October 3, 2002

Bronco Women's Cross Country to Race at 28th annual Willamette Invitational

Oct. 3, 2002

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's cross country team will travel to Salem, Ore. to participate in the 28th annual Willamette University Invitational Cross Country Meet Saturday at Bush's Pasture Park.

The largest collegiate cross country meet in the West is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants and will have four races instead of the normal two. The event begins at 10 a.m. with the men's open 8,000-meter race (Division I, club, unattached); followed at 11 a.m. by the men's college run (Division II, Division III, NAIA, junior college). The women's open division 5,000-meter run will start at noon, to be followed by the college division race at 12:45 p.m.

Meet official expect 50-55 men and women's teams and clubs from eight states - Alabama, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Hawaii, South Dakota and Illinois - and Canada to take part in Saturday's event. Of those teams, 31 are ranked in the various national polls.

For the first time in the history of the event, more than just one or two NCAA Division I schools will be participating. Among the largest schools to bring teams to this year's races include Auburn, Oregon, Portland, Washington and Idaho.

"Just the fact that we're getting schools like Auburn out of the Southeastern Conference gives this meet a lot of credibility," said Willamette head coach Kelly Sullivan, who coached at Auburn for 12 years prior to returning to his alma mater in 1997. "We're getting a lot more Division I programs."

Not only are there more big schools competing, the number of nationally ranked schools in all divisions is the highest it's ever been.

"When you consider the fact that about 30 nationally ranked teams are going to be here on one weekend, that is a little mind-boggling." Sullivan added. "It is definitely going to be one of the premier collegiate cross country meets in the nation."

In addition to the strong college field, Sullivan also expects the usual strong group of post-collegiate runners.

"On both the men and the women's side, we expect to get some of the top American post-collegiates that are living in the West now," said Sullivan. "This meet fits the post-collegian well because they don't get a chance to do this in the West at a national level, so I expect the quality of that group to be as good or better than in the past."

2001 Willamette Results
WOMEN
Team: University of Hawaii
Individual: Cheryl Smith, Univ. of Hawaii, 16:56.33
The women's course record of 16:56.33 was set by the University of Hawaii's Cheryl Smith in 2001.

MEN
Team: Bend Sea Cows
Individual: Jerry Ziak, Univ. of Victoria, 24:06.40
The men's record of 24:01 was set by Dan Nelson, running unattached, in 2000.

NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS ENTERED IN MEET (as of Sept. 30, 2002)
NCAA DIVISION I MEN
9. Oregon
26. Washington
29. Portland
NCAA DIVISION II MEN
6. Chico State (Calif.)
22. UC-San Diego (Calif.)
NCAA DIVISION III MEN
3. Willamette (Ore.)
21. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.)
NAIA MEN
2. Eastern Oregon
4. Cal State-San Marcos
7. Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
14. Warner Pacific (Ore.)
16. Azusa Pacific (Calif.)
19. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
21. Simon Fraser (Canada)
24. Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)
NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN
35. Washington
NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN
8. Chico State (Calif.)
12. UC-San Diego (Calif.)
16. Humboldt State (Calif.)
NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN
15. Willamette (Ore.)
27. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.)
NAIA WOMEN
2. Northwest College (Wash.)
6. Azusa Pacific (Calif.)
7. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
8. Simon Fraser (Canada)
10. Concordia (Calif.)
13. Eastern Oregon
14. Cal State-San Marcos
19. Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)
23. Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)

ALPHABETICAL ORDER OF TEAMS AS OF SEPT. 30:
Apex Track Club Portland, Ore.
Auburn University Auburn, Ala.
Azusa Pacific University Azusa, Calif.
Bruin Track Club Newberg, Ore.
Cal State-Chico Chico, Calif.
Cal State-Fullerton Fullerton, Calif.
Cal State-San Marcos San Marcos, Calif.
Cascade College Portland, Ore.
Chaminade University-Honolulu Honolulu, Hawaii
Chemeketa Community College Salem, Ore.
Clackamas Community College Oregon City, Ore.
Claremont-Mudd Scripps Claremont, Calif.
Clark College Vancouver, Wash.
Community College of Spokane Spokane, Wash.
Concordia University Irvine, Calif.
Eastern Oregon University La Grande, Ore.
George Fox University Newberg, Ore.
Greater Boise Running Club Boise, Idaho
Greater Portland Track Club Portland, Ore.
Highline Community College Seattle, Wash.
Humboldt State University Arcata, Calif.
Kajaks Track Club Vancouver, B.C.
Lane Community College Eugene, Ore.
Lewis & Clark College Portland, Ore.
Lewis-Clark Sate College Lewiston, Idaho
Linfield College McMinnville, Ore.
Mt. Hood Community College Gresham, Ore.
Northwest College Kirkland, Wash.
Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, Idaho
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, Ore.
OSU Track Club Corvallis, Ore.
Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, Wash.
Pacific University Forest Grove, Ore.
Point Loma Nazarene Univ. San Diego, Calif.
Portland State University Portland, Ore.
PRT Track Club Bend, Ore.
Reebok Aggies Northern California
St. Martin's College Lacey, Wash.
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, Calif.
Seattle University Seattle, Wash.
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, B.C. (Canada)
Southern Oregon University Ashland, Ore.
Team Eugene Eugene, Ore.
Team Gallagher's Fitness Res. Salem, Ore.
Treasure Valley Comm. College Ontario, Ore.
University of British Columbia Vancouver, B.C., Canada
UC-San Diego San Diego, Calif.
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho
University of LaVerne LaVerne, Calif.
University of Oregon Eugene, Ore.
University of Portland Portland, Ore.
University of Puget Sound Tacoma, Wash.
University of Victoria Victoria, B.C.
Vanguard University Costa Mesa, Calif.
Warner Pacific College Portland, Ore.
Western Oregon University Monmouth, Ore.
Willamette University Salem, Ore.