Bates Wins NCAA West Regional, Howard Joins as National Qualifier
Jeff Howard

Nov. 15, 2013


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Boise State’s Emma Bates became the first Bronco to win an NCAA West Region Cross Country title Friday (Nov. 15) winning her fourth of five meets this season. Her 6-kilometer win at Haggin Oaks Golf Course advances her to the NCAA National Championships, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind., where she will be joined by teammate Jeff Howard who placed seventh in the men’s 10-kilometer race.

The Bronco men earned a fourth-place finish with 117 points, while the women placed 10th with 300 points.  

Bates becomes the first Bronco woman to qualify for the national meet since Abby Peters in 1999, while also becoming the fifth NCAA National Women’s Cross Country qualifier for the Broncos. Her win tops Melinda Campbell’s fifth-place regional finish in 1998 as the best regional finish by a Bronco woman. The junior’s time of 19:11 smashed her 6-kilometer best by 58-seconds and was three seconds faster than Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan who placed second.

Howard, a senior, locked in his NCAA qualifying spot after placing seventh in a field of 187 runners. He was the second individual not on a qualifying team, advancing him to his first NCAA National Championship (top four advance). Howard becomes the first Bronco since Forest Braden (2006) to earn a trip to the national meet. The Spokane, Wash., native’s finish put him second behind Braden for top finish at an NCAA Regional meet.

Boise State’s men earned the school’s best team finish ever at an NCAA Regional Championship, topping the former best of seventh in 2010. Prior to 1997 an NCAA District Championship was held, which had a different alignment of competing teams. The only better finish by the Bronco men came at the 1996 District Championships where they placed second.

The Bronco men’s stellar performance landed them a fourth-place finish out of the 27-team field. Howard led the Broncos with his career-best time of 29:54 on the 10-kilometer course. Senior Allan Schroeder clocked a career-best of 29:59 to place 14th, while junior David Elliott had a career-best of 30:08 to place 18th. The trio received medals from the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for their top-25 finishes.

Senior Drew O’donoghue-McDonald just missed a medal placing 26th in a career-best time of 30:27. Junior Aaron Back clocked a time of 30:59 to place 55th, while senior Zach Wiles earned a career-best of 31:33 to place 78th and sophomore Kyle Merritt ran a time of 32:11 to place 114th.

The Bronco women placed 10th out of 32 teams, led by Bates. Senior Lauren Lucas placed 53rd in a career-best time of 20:46, while junior Marisa Howard placed 56th in 20:48. Senior Erin McLaughlin added another career performance, clocking 21:19 to place 93rd, while junior Kate Jette ran 21:23 to place 97th. Senior Taryn Treadway ran a career-best of 21:36 to place 115th, while freshman Shelby McIntyre placed 165th in 22:15.

Stanford won the men’s title with 53-points, while Oregon’s Edward Cheserek captured the men’s individual title in 29:35. Oregon placed second with 64-points, joining the Cardinal as automatic team qualifiers. Portland’s Scott Fauble, Washington’s Aaron Nelson and Cal Poly’s Chris Frias join Boise State’s Jeff Howard as individual qualifiers from the men’s race.

Arizona captured the women’s title with 84-points, followed by Stanford with 94-points. Bates will be joined by Arizona State’s Houlihan, Washington’s Katie Flood and California’s Kelsey Santisteban as individual qualifiers for the national championships.

The top two teams from each of the nine NCAA Regional Championships held Friday automatically advanced to the NCAA Championships. An additional 13 men’s and 13 women’s teams will be extended at-large bids Saturday, Nov. 16. Also, the top four individuals not on the each of the top two regional teams will be guaranteed selection to the NCAA Championships, provided that they have finished in the regional top-25. Two additional individuals will receive at-large bids Saturday.

Individually 38 men and 38 women (top four per region) who are not on an advancing team earn automatic bids, only if they earn a top-25 regional finish. Once all automatic bids are set, two individuals from across each region are selected as at-large competitors for both the men’s and women’s races.

The 2013 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships will be held Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s 10-kilometer race is slated for a 10:00 a.m. MT start with the women’s 6-kilometer race starting at 11:15 a.m. MT. Indiana State University will play host to the meet held at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash valley Family Sports Center.

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