Both the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams finished in the top 20 at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Colfax, Washington on Friday, Nov. 15, but back-to-back Big West cross country champion and senior Miranda Daschian did not finish her race.
Daschian, an NCAA Championship qualifier last year, was in 35th place out of 246 runners with just under 2 kilometers to go. The Atascadero native’s last recorded time was 14:34.1 after 4.2 kilometers before she exited the 6k race for unknown reasons.
Including Daschian, seven men and seven women comprised the 14 Mustangs that took part in Friday’s regional meet, hosted by Washington State. The women’s squad finished in 20th place out of 35 teams with a score of 583 points. The men’s team finished in 10th place out of 28 teams with a score of 333 points — just four points behind ninth-placed Idaho. The women’s squad finished in 20th place out of 35 teams with a score of 583 points.
Junior Jake Ritter led the men’s squad and finished 29th overall in the field with a 10k time of 30:18.7. Halfway through the race, the two-time Big West champion was in third place with a time split of 15:05.8.
Ritter was 10 seconds behind eventual winner Andrew Jordan of Washington after five kilometers. Jordan took first place with a time of 29:43.4.
A pair of Cal Poly redshirt freshmen — Anthony Benitez and John Bennett — finished 69th and 70th overall. Benitez edged out Bennett by four-tenths of one second to finish in 69th with a time of 31:15.5. Bennet finished the race with an overall time of 31:15.9.
Senior Chas Cook logged a course time of 31:21.1 and a 77th place finish in his third postseason race.
Two more redshirt freshmen made their NCAA West Regional debuts and rounded off the pack for the men’s squad. Will Fallini-Haas came in 88th place with a 31:33.8 course time. Hayden Hansen finished in 187th place out of the 191 runners who finished the course with a time of 34:48.5.
A third NCAA West debutant, redshirt freshman Elias Opsahl, did not finish the race.
Portland won the regional meet on the men’s side with a total of 65 points. Five of Portland’s runners finished in the top 20.
On the women’s side, junior Sierra Brill ended up leading the Mustangs after Daschian’s exit. Brill finished the 6k race with a time of 21:27.1, good for 86th overall. Junior Cate Ratliff finished 12 seconds after Brill with a time of 21:39.2 and 102nd overall.
Junior Abbey Fisk ran the course with a time of 21:51.0, while junior Angela DiPentino crossed the finish line six seconds later with a time of 21:57.2. Fisk and DiPentino finished 124th and 131st, respectively.
Stanford took the team crown at the regional with 39 points. Cardinal runners Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson finished in first and second, with times of 19:50.8 and 19:54.2, respectively.