Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

NCAA regional races bring 441 athletes to Colfax course


November 21, 2019

Andrew Jordan; Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse

Washington senior Andrew Jordan looks over his shoulder to check on Portland's Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse as the two leader headed to the finish line in the men's race. Friday. The duo broke out ahead of the pack which totaled 191 finishers. Roudolff-Levisse led Portland to a team win for the men's race with a 65 score.

A total of 441 runners competed Friday in the NCAA Division One Western Regional cross country meet at the Colfax Golf Course. The races brought a large crowd of family members and fans who watched the runners loop around the staked out two-kilometer course. Volunteers, WSU staffers and trustees from the Airway Heights Correction center were among those who prepared the course.

The first race brought 246 women competitors and 195 men for the second race.

A line of large white tents were located next to the wide starting area to accommodate the teams.

Colfax was selected for the site on a bid submitted by Ben Clark, assistant WSU athletic director who worked to get the NCAA to stage another race here after WSU and Colfax hosted the Pac-12 conference race four years ago.

After Saturday's big event, Clark congratulated the Colfax club and all the other local volunteers who helped prepare and carry out the massive event.

"It was a lot of fun, and I hope to do it again some day," Clark commented.

He said the overall event was a success, and he plans to get together with the Colfax group which staged the event for a debriefing session.

Friday's races featured a running commentary for fans to get the status of the race as it progressed and television coverage on the course which was shown on a giant screen located next to the finish chute.

Clark signed Scott Abbott, a former UCLA team member from Sacramento, Calif., to come up and give a rundown for the races as they progressed.

Teams for the women's race were assigned 37 "box" markings which extended across the width of the starting line which was marked off at the far end of the first fairway.

Early this year a tree was removed from the course and the creek crossing the club house was widened in anticipation of the long line of runners who charge off the starting line in the women's race.

The two-kilometer course had been marked out with strung pennant lines. After runners started the final lap, race officials swung the last segment of the pennant line to direct runners down the chute to the finish area which was located on the course behind the cart sheds.

Race fans from all over the west coast viewed the race, and officials allowed fans to step over the pennant lines to watch runners progress along the back segments of the course. As the runners approached the finish, fans swarmed to the final chute fence to root for team members.

Stanford's Ella Donaghu and Jessica Larson finished 1-2 in the women's race with Donaghu clocking 19:50.8 for the six kilometers.

First finisher for host Washington State was Zorana Gurjic at 39th with 20:50.

Stanford won with a team score of 39 points, and WSU placed second with 78.

First finisher for the men's race was Andrew Jordan of Washington with a clocking of 29:43.4. Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse of Portland finished second at 29:44.9. The duo led most of the race and finished eight seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.

Portland won team honors with 65, and Stanford finished second with 78. Jordan's Washington team placed fourth with 115 points.

Gonzaga marked the best finish for area teams with 148, and host Washington State placed seventh with 177.

St. Mary's of California was the 28th team finisher with a score of 765.

Top finishers were scheduled to race this week in the national finals in Terre Haute, Ind.

The two top team finishers at the regional here are guaranteed a start at nationals. Other team scores are compared with regional results around the county to determine which teams fill the remaining slots.

Total entry at Terre Haute will be assigned to 31 teams.

The top 25 individual runners in each race will get a start in the national event.


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