Wednesday, November 11, 2009
MONMOUTH -- Chris Reed became the first Western Oregon University cross country runner to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships Nov. 7 when he placed eighth in the West Regionals at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Reed, who also earned All-West Region honors, finished the 10K course in 31 minutes, 26.1 seconds. The national meet will be held Nov. 21 in Evansville, Ind.
Joining Reed on the all-region team is Mike Schmidt. Schmidt placed 14th at the regionals with a time of 31:46.3. Other scoring finishers for WOU were Conner Kasler (25th place), Braxton Jackson (30th) and Brandon Snook (31st).
The men's team finished fourth overall with 105 points. The top three teams advance to nationals. Third-place Alaska Anchorage beat the Wolves by nine points.
"Our men's team is one of the top teams in the nation," WOU coach Mike Johnson said. "We just have to find a way to get out of our region."
The women's team finished 10th at the regional with 303 points. Tricia Morrison was the top finisher for the Wolves, placing 43rd on a 6K course with a time of 23:03.0.
Other scorers for the Wolves were Annan Applebee (53rd), Janelle Everetts (62nd), Erica Snawder (63rd) and Megan Everetts (82nd).
Western freshman Samantha Ward had 13 kills and sophomore Sylvia Herrold chipped in 10 but it was not enough as the Wolves fell 25-17, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19 Nov. 7 at Northwest Nazarene.
Western dropped to 7-19 overall and 4-11 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Both teams played strong on the defensive side with Western Oregon recording 87 digs and Northwest Nazarene 91.
WOU's Danielle English posted a match-high 25 digs. Irene Walters and Sarah Bain each set career highs in digs with 19 and 11, respectively. Bain also led the team with 30 assists.
Western had a 12-5 advantage in blocks but also committed 33 hitting errors.
The Wolves will wrap up their season Thursday, Nov. 12, at Saint Martin's.
Eight members of the Western women's soccer team were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic all-star team, with five receiving the honor for a second straight season.
Naomi Shimabuku, Jordann Gilmer, Kelsie Blachly, Kristie Adkins and Jessica Hicks were all repeat winners. Cori Young, Monique Thees and Brittney Rigtrup made the squad for the first time.
The eight GNAC Academic all-stars sets a new record for the soccer program, topping the previous high of six set in 2002 and 2008.
To be eligible for the GNAC academic team, student-athletes must have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 and be in at least their second year of competition at their university.
Western lost 75-55 to Oregon State in exhibition play Nov. 7 at Gill Coliseum.
Matt Schmidt led the Wolves with 11 points. Blair Wheadon added 10 and three assists. Mike McLaughlin led WOU with seven rebounds. Twelve different Wolves played and nine scored.
"We are trying new things out to see where guys fit in our system," said WOU coach Craig Stanger. "You have to have build depth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. We are seeing who can contribute and in which capacity."
Western shot 23 percent in the first half and trailed 38-19 at the break. The Wolves pulled to within 58-49 with 9:37 left in the second half but could get no closer.
"I was very pleased with our effort and attitude in the second half," Stanger continued. "We were able to put together an 11-0 run with a couple of freshman on the floor, which is a very encouraging sign for our program."
Western will conclude its exhibition schedule Saturday, Nov. 14 with a 7 p.m. contest at home against George Fox.