Nov. 14, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis men's and women's cross country teams will join some of the top cross country runners in the nation on Friday as Sacramento State and the Sacramento Sports Commission hosts the 2013 NCAA West Regional at the Haggin Oaks Golf Course.
Runners from 37 universities in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, will descend upon Sacramento with the men's 10K race beginning at 10:30 a.m., and the women's 6K race following at 11:45 a.m. The top two teams from each of the nine NCAA Regionals will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23. The top four individuals from teams not automatically advancing will also qualify for nationals.
Admission for the event is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.
"The NCAA West Regional assembles a collection of outstanding teams and individuals for a race involving what is arguably the deepest region in the country for cross country," UC Davis head coach Drew Wartenburg said. "Although each region in the nation receives two automatic team berths for the national championships, there are also at large spots up for grabs at the nine regional meets held across the country. A number of those at-large invitations will be earned in Sacramento tomorrow, and both are men and women are aiming to put forth their best efforts in a meet with national implications."
The field includes six women's teams currently ranked among the top 25 in Arizona (1st), Washington (12th), Oregon (15th), San Francisco (17th), Stanford (18th), and Boise State (25th). On the men's side, Oregon is the highest ranked men's team, entering with a No. 4 national ranking. The Ducks are followed by Stanford (sixth), Portland (10th), Arizona State (28th) and Washington (29th).
The venue will also be a familiar one for the Aggies, who competed on the same course earlier this season at the Inter-Regional Jamboree back on Oct. 4. The women's team finished third overall behind only UCLA and Cal Poly, paced by Sarah Sumpter's second-place time of 16:36 in the 5K while UC Davis placed two more in the top 20 with Katie Fry in 12th (17:11) and Anna Welsh (17:16) in 15th.
Brandon Pugh took seventh in the field on the men's side to pace the Aggies to a fourth-place finish behind UCLA, Cal Poly, and UC Santa Barbara, completing the 8K course in a time of 23:48. Trevor Halsted also finished in the top 20 with a time of 24:09 to cross the line in 19th overall.
"The ability to race this year in a virtual 'home meet' scenario has allowed us to go about our normal, daily routines right up until course preview on Thursday, and on race day we will drive east across the Causeway as we do at least once a week for training purposes," Wartenburg said. "With the added incentive of Causeway points on the line Friday morning we have no shortage of motivation and look forward to lacing up the spikes and getting after it when the gun goes off."
After finishing in second for the second consecutive season at the 2013 Big West Conference Championships, the Aggie women will look to improve on last year's sixth-place regional finish in Seattle, Wash., an effort led by Sumpter, who was 13th overall in the women's 6K with a time of 20:03. UC Davis returns its four top runners from last year's regional lineup that also featured Alycia Cridebring in 16th (20:08), Fry in 33rd (20:36), and Christine Hoffmann in 47th (20:51).
Fry finished second at the Big West Championships in San Luis Obispo with a time of 21:49.5 to pace a trio of Aggies in the top 10 as Cridebring (7th - 22:08.4) and Sumpter (8th - 22:08.7) were right behind.
"The past five or six years have seen the women reside squarely on the bubble between regional and national prominence, and the objective on Friday is for each individual to deliver a best effort so that we can step back and be proud of the team's collective performance once the chips all fall," Wartenburg said. "We remain confident that our front three of Cridebring, Fry, and Sumpter, are capable of stacking up against any team in the region, and with a blend of veteran experience and rapidly developing athletes we expect women to assert themselves when it counts on race day."
Coming off its own top-three finish at the Big West Conference Championships, the UC Davis men's team was 15th overall at last year's regional and will return their entire lineup from last year's regional meet to Sacramento on Friday. Halsted was the first across the line for the Aggies last season, completing the 10K course in a time of 30:12 to place 20th overall.
Pugh was third at the recent Big West Championships in San Luis Obispo with a time of 25:27.0 to lead a three-man group of Aggies in the top 10. Halsted finished eighth (25:42.9) and Grayson Hough (26:11.3) was 10th for UC Davis.
"The Aggie men have their sights set on cracking the top 10 on the regional depth chart for the first time in program history," Wartenburg said. "In addition to the large and challenging field, during the post-season, we also add 2 kilometers of distance onto the men's race, making their charge on Friday a formidable 10,000m of racing on grass.
"While there is nothing further that can be done on the training side of things at this point, approaching a race like this one with an alert, yet patient, mindset and race plan remains a key factor in success for a competition that will take a half an hour to contest. We like our combination of Brandon and Trevor mixing things up in the front of the field, while Grayson has been tasked with keeping our pack together for as long as possible before everyone makes a final push in the race's late stages."
2013 NCAA WEST REGIONAL
Nov. 15, 2013 - Haggin Oaks Golf Course - Sacramento, Calif.
UC DAVIS MEN'S ENTRIES (which finishes and times from 2012 NCAA West Regional)
Amar Dholakia (So., Placentia, Calif./Esperanza HS '12) - 108th, 31:44
Trevor Halsted (Jr., Davis, Calif./Davis HS '11) - 20th, 30:12
Grayson Hough (Sr., Davis, Calif./Davis HS '10) - 136th, 32:22
Will Melton (Jr., Walnut Creek, Calif./American River College)
Eric Neill (So., Yreka, Calif./Yreka HS '12)
Cody Nguyen (So., Yorba Linda, Calif./Brea Olinda HS '12) - 123rd, 32:02
Brandon Pugh (So., San Juan Capistrano, Calif./San Juan Hills HS '12) - 65th, 30:50
Nick Ratto (So., Alameda, Calif./St. Joseph's Notre Dame HS '12)
Jordon Rushing (So., Fair Oaks, Calif./Del Campo HS '12) - 175th, 33:41
Nathan Strum (Sr., San Jose, Calif./Pioneer HS '10) - 110th, 31:45
UC DAVIS WOMEN'S ENTRIES (which finishes and times from 2012 NCAA West Regional)
Erika Barr (So., Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS '12)
Alycia Cridebring (Sr., Pleasant Hill, Calif./College Park HS '10) - 16th, 20:08
Katie Fry (Jr., Lemon Cove, Calif./Exeter Union HS '11) - 33rd, 20:36
Olivia Goins (Fr., Anaheim Hills, Calif./Canyon HS '13)
Shannon Harcus (Sr., Auburn, Calif./Placer HS '10) - 113th, 21:44
Christine Hoffmann (So., San Luis Obispo, Calif./San Luis Obispo HS '12) - 47th, 20:51
Hannah Kirkegaard (Fr., Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS '13)
Raquel Lambdin (Jr., Camarillo, Calif./Adolfo Camarillo HS '11)
Sarah Sumpter (Sr., Cloverdale, Calif./Healdsburg HS '08) - 13th, 20:03
Anna Welsh (So., Monterey, Calif./Monterey HS '12)