When it comes to cross country, girls seem to run the world. Their electric performances have taken the Dons Athletics world — and the college cross country world — by storm. With their stellar performance at the ultra-competitive NCAA West Regional Championships, the women’s team has earned themselves a bid to the NCAA Championships in their back pocket. The prospects for the USF women’s cross country team are brighter and brighter every day.
While the season is about to reach its peak for the women’s team, the men’s team has somberly watched their 2017 season come to a close. At the NCAA West Regionals, the men landed themselves in 8th place overall with 205 points. Unfortunately, they were just one place shy of earning an at-large bid for the NCAA Championships.
Jacob Allen led the men’s team with a time of 29:53.4 in the Men’s 10K, which earned him 17th place individually. Not far behind was Jack Rowe (29:53.9) in 19th place. The scores are commendable on their own, but even more so when you consider that this championship was the first for both men. Overall, the USF men’s cross country team fell just short of 7th place, and of qualifying for a Championship bid. The men’s division champions, Portland, held 63 points and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Washington State — who earned the last at-large bid for the competition — came in 7th place, and were only 11 points ahead of the Dons with 194 points total. Another perspective on how close this race was: the Dons were 57 points ahead of the 9th place team, displaying their commendable effort. It cannot be said that the men’s team didn’t put up a fight for a spot in the Championships. Even as the curtains close on their 2017 season, the men have a lot to be proud of on their own, as their 8th place finish matches their program record.
The USF women’s cross country team have defended their title as one of the first and foremost powers in the world of college cross country, and have earned recognition both individually and as a team for their undertaking on the field.
The women are an unstoppable force on the course, and they have made a name for themselves as a dominant force on the field. Just as they did during the WCC Championships two weeks ago, the members of the women’s team have outdone themselves again in order to make program history as champions, both as a unit and as individual competitors.
With an overall score of 59 points, the USF women’s team took the crown to come in 1st place in the Women’s 6K. They managed to pass runner-up Stanford (76 points) and 3rd place Oregon (92 points) to take the crown and set yet another record for the women’s cross country program as a whole.
Among the first place team, first-class individual performances were abundant. Coming in 1st place was senior superstar Charlotte Taylor, who has added yet another individual victory to her resume, as well as the satisfaction of setting another course record. Not far behind was Weronika Pyzik, another mainstay in the Top 10 this season, who lived up to her stellar reputation with a time of 19:29:06. Both Taylor and Pyzik, along with Isabelle Brauer (7th) and Marie Bouchard (14th), earned All-West Region honors for their incredible performances individually.
As the 2017 season reaches its end with the approaching Championships, six runners from USF have earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association All-Region honors within NCAA Division I. Bouchard, Brauer, Pyzik and Taylor earned titles for the women, while Allen and Rowe took the title for the men.
With their prime placement, the women’s team have earned themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championships. They will face a collection of the top teams in the country, including Eastern champions Dartmouth and Providence, and home rival Stanford.
The NCAA National Championships will be held in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 18, and is available to stream online through FloSports. Rest assured, all eyes at USF will be on the women as they jet off for their final victory lap of the season and aim to bring home the gold.
Featured Photo: Lady Dons after competing in the NCAA West Regionals Kirby Lee/Foghorn