Mills Qualifies for Nationals with Seventh Place Finish
Nov. 13, 2015
SEATTLE -- Shelby Mills led the Gonzaga women's cross country team to a sixth place team finish, after crossing the line in seventh as an individual at the NCAA West Regional on the Jefferson Golf Course Friday.
Mills' finish automatically qualified her for the 2015 NCAA Cross Country National Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 21. Cheska Fairbanks was the last, when she finished as an All-American with a 14th place finish in 1996.
Mills finished with a time of 20:47.4. She had an average mile of 5:34.4. The senior paced the Zags to their best team finish in the last 16 years as well. Gonzaga's 224 points were sixth in the race.
The Gonzaga men finished 10th, matching their finish last season. Both the Zag women and men had their lowest point totals in their respective program histories.
"It was a mud bath on the course," Director of GU Cross Country Pat Tyson said. "It was torrential rain with major gusty winds! But, what a day for the Zags! Shelby to the NCAA's, two women and two men on awards stand, and the lowest team points ever in regional history for both teams. It was a good day, but we wanted more!"
Matthew Crichlow's 18th place finish was the best for GU in the past 20 years. The redshirt senior crossed the line at 31:30.3. His time is the 12th-fastest in program history on a 10,000-meter course.
Jessica Mildes came in 21st place in the women's race with a time of 21:09.4. Jordan Thurston crossed the line at 21:30.9 in 44th place. Amelia Evans (22:02.7) and Maggie Jones (22:03.0) rounded out the Bulldog scoring in 76th and 78th.
The Gonzaga women and Crichlow will anxiously wait for the national fields to be announced Saturday. Both have a chance at at-large berths. The announcement will be made on NCAA.com.
"Different commentators are showing different projections if we're getting in," GU women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. "I guess we will be hitting refresh a few times tomorrow morning. It was a great race by Shelby to mix it up up-front. The biggest smile of the day was when she heard the team might still have a shot."
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