Nov. 12, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. – The Arizona State University cross country teams battled against the best teams in the West on Saturday as the squads competed at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Palo Alto, Calif. The Sun Devil women’s team finished seventh overall while the men were eighth on the day.
Both teams remain on the bubble of qualifying for the NCAA Championships, which will take place on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind., and will await the official NCAA competition announcement tomorrow evening.
Freshman Shelby Houlihan is the only member of the teams that has her an NCAA Championship fate decided. The youngster out of Sioux City, Iowa, was the top freshman in the field on Saturday as she finished 12th overall in 20:36. Should the Sun Devil women not qualify, Houlihan would likely be the second highest finisher in the race from a non-qualifying school and would thus advance to the NCAA Championships as an individual runner.
The men opened off the day of competition at the Stanford Golf Course with the first 10,000-meter race of the reason. Junior Nick Happe paced the men for the third consecutive race as he reeled off an impressive 21st-place finish in what he later dubbed ‘the best cross country race of my life’.
Happe covered the course in 29:56 to earn All-Region honors for the first time in his career. Dependent on the fates of some of the others teams in the race, Happe still has a shot of qualifying as an individual competitor even if the men do not qualify as a team.
Matt Boughton was next across the line for the Sun Devils, finishing in 30:19 in 39th-place overall. Boughton was the first of a pack of ASU runners as Doug Smith was not far behind in 44th place in a time of 30:24.
Senior Daniel Lovell came next for ASU in 56th place in 30:41 while Brian Pierre, a transfer from Boise State who made an immediate impact with the Sun Devils, was the final point-scoring individual in 63rd place in a time of 30:46.
On the women’s side, senior Lindsay Prescott was the next runner behind Houlihan as she clocked a time of 21:15 to finish 36th. Junior Kate Lydy had one of her strongest runs of the reason as she finished 55th overall as the third ASU runner.
Stanford was the men’s team champion defeating the field of 25 in the process while Washington won the women’s race and was easily the class of the field of 31 teams. Lawi Lalang of Arizona won the men’s competition, a field that featured 172 runners while Jordan Hasay of Oregon returned to her winning ways as she paced the field of 219 in the women’s race.
The teams will await the newest Kolas Calculator - the calculations used to decide the NCAA field – which is set to have its most updated release tonight at 8 p.m. CST. The NCAA will officially announce the NCAA Championship field tomorrow.
Should the teams qualify, the NCAA Championships will be run on Monday, Nov. 21, at the LaVern Gibson Championships Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Check back at thesundevils.com tomorrow evening to learn the official announcement as to the ASU cross country program’s qualification status.