Western Washington and
Seattle University will also debut at the Emerald City Open.
It will be a 5000-meter race for the women and 8k for
men...Pixler won last years Emerald City in 22:31 and
SPU beat Western 28-40 despite missing three of their top
scorers. The men were runners-up to the Vikings, 35-81, and
Meis was 13th...Pixler became Seattle Pacifics first
regional champion since Bente Moe in 1985...Last week near
Bellingham, the Falcons were the top womens team at the
Lake Padden Relays.
Weekly Release PDF Version
Over the bridge. Short of the NCAA
Division II Championships, the Seattle Pacific University cross
country teams will stay relatively close to home this fall. In
fact, the Falcons first race is within three miles of the
campus. The season gets underway Saturday morning (Sept. 8) with
the Emerald City Open in nearby Woodland Park. Its a
slightly longer trek to the second meet, the Sundodger
Invitational, Sept. 15 at West Seattles Lincoln Park.
Highly touted. With most of the key
harriers returning, the SPU women have been rated No. 5 in the
national preseason coaches poll. The Falcons are coming off a
sixth-place finish after winning the Great Northwest Athletic
Conference and coming within four points of the West Region
championship. Cal State L.A. (7th), Chico State (9th) and UC San
Diego (14th) also appear in the top 25. The men are 10th in the
rankings for the West Region.
Where to go. Later this month Heritage
will take her team on its first of three trips east to Idaho. The
GNAC and regional meets will be hosted by Northwest Nazarene, and
the Sept. 22 Bob Firman Races will offer a course preview of the
latter in Boise. The NCAA Championships will be held in Joplin,
Mo., Nov. 17.
Ready to go. Its understandable
why the Falcons would be viewed as the the womens team to
beat in the West. Coach Doris Heritage has six of
her seven national runners back, plus at least a couple more
capable of pushing those people. Having graduated five of their
top seven scorers, the men are a bit green.
No more two-timing. She was the top
runner in the region and the top freshman in the nation, and that
was while spending the majority of her time on the soccer team.
This time around, Jessica Pixler (So., Sammamish,
Wa./Eastlake) belongs only to the trails. Pixler won her first
four races last year before taking 10th at nationals. She went on
to win the NCAA indoor mile and outdoor 1500, and take second in
the 800. This summer, Pixler won the 1500 gold medal at the Pan
American Junior Games in Brazil.
A quality cast. The Falcons top
five all finished among the top 22 in the 06 regional,
including Jane Larson (So., Fall City, Wa./Cedar Park
Christian) in 14th place. Larson and Karin Rohde (Sr.,
Bellingham, Wa./Mt. Baker) were also NCAA qualifiers for both
indoor and outdoor track nationals. Also back are Suzie
Strickler (Jr., Richland, Wa.), Megan Wrightman (Sr.,
Bend, Or.) and Kate Harline (So., Orem, Ut.).
Front men. Brian Cronrath (Sr.,
Battle Ground, Wa.) was the mens top scorer at regionals,
and Chad Meis (So., Renton, Wa./Seattle Christian) is a
promising runner in his own right. Cronrath was the GNAC runner-up
in the 1500 and Meis the No. 4 scorer last autumn.