Race Is On For Pac-12 Titles In SoCal
Oct. 24, 2012
SEATTLE - One of the biggest weeks of the year is at hand for the Washington distance runners, as the Pac-12 Championships kicks off the second half of the cross country season, “the championship season.” With Saturday’s race in Santa Clarita, Calif. the season builds through the Regional Championships and then the NCAA meet just over three weeks away.
UCLA is hosting the Pac-12 meet this weekend at the Robinson Ranch Golf Course, northeast of Los Angeles. The Pac-12 Network will be broadcasting this year’s championships on a tape delay basis. Saturday, the women’s 6,000-meter race will be up first at 9:40 a.m., followed by the men’s 8,000-meters at 10:40 a.m. Teams are allowed to run ten entries, with the top five scoring, and the sixth and seventh runners displacing scoring runners on other squads.
Washington’s women’s team heads into Pac-12s looking to be in the mix for the conference crown, though several teams will be thinking the same thing. The Huskies are ranked sixth in the nation, but that’s just fourth in the conference, as Oregon is ranked No. 3, Stanford is ranked No. 4, and Arizona is ranked No. 5. Defending Pac-12 Champion Colorado is also ranked 21st and UCLA is 24th.
Junior Katie Flood will be looking to defend her individual conference crown, which she captured last year in Litchfield Park, Ariz., and UW is looking for its first Pac-12 title since 2009. Washington could also receive a boost from junior Megan Goethals. The multiple All-American has yet to race this season but is making the trip and could be on the starting line come Saturday.
The Husky men are hoping to put together their best all-around effort yet this season, after a solid day two weeks ago in Wisconsin that was close to being much better. Senior Joey Bywater heads into his final Pac-12 Cross Country Championships looking to improve on last year’s 16th-place finish. Fellow senior Rob Webster, Jr. should also help power the Huskies as they look to pull off a few upsets. The defending champion Colorado men are the No. 2 team nationally but right behind is No. 3 Stanford. Also ranked is No. 8 Oregon and the host No. 15 Bruins of UCLA.