Men’s: Men’s team takes fourth at PAC-12 Championship race
Coming into the PAC-12 Championships, the ASU’s men’s team looked to improve on its middle of the pack showing at the Wisconsin Invitational
Saturday morning’s 8k event in Louisville, Colo. was all about bragging rights and gaining experience for the men’s cross-country team.
The team finished fourth overall, a standing that coach Louie Quintana said he was happy with.
“Our expectation today was to be in the top four,” Quintana said. “Washington is a very good team, they’re ranked in the top 25 in the country. Quite honestly we ran Sun Devil tough and to finish fourth was a great accomplishment.”
Quintana said the 5,300-foot altitude was an issue for some of the runners and that is what makes the fourth place finish even more gratifying.
The Sun Devils finished ahead of Washington by two points and behind Colorado, Oregon and Stanford which took first, second and third, respectively.
Quintana said beating Washington was big for the team in terms of showing that they can run with a team that had beat them at the Wisconsin Invitational by over 100 points.
For ASU, senior Garrett Seawell finished with a time of 25:32 to take 13th overall in the event. Seawell finished as ASU’s top runner.
The remaining top five runners for ASU were sophomore Ryan Herson, freshman Bernie Montoya, junior Garrett Baker-Slama and senior Steven Schneiders.
“I was proud of the effort,” Quintana said. “We’re ready and we know there is way more in the tank when we run in Sacramento and we’re excited to see if we can close the gap on the competitors.”
Quintana said this win against the tough Pac-12 schools gives the team great momentum heading into another tough event, the first 10k event of the season.
The next test for ASU will be at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Sacramento, Calif. on November 15.
The regional is a de-qualifier, which means that the top two teams are automatically in the NCAA championship. The rest of the teams have to hope their at-large points are enough to qualify them for the championship race.
Quintana said if the team can finish in the top four or five they will have a real good shot at nationals this year, a position that has eluded them the past several seasons.
ASU’s fourth-place finish was better than UA’s eighth-place, and the Sun Devils won the men’s cross-country Territorial Cup Point.
Women’s: Houlihan continues streak and finishes sixth overall at PAC-12 Championships
The ASU women’s cross country team finished sixth overall at the Pac-12 Championships with 139 points in the 6k event.
Junior Shelby Houlihan finished in fourth place with a time of 21:19, extending her streak of top five finishes this season to three in a row.
Notable mentions to sophomore Adriana Olivas who finished 16th overall with a time of 22:10 and freshman Chiara Warner finished 26th overall with a time of 22:32.
The women’s team continues its solid performance this season behind the uncanny ability of Houlihan, who is on her way to another All-American season.
After the 2k-mark in the 6k event, Houlihan led the pack with a smooth run in the 5,000-plus altitude course.
Houlihan slipped behind the pack after the 4k-mark and had settled into fifth place in the race, but recovered and ended up finishing in fourth place.
This sixth place finish for the women marks another solid performance for a team that has been steady behind the leadership of Houlihan.
UA women won the event to pick up a point in the Territorial Cup Series.
The team will have next week off as it prepares for the NCAA West Regional Championships in Sacramento, Calif. on November 15.
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