Women Auto-Qualify, Men Likely At-Large
Nov. 13, 2015
Women's Results | Men's Results
"It felt really good," said Ostrander. "It was a fun race, kind of adventurous out there with it being muddy and slick, but it was fun and it made it all the better that we had a good team race."
Ostrander becomes the second athlete in Boise State history to win the West Regional, joining Emma Bates (2013). The freshman reached another gear at the 4-kilometer mark and slowly began to put space between herself and the rest of the field. She was clear of the second-place competitor - Waverly Neer of Oregon - by 22 seconds.
Fellow freshman Brenna Peloquin turned in an outstanding performance herself, taking fourth place with a time of 20:37.8 to give the Broncos their second top-five finish. Sophomore Minttu Hukka quickly made it a third top-five finish for the Blue and Orange when she crossed the line in 20:42.2 to make it an exceptional 1-4-5 finish for Boise State's top three runners. All three runners earned USTFCCCA All-West Region honors with their finishes. The three honors is the most for the women's team at a West Regional in school history.
Anna Holdiman secured the Broncos' No. 4 score by taking 34th place with a time of 21:22.0. Charlotte Corless was close behind to round out the day for the Broncos, running a 21:22.7 to finish in 36th.
"The women continue to impress," said head coach Corey Ihmels. "I thought our top three pretty much controlled the race. Any time you automatically qualify to the national meet it's exciting, but to lose by a point to a very good Oregon team is a little disappointing, but exciting as well because we'll get another chance to go at it next week."
The men's team took fifth in the 30-team field with 137 points. Although the men did not earn an automatic bid, their Kolas points' total appears to be high enough to earn an at-large bid to nationals. According to FloTrack and Let's Run, the Broncos should be the 28th team in the 31-team field at nationals. Boise State will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon when the NCAA officially announces the field.
Michael Vennard was once again the low stick for the Broncos, taking 17th place with a time of 31:29.8 - good for All-West Region honors. Chandler Austin was one spot shy of obtaining All-West Region honors, but the 26th-place performance (31:46.6) was a huge performance from the redshirt freshman.
Louis McAfee (31:48.1) was right behind in 28th place, as was reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Elijah Armstrong (31:49.9) in 30th. Rhys Park was the fifth Bronco to finish, taking 36th with a time of 31:55.7.
"I think the team showed a lot of heart today," said Vennard. "Everyone ran for each other. That was the main thing Coach Ihmels was saying at the start line. When it got tough we hung in there and finished real strong."
If the projections are correct and both the men's and women's team qualified to nationals, it will mark the first time in school history that the program has qualified both teams to nationals in the same year. The women qualified last season (2014) for their first-ever appearance and the men's only previous trip came in 1996.
"I thought the men did a nice job today," said Ihmels. "Obviously getting to the national meet for the first time in a long time is a huge step for our program. Both teams in the national championships speaks volumes to our group and what they stand for."
The NCAA should announce the official field for nationals by 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Nationals are scheduled to take place in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 21.
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