Gonzaga Cross Country Ready for Postseason

Oct. 26, 2016

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Gonzaga at the West Coast Conference Championships
FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2016 | SAN DIEGO, CA  |  TECOLOTE SHORES PARK
 
ABOUT THE MEET:
- This is the first time the West Coast Conference Cross Country Championships has been held in San Diego.
- Admission and parking are free and the races will be streamed live on TheW.tv.
- At last year’s WCC championships, BYU claimed the men’s title, while the Gonzaga women won in Spokane.
- The BYU men enter the race with a No. 4 national ranking and No. 12 Portland (No. 4 West Regional) will challenge them for first place.
- Other men’s teams holding a west regional ranking include: No. 8 San Francisco, No. 11 Gonzaga, and No. 15 Saint Mary’s.
- There are three WCC women’s teams ranked nationally: No. 8 Portland, No. 13 San Francisco, and No. 20 BYU.
- Loyola Marymount, who has a No. 14 west regional ranking, will also challenge for a top spot.
 
COURSE INFORMATION:             
- The course is a spectator-friendly, European-style 2,000-meter grass loop running along the east side of Mission Bay Park and Fiesta Island.
- The terrain during the first 1,000 meters of the loop is primary flat and very fast.
- During the second 1,000 meters of the loop the course includes a series of five small grass inclines.
- The average width of the course is 15 meters and there are a few sections where the course narrows to about five meters in width.
- The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 60’s for both races.
 
LAST YEAR’S WCC CHAMPIONSHIPS ZAG RECAP:             
- For the first time in 20 years, and only the second time in program history, the GU women won the West Coast Conference title.
- The Zags’ claimed the 2015 crown, led by a first place individual finish from Shelby Mills. The races were run at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley.
- Gonzaga finished tied with BYU with 59 points, but the Bulldogs won the tiebreaker.
- Mills led for the entirety of the race by a large margin. She created a gap from the 82-runner field and coasted to the title with a time of 20:55.7.
- The Zags’ Jessica Mildes placed third with a time of 21:10.4, while Jordan Thurston came in seventh at 21:20.4.
- Both were named All-WCC First Team after their performances. Mills received her second straight First Team recognition after placing seventh in 2014.
- Gonzaga had three top-10 women’s finishers for the first time since 2000.
- The Bulldog men placed third with 83 points. It was the lowest point total for Gonzaga since 2004’s second place finish with 66 points. It was also the first time in nine years that the Zags have scored under 100.
- Troy Fraley was named All-WCC First Team with a ninth place finish. He crossed the line at 25:12.5.
 
ZAGS HISTORY AT THE WCC CHAMPIONSHIPS: 
- Mills became only the second GU runner to ever win a WCC cross country title. Cheska Fairbanks was the last in 1996.
- Joe Miller (2006) and Kevin Joyce (1989) both placed second at the WCC Championships, the highest finishes in program history.
- The GU men have placed third the last two seasons, and three of the past four years.
- The Bulldog men placed second in 2003 and 2004, and nine straight years from 1987 to 1995.
 
REGIONALS UP NEXT:    
- Gonzaga returns to the NCAA West Regionals on Nov. 11.
- This year’s races will be run at the Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento, Calif.
- The GU women placed sixth last season at regionals, led by Shelby Mills seventh place finish at 20:47.
- The Bulldog men were 10th, paced by Matthew Crichlow’s 16th place finish at 31:30.
- The course hosted the 2013 NCAA West Regionals as well.
- The Gonzaga men were 11th that season, while the women were 17th.

 

 

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