Nov. 10, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s cross country team is set to compete at the NCAA West Regional at Stanford University located in Stanford, Calif. on Saturday Nov. 11. The women’s 6,000 meter race is set to start at 11:15 a.m.
The 6,000 meter course will be run on a standard golf course located in Stanford, Calif. Stanford also hosted the meet in 2008, but the last two years the meet has been run at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. The University of Washington has won the NCAA West Regional for the last three years.
The Beavers are coming off a tough run at the Pac-12 Championships where they finished in ninth place. Laura Carlyle finished first for the Beavers and 29th overall with a time of 20:55. Carlyle and the Beavers are looking to improve on their performance this weekend at the regional.
Oregon State ran into some slight injury issues at the Pac-12 Championships, but with everyone healthy again and ready to race, assistant coach Travis Floeck is optimistic about the NCAA West Regional.
“I think that we are still looking for that one race where everyone has a good day,” Floeck said. “We didn’t quite have that at Pac-12s. We are definitely in a different spot heading into this weekend because everyone is feeling great and is ready to race.”
During the Pac-12 Championships, Oregon State ran against six nationally ranked opponents, and it will be no different at the West Regional. The Beavers will face off against the entire Pac-12 again, besides Colorado and Utah, and the will also race against new opponents like San Francisco, who is ranked in the top-30 nationally.
“This is the most competitive region in the country and there will be around seven teams out of this region that go to nationals,” Floeck said. “We are just going to do our best and you never know what could happen.”
Because the Beavers have already raced against quite a few of the teams they will meet this weekend, the team is feeling a little more comfortable about their opponents this time around. Not only have they competed against the Pac-12 schools, they have competed against several teams in the regular season meets in the Northwest.
“I think the team is extremely excited,” Floeck said. “They all feel really great, and when you feel good, you are excited to go out and race. I think that they know the improvements we have made in this program, they are excited to go out and show that we are better than our ninth place finish at the Pac-12 race.”
Oregon State will be racing seven athletes and will bring two alternates. Dressing in the orange and black for the Beavers this weekend will be Carlyle, Casey Masterson, Chloe Steinbeck, Olivia Poblacion, Erin Jones, Audrey Botti and Kinsey Gomez. Aly Nielson and Kelsi Schaer will be traveling to Stanford as alternates.
Schaer and Nielson both raced with the team at the Pac-12 Championships, and along with Gomez were the three freshmen on the team. All three of them gained valuable experience racing at such a competitive meet and the coaches are hoping that experience will carry over to Saturday.
“It is crazy because other really good conferences get broken up into three or four different regions, where ours is not the case,” Floeck said. “We will see all those great teams again at the regional race. It is going to be a big race. I think they will be a lot more prepared for what this race is going to be like.”
Results from the NCAA West Regional will be available following the completion of the men’s and women’s races on Saturday at www.osubeavers.com. Fans can also go to www.ustfccca.com and look for the West Region to get more information on the Saturday meet.