Cross Country Releases 2016 Schedule
July 25, 2016
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga is coming off one the best cross country seasons it's ever had. The Zags released their 2016 schedule, and will look to continue their upward trend.
"I really like our schedule for this fall," Director of GU Cross Country Pat Tyson said. "It fits where we are as a team. We're keeping things pretty simple throughout September. One of the reasons for going to Missoula is to showcase Gonzaga in what I consider an excellent recruiting area. The Pre-National meet will be the toughest venue we've ever competed in as a men's team. It really is a rough draft for the national championships. But, we have really fun stuff ahead!"
The Zags open their 2016 schedule at the annual Clash of the Inland Northwest on Sept. 1. The rotating meet is hosted by the University of Idaho this season in Moscow. The twilight races will give the Bulldogs great starts to their season over the 6,000 and 4,000-meter courses. GU ran well at the meet last season in Colfax, Wash., the Zag men placed five runners in the top-10, while the women had two top-10 finishers.
Two weeks later, Gonzaga welcomes the University of Idaho for a dual meet. The location of the event will be released in the near future.
The Bulldogs make the short trek to Missoula, Mont., for the Montana Invitational on Sept. 30. GU returns to the annual Friday evening meet for the first time since 2014, when both the Zag women and men placed third. Max Kaderabek placed 11th in the men's 8,000-meter race, while Jordan Thurston covered the women's 5K at 18:10.30 in 15th-place.
Gonzaga will split its squads on Oct. 15, sending a select group to Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA Pre-Nationals and another group to the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho. The Pre Nationals will give the Zags a sample of the national championships, which will be run on the same course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center on Nov. 19. The Inland Empire Classic returns to the Lewiston Orchards, where GU swept the women's and men's team titles last season.
The University of San Diego hosts the 2016 West Coast Conference Championships on Oct. 28. The Bulldogs will look for similar success to last season's results, before heading to Sacramento, Calif., for the NCAA West Regionals on Nov. 11. This year's regionals will be run at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.
"We are looking to build on our success from last year," women's Head Coach Patty Ley said. "We will use this schedule to develop and grow for this season and the future. We want high-end competitions to simply become part of our standard expectations each year. The administration has been awesome in supporting this growth and we look forward to an exciting season, with new names filling those top spots left by Maggie (Jones), Amelia (Evans) and Shelby (Mills)."
The GU women finished the 2015 season by placing 25th in the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championships. Gonzaga qualified for it's first-ever trip to nationals behind its highest-ever finish in the NCAA West Regional Championships, placing sixth. The Bulldogs' No. 5 regional ranking was their highest in program history, and their No. 30 national ranking, was the program's first appearance in the national poll.
All of those accolades came after Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference title. The Zags' first-place finish was the first conference title in 20 years and only the second in program history. Ley was named the 2015 West Coast Conference women's Cross Country Coach of the Year following the event. She became the first Zag to receive that honor since Kevin Swaim in 2000.
The Zags will have to replace a key piece to 2015's success, last year's West Coast Conference Runner of the Year, Shelby Mills. The graduated senior rewrote the program's record books during her successful stint. She was the conference's top finisher at both regionals and nationals last season, before qualifying for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the second straight season.
Gonzaga's men's cross country team also broke through in 2015, as Matthew Crichlow became the first Zag to run in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. He and Troy Fraley were both named All-Region after their finishes at the NCAA West Regionals. Last season, Fraley was tabbed First Team All-West Coast Conference as well.
10/25/2017 - Gonzaga Harriers Head to Conference Championships
10/14/2017 - Kaderabek Runs Sixth-Fastest 8K in Program History
10/12/2017 - Zags Split Squads at Pre-Nationals and Inland Empire
09/29/2017 - Gonzaga Men Place Fifth at Bill Dellinger Invitational
09/27/2017 - Gonzaga Harriers Head to Elite Races
09/16/2017 - Goodwin Leads Zag Men to Win
09/14/2017 - Cross Country Welcomes Idaho for Dual