Women's Team AQs, Headed to Terre Haute
Nov. 14, 2014

Women's Results Men's Results 

STANFORD, Calif.--The Boise State women’s cross country team made a statement heard around the country on Friday and is headed to NCAA Nationals. The Broncos competed at the NCAA West Regionals in Stanford, Calif., and finished tied for second place, won the tiebreaker and earned the auto-qualifying bid for Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22.

Making history wasn’t easy as the Broncos tied with Stanford for second place with 103 points in the team standings. As the top-two teams automatically qualify for nationals, the tiebreaker would determine who would capture the auto bid.

NCAA rules state a tie in team scoring will be broken by comparing the place finishes of the five scoring members of the tied teams, and the team with the majority of winning places shall be awarded the higher place. Redshirt seniors Emma Bates and Marisa Howard took 2nd and 5th places, respectively, edging out Stanford’s 3rd and 10th-place finishers. Sarah Hastings’ 38th-place finish over Stanford’s 58th-place finisher catapulted the Broncos into Nationals, with the Broncos winning the tiebreaker on the third and crucial head-to-head matchup.

The Broncos came into the West Regionals ranked fifth in the region, behind Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Arizona State. The 25th nationally-ranked Broncos, however, didn’t let rankings determine their final outcome. Out of the nine regionals around the country, 18 teams and 36 individuals advance automatically. On Friday, the Boise State women became one of those 18.

“The women did a fantastic job,” said head coach Corey Ihmels. “We came in thinking we may be third if Washington faltered a little bit, but we ended up second and beat Stanford. So it was an exciting day for our Boise State women, the first time a team has ever qualified for nationals on the women’s side. I think this team has the potential to be a pretty good team at Terre Haute.”

Bates, the defending NCAA West Region champion, took second place at the 2014 West Regionals. The Mountain West champion finished the 6-kilometer race in 19:34.2, just out of reach of West Champion, Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan (19:31.6). Howard crossed the line in 20:04.9, good for a fifth-place finish and drastically improved from her 56th place finish a year before. Bates and Howard’s top-25 finishes earned them All-Region honors. This is Bates' second All-Region accolade and Howard's first.

“The race plan for me and Marisa was to go out has hard as we could and then settle in,” explained Bates. “We tried to control the race as much as we could. I wanted to keep it honest and I think we did that today. (Houlihan) started kicking it with more than 1K to go and she’s such a strong runner, she set it up well and was really smart in that respect. I’m proud of her and I’m proud of myself and staying with her and keeping it within three seconds.”

Emma Hyyppä, the Mountain West’s Freshman of the Year, was the third scoring Bronco and finished in 28th place with a time of 21:03.2. Tessa Murray finished quickly behind, in 30th place and a time of 21:05.1. Sarah Hastings was the fifth and final scoring Bronco of the afternoon, recording a 38th-place finish in a time of 21:13.3.

Head-to-Head Tiebreaker

Boise State Stanford
2nd Emma Bates W 3rd Elise Cranny
5th Marisa Howard W 10th Molly McNamara
28th Emma Hyyppä L 16th Sophie Chase
30th Tessa Murray L 21st Emma Fisher
38th Sarah Hastings W 53rd Abbie McNulty

The men raced their first 10-kilometer of the season at the 2014 West Regionals. The men collected 224 points for eighth place, paced by the 2014 Mountain West’s Freshman of the Year Andrew Rafla. Rafla finished the 10-kilometer course in 29:50.6 in 11th place, with a statement of a performance as the only freshman to place in the top-15. David Elliott also recorded a top-25 finish, running 29:57.5 for a 19th-place finish. The Broncos’ first and second scoring runners also earned All-Region honors for their top-25 finishes.

Freshmen Michael Vennard (58th) and Louis McAfee (59th) crossed the line almost in tandem, recording respective times of 30:41.1 and 30:41.9 on the national stage. Dan Oekerman was the fifth scoring Bronco, racing to a 77th-place finish in a time of 31:06.2.

Thirteen teams and two individuals will be chosen by an NCAA subcommittee Saturday afternoon for at-large selections.

The 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 22 at 9:00 a.m. (MT).

Women’s Team Results

1. No. 3 Oregon, 88
2. No. 25 Boise State, 103 (W tiebreaker)
2. No. 10 Stanford, 103 (L tiebreaker)
4. No. 15 Washington, 131
5. No. 27 UCLA, 176

Men’s Team Results

1. No. 2 Oregon, 60
2. No. 8 Portland, 71
3. No. 9 Stanford, 97
4. No. 17 UCLA, 104
5. Washington, 139

Boise State's All-Region Honorees

Emma Bates, 2nd
Marisa Howard, 5th
Andrew Rafla, 11th
David Elliott, 19th

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