Nov. 9, 2012
SEATTLE -- Sophomore Shelby Houlihan took fourth place while the Arizona State University men were sixth overall at the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships on Friday.
Houlihan's finish matched the seventh-best finish in ASU history at the Regional meet and is the best finish since Amy Hastings took second in 2005. While not all cross country courses are built the same, Houlihan clocked a time of 19:50 at the Jefferson Park Golf Course in the fastest time run by a Sun Devil over a 6,000-meter race, beating her own record of 19:58 set earlier this season - a school record previously held by the Olympian Hastings.
With the finish, Houlihan earned an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships as an individual competitor.
The women were 12th overall with 329 points, just 24 points out of ninth, while Oregon won the team championship with 64 points.
The Sun Devil men will be on the edge of their seats awaiting the NCAA to announce the national championship field of 31 teams following a sixth-place run on Friday.
Senior Nick Happe took All-West Region honors for the second consecutive season with a 25th-place finish in 30:18 to pace the Sun Devils for the second consecutive week.
There was then a pack of Sun Devils across the line to round out the scoring for ASU as redshirt freshman Ryan Herson had one of his best runs of his young career with a 44th-place finish in 30:30 in the team's first 10,000-meter run of the season.
Redshirt junior Steven Schnieders was next across the line for ASU in 47th place in 30:31. Seniors Zach Zarda and Darius Terry rounded out the scoring in 50th and 52nd in 30:33 and 30:36, respectively.
With the finish, the Sun Devils will enter the NCAA selection process as a bubble team - a position the team is familiar with after just missing advancing to the NCAA Championships the past two seasons.
Stanford was the men's team champion with a dominating effort, scoring 45 points. ASU finished with 218 points.
An update on the men's team's qualification process will be available at www.thesundevils.com when the final entry lists are released.