SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State's Reesey Byers placed 24th and Rachel Mitchell was 28th to lead the Hornets at the NCAA Cross Country West Regional on Friday at Haggin Oaks Golf Course. As a team, the Hornet men placed 18th in the 10K race. The Sacramento State women finished 16th in its 6K race.
Byers took to the course in the first race of the day and was in the lead pack throughout the race. The senior's finish was the best by a Hornet at an NCAA regional since Hector Delgado placed 21st in 1997 and ranks second in school history. His time of 30:22 is the third fastest by a Hornet at the West Regional.
Oregon's Edward Cheserek and Parker Stinson held the lead for much of the race. Cheserek pulled away down the stretch to earn the individual win. Stanford charged late with Jim Rosa and Erik Olson placing second and third and Michael Atchoo finishing sixth to take the team title. The Cardinal scored 53 points and were trailed by Oregon (64), Portland (92), Boise State (117) and Arizona State (184) in the top five. Both Stanford and Oregon earned automatic berths into the NCAA Championships.
Dan Mitchell recorded the second fastest finish for Sacramento State, running 31:42 to place 90th. Domenic D'Acquisto finished in 111th at 32:06. Cole Younger (33:07) and Drew Azevedo (33:31) completed the scorers for the Hornets, placing 153rd and 161st, respectively.
In the women's race, Rachel Mitchell ran 20:19 leaving her just three seconds out of 25th place and keeping her off the podium. The senior was near the front of the field in the early going but slipped back as the race strung out. The Fremont, Calif., native is the first Hornet other than Marisa Avendano to place among the top 30 at an NCAA cross country regional. Avendano was third in 1996 and ninth in 1997.
Boise State's Emma Bates finished first in 19:11 and was three seconds ahead of Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State. Aisling Cuffe of Stanford was one second off of Houlihan to claim third place.
Arizona, which entered the meet as the top ranked team in the nation, secured its national ranking by winning the team title. The Wildcats did not have a runner among the top seven finishers, but packed four into the spots 8-12 to finish with 84 total points. Stanford was second with 94 while Oregon (120) completed a Pac-12 sweep of the top three spots.
Chloe Berlioux ran 20:45 to place 49th overall and second among Sacramento State entries. Berlioux's finish was also the seventh best in school history at the regionals.
Lauren Mugnaini, Emily Johnston and Veronica Stinnett completed the scorers for Sacramento State. Muganaini was 100th in 21:34. Johnston was three seconds behind and finished 104th. Stinnett ran 21:56 to place 140th.
Men's Individual Winner Edward Cheserek, Oregon
"The race was really great. I came here today and ran with my teammates and everybody else. The race went good for me today. I was feeling very much good. It feels nice to come in and run well as a team."
Oregon Cross Country Coach Andy Powell
"I think they did well. I am pretty confident we had pretty low score, good enough to get in the NCAA meet. We tried to have two guys run up in the front to get the two low sticks. We had our other guys pack it up."
"Moving forward we have eight days now so it all about getting them recovered. Basically if they do the same thing they did here, we will have a pretty good national meet."
"He is a stud. He did a great job. He looked relaxed and had plenty left in him. I think he was trying to save something for the NCAA meet. He did what he had to to get the win and help his teammate out. I think he will continue to be a really good one for us."
Women's Individual Winner Emma Bates, Boise State
"The start was pretty tough with the false start and everything. The pace went out pretty well. Laura Hollander (Cal Poly) went out pretty quick but we held back in a pack. I kept moving up and pushing the pace until that last k. Then Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State started picking it up so I went with her. The last 400-500 meters we started pumping pretty hard."
"It feels really good. I won Pre-Nationals as well and that was the biggest meet I have ever won. Cross has not been my best event for running so to come out and compete against these top women is very exciting."
On NCAA Meet...
"This whole season I have been shooting for the win. Just to be in there and fighting for the win is going to be a pretty big task. I am going to be in there and do my best, believe in myself and pull off a good one."
Arizona Women's Cross Country Coach Mo Huber
"The goal for today was to come here and punch our ticket to Nationals. It was not to run extremely hard and go to the well. We wanted to get the job done and be able to recover. Now we are looking forward to the national meet in eight days."
"Overall, I think the girls did a really good job. They looked comfortable and were able to talk to each other for most of the race. It was really good."
Any Pressure coming in as the No. 1 team in the country...
"Of course we have the targets on our back. It is big thing for our ladies. It is a big learning experience going into nationals. It is another thing they need to be able to handle."
2013 NCAA CROSS COUNTRY WEST REGIONAL
MEN'S TEAM SCORES
|WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS
1. Arizona 84
2. Stanford 94
3. Oregon 120
4. San Francisco 140
5. Washington 162
6. Arizona State 175
7. UC Davis 221
8. Cal Poly 259
9. Portland 284
10. Boise State 300
11. Loyola Marymount 307
12. UCLA 330
13. California 353
14. Washington State 401
15. Oregon State 407
16. SACRAMENTO STATE 421
17. Gonzaga 437
18. UC Santa Barbara 447
19. Idaho 519
20. Seattle 563
21. UC Riverside 569
22. Eastern Washington 627
23. Fresno State 642
24. Santa Clara 679
25. Portland State 689
26. Long Beach State 689
27. Pepperdine 713
28. San Diego 716
29. Cal State Fullerton 778
30. San Diego State 810
31. UC Irvine 891
32. UNLV 940
INDIVIDUAL TOP FIVE
1. Emma Bates, Boise State, 19:11
2. Shelby Houlihan, Arizona State, 19:14
3. Aisling Cuffe, Stanford, 19:15
4. Katie Flood, Washington 19:27
5. Kelsey Santisteban, Cal, 19:29
SACRAMENTO STATE FINISHERS
28. Rachel Mitchell 20:19
49. Chloe Berlioux 20:45
100. Lauren Mugnaini 21:24
104. Emily Johnston 21:27
140. Veronica Stinnett 21:56
154. Stephanie Rasmussen 22:04
211. Teresa Mallory 23:17