CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s cross country team will head to elevation for the 28th Pac-12 Championships this Saturday, Nov. 2. The women’s 6K portion of the annual event, hosted by Colorado at Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville, Colo., will begin at 11:40 a.m. MT (10:40 a.m. PT).
Fans can follow the race live on the Pac-12’s Cross Country Championships website, which will have previews, as well as real-time coverage on the day of the Championships, including live stats as well as Twitter and Facebook updates. At the conclusion of the race, official results and recaps will be posted on the championships page. The championships will also be televised by the Pac-12 Networks on a tape-delayed basis. The first airing is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Dwight Stones will serve as the analyst, while Jim Watson will provide play-by-play.
Another challenging morning waits for all of the schools in Colorado on Saturday. Half of the Pac-12 field is ranked in the USTFCCCA national poll. Oregon State currently comes in at 15th in the West Region.
Traveling one of its deeper squads to the conference meet, Oregon State will be represented on the starting line by freshman Holly Cavalluzzo, sophomore Adrienne Demaree, junior Kinsey Gomez, seniors Sandra Martinez and Chelsa McDonnell, sophomore Aly Nielson, senior Taylor Nowlin, junior Kelsi Schaer and freshmen Emily Weber and Kristiane Width.
Gomez has been Oregon State’s top finisher in the three meets she has run thus far in 2013. At the Bronco Invite in Sunnyvale, Calif. on Oct. 19, the Idaho native broke the 6K school record by more than 20 seconds when she crossed the line in 20:31.4. As a sophomore last season, she finished 86th at the conference championships (22:42.46), just outside OSU’s scorers, but rebounded to lead the Beavers at the NCAA West Regional with a time of 21:08.53 (61st). At the Pac-12 Championships in 2011, the then-freshman Gomez came in fourth for Oregon State and 63rd overall after finishing in 21:43.
The elder stateswoman of Oregon State’s entries on Saturday will be fifth-year senior Sandra Martinez, who was the Beavers’ top finisher at last year’s championships when she ran 21:52.09 (52nd). This will be Martinez’s fourth and final run at the Pac-12 Championships. In 2010 she finished 42nd (21:16.38) and in 2009, 51st (21:35.19). This season, she posted her best 6K time at the Bronco Invite, running 21:15.8 to come in 26th overall and third for OSU.
Oregon State will be provided a boost with the addition of three stellar freshmen to this year’s conference championships roster in Emily Weber, Holly Cavalluzzo and Kristiane Width. Weber redshirted last cross country season, but was one of OSU’s top 1,500m and 5,000m performers during the outdoor track and field season. She PR'd in all but one race during that campaign and is seventh on OSU's all-time list in the 1,500m after running 4:29.46 at the OSU High Performance Meet on April 26.
Cavalluzzo and Width, a pair of distance standouts from New York, have made a splash during their first few months on Oregon State’s campus. Cavalluzzo has been in OSU’s top four in each of her four races this season. Her time of 21:15 at the 6K Sundodger Invite on Sept. 14 is eighth all-time in school history at that distance.
Width has also been in the Beavers’ top five in each of her four meets in 2013. She posted her best 6K time in her most recent outing at the Bronco Invite, running 21:34.5, which is 16th on OSU’s all-time list. Interestingly enough, an accomplished soccer player while at United Nations International School, Width had not run a cross country race prior to her collegiate debut at the Portland State Viking Classic in early September.
Sophomores Adrienne Demaree and Aly Nielson will round out Oregon State’s underclassmen on the line at the Pac-12 Championships. Demaree ran at both last year’s conference meet (90th; 23:00.18) and West Regional (139th; 22:12.58) and worked her way into OSU’s lineup on Saturday with a 14th-place finish at the Beaver Classic on Oct. 25 (6K - 22:31). Nielson, who redshirted last fall, will be making a return to the Pac-12 meet after running 22:59 in 2011 to finish 100th. She’s competed three times in 2013 and had her best showing at the Bronco Invite, where she ran 21:13.8.
Junior Kelsi Schaer will be making her third appearance at the Pac-12 Championships and had her best result last season when she ran 23:24.42. After transferring from New Mexico State, Chelsa McDonnell will be making her Pac-12 Championships debut for Oregon State on Saturday. Taylor Nowlin was OSU’s third finisher at the Pac-12 Championships in 2012, coming in 73rd (22:26).
Oregon State came in 11th place in last year’s Pac-12 Championships in Southern California and has finished as high as sixth (2008) since the program was reinstated in 2004.
The women’s 6k race on Saturday consists of two-2k loops and two-1k loops. The course consists of rolling fairways, no elevation gain, and several sharp turns.