Close to Earning Top 30 National Ranking, EWU Women’s XC Remains Sixth In West Region Rankings

Close to Earning Top 30 National Ranking, EWU Women’s XC Remains Sixth In West Region Rankings

After coming off of program best performances at the Big Sky Conference Championships (Oct. 31), the next action for the Eagles is the West Regional Championships in Seattle on Nov. 13

Cheney, Wash. – Coming off of a runner-up finish at the Big Sky Championships, the Eastern Washington University women's cross country team remains ranked sixth this week in the West Region.

The Eagles rank just behind No. 5 Gonzaga, which is also 30th in the National rankings. Previously, Eastern ranked ahead of the West Coast Conference school in the regional rankings.

The Eagles had a best ever second-place finish last Saturday (Oct. 31), in Cedar City, Utah, and in the process finished above four other regionally ranked teams from the Mountain Region. The Eagles placed behind Weber State who is currently ranked fourth in the Mountain Region and 25th nationally.

 Eastern's men's and women's teams will travel across the state to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the NCAA West Regional Championships next week on Friday, Nov. 13. The meet will be hosted by the University of Washington at the Jefferson Park Golf Course.

"We are pleased but not satisfied with our performance at the Big Sky Championships and motivated to get more at Regionals," said Eastern Head Coach Chris Shane. "All in all, our motivation is high and our training is looking perfect.  I expect to come away with a great result in two weeks."

The women's team will race first over a 6,000 meter course, starting at noon. The men will follow, racing a 10,000 meter course, and starting at 1 p.m. The Eagles will race against over 30 men's and women's teams, including the top teams in the West Region from the Pac-12, WAC, Mountain West, West Coast, and Big West conferences.

Looking at the regional rankings for the women's team, not much has changed for the top five teams. Sitting at the top of the regional rankings is Oregon, followed by Boise State in second. Stanford, which was ranked fourth previously, is now ranked third in the region, while Washington dropped to fourth from a previous ranking of third. GU jumped up two spots from the Oct. 26 rankings.

In the men's regional rankings, Stanford jumped to first after ranking seventh on Oct. 26, dropping Oregon to second after being ranked first. Washington jumped to third in the region after being previously ranked No. 5. UCLA dropped down to fourth in the region after being ranked second previously, and Boise State dropped to fifth in the region after being ranked third. The Eastern Washington men's team is not currently ranked in the top 15 in the West Region.

There are nine regional meets where the top two teams automatically qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 21. After those 18 teams, 13 at-large teams are selected based on how well they've competed against the automatic qualifiers. For an individual to advance, they must be one of the first four individual runners to place, and finish in the top 25 overall in their region.

The last Eagle to qualify for nationals as an individual was Paul Limpf in 2008, where he finished 73rd. He finished 11th overall and was the top individual in the region. The last female to advance to the NCAA Championships was Mattie Bridgmon who placed 34th in 2007. She finished 20th overall at the Regional Championships that year.

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