are ranked fourth in the West Region. Sophomore Grant Fisher placed second at the meet and Thomas Ratcliffe was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

UCLA, Oregon and Washington State are all ranked among the top 20 in the most recent poll. The Bruins placed third at the Pac-12 meet and are eighth nationally. Oregon is 10th in Div. I after placing fourth at the league meet. Washington State was fifth at the conference championship and comes into the regional ranked 17th nationally.

Portland completed the WCC title sweep by winning the men's team title and are ranked 12th. Boise State moved to 20th in the rankings after winning the Mountain West title. Junior Yusuke Uchikoshi was the MWC champion.

Cal Poly accounts for the other two conference champions in the meet. The Mustangs won both the men's and women's titles at the Big West Championships in Hawaii.

Sacramento State finished ninth at the Big Sky Championships in both the men's and women's races. The Hornet women have been led by Amy Quinones throughout the season. The junior finished 11th at the conference meet and has recorded the fastest time on the team in four of her five races. Sam Scheuer has paced the Hornet men in four of the team's five races.