STANFORD, Calif. – Jordan Hasay used a kick down the final hill to win the NCAA West Regional women’s cross country title for the second year in a row Saturday on the Stanford Golf Course.
Luke Puskedra finished sixth in the men’s race as those two Duck runners earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
In the team standings, the women finished fourth in an excellent field, while the men tied for sixth. Both teams now await an at-large bid to the NCAA meet; bids will be announced Sunday.
“It was a great race by Jordan,” said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. “The women’s team did a nice job and Luke had a good day, too.
“We have faith in the selection process and I think our women will be O.K. in terms of an at large bid,” said Lananna. “The West is a very strong region.
“For the men, we’ve a very young team and it’s a tough region,” said Lananna. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Hasay fought off a strong challenge from Loyola Marymount’s Tara Erdmann and pulled away over the final 1,000 meters to win in 19:44. Erdmann took the race out fast and opened up a gap on the field, though Hasay never let the LMU runner get too far out of touch.
Hasay, a junior from Arroyo Grande, Calif., pulled even midway through the 6,000-meter race and then kicked hard down the course’s final hill to pull away from Erdmann. Deborah Maier of California took second in 19:51 and Erdmann dropped to third in 19:53.
Hasay led four Ducks in the top 23 as No. 11 Oregon claimed fourth place with 120 points. No. 6 Washington won the race with 50 points, while No. 16 Arizona was second with 98 points. No. 8 Stanford was third with 111 points, followed by the Ducks, No. 26 California (141) and No. 27 San Francisco (169).
Seniors Bronwyn Crossman and Claire Michel were solid in their final Regional appearances. Crossman, from Bellingham, Wash., finished 15th in 20:43, with Michel, from Clackamas, Ore., took 21st in 20:51. Sophomore Lanie Thompson was 23rd in 23:53 and freshman Molly Grabill took 60th in 21:41 to round out the scoring for the Ducks.
“Our women have been on the verge of doing something really big and we were right there again today,” said Lananna. “We’ll go back to work and see what we can do at the national meet.”
Hasay became just the second Duck to win the Regional meet twice and the first to do it in consecutive years. Penny Graves was the West individual champion in 1986 and 1988.
Puskedra extended a couple of remarkable streaks on Saturday. The race marked his eighth-straight top-10 finish dating back to last season. It was also his third straight sixth-place showing at the Regional meet. The senior from Ogden, Utah, covered the 10,000 meter course in 29:01.
Other highlights for the men included sophomore Parker Stinson’s 16th-place run in 29:49 and freshman Jeramy Elkaim taking 36th in 39:18 in his first NCAA competition.
No. 6 Stanford won the men’s race with 50 points, edging No. 8 Portland. The Pilots scored 53. Cal Poly was next with 122 points, followed by Washington State (141) and California (173). No. 17 Oregon and No. 21 UCLA tied for sixth with 175 points.
Pac-12 individual champion Lawi Lalang of Arizona claimed his first NCAA West crown. The freshman won in 28:34.
The top two teams and the top four individuals not on those teams automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships a week from Monday. An additional 13 at large teams, as well as at-large individuals, will be announced Sunday.