Women's Cross Country Ranked 15th In West Region
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's women's cross country team finished 15th in the West Regional Cross Country Championship last season and that's exactly where the Bulldog women find themselves in the preseason West Regional rankings this season as selected by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
"We're starting right where we finished last year. Some teams moved up and some teams moved into the poll, so it's nice to see we didn't drop out from where we finished last year," assistant coach Patty Ley said of the inaugural poll ranking for the Bulldog women.
The Gonzaga men cracked the regional rankings for the first time last year, checking in at No. 14.
"It's nice to get the respect of how far this program has come," Ley said. "It's just been a matter of getting them to believe in themselves that they are good enough, and that's one of the things we've worked on."
Two other West Coast Conference schools were also ranked as defending WCC champion University of San Francisco and the University of Portland were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.
"To have three teams ranked in the top 15 shows how tough this conference is getting," Ley said. "It's good for the conference, but now we have to go out and show we can get it done."
The Bulldogs will get their first tune-up of the season Saturday at 10 a.m. at Spokane's Mead High School as Washington State University, the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University will provide the competition. The men's race follows at 10:30 a.m.
Idaho is ranked 14th in the rankings.
"This meet will be a good meet to open the season. We'll get a good look at our newcomers," Ley said.