The Oregon State cross-country team, fresh off a ninth-place finish at the recent Pacific-12 Conference championships, will run at the NCAA West Regional on Friday.
The 6,000-meter race begins at 11 a.m. at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento.
The top two teams in the 36-team field earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, set for Nov. 19 at Terra Haute, Indiana. The top two teams at eight other regionals from around the country will also qualify automatically; the remainder of the 31-team championship field will be selected on an at-large basis.
OSU’s lineup will feature seniors Emily Weber, Samantha Lewis and Morgan Anderson; junior Kristiane Width; sophomore Juliana Mount; and freshmen Lexi Reed and Sara Christianson. Redshirt sophomore Nicole Goecke is the alternate.
“We’ve had a great fall, as a team and individually,” coach Kelly Sullivan said. “We’ve run all over the country, competed in great meets and I’m very impressed with how this group has handled that.
“Now we are down to the last meet of the season and we can just let it all loose. We are all excited to go, which is always a good sign. Sometimes you get to the end of a season and you’re either excited about it, or ready for it to get over.
“This group is definitely going into the meet looking forward to it. It’s a credit to what they have done, physically and emotionally, for the last 12 weeks.”
All of the upperclassmen have regional experience. Mount (76) and Lewis (91) were OSU’s No. 2 and No. 3 finisher in 2015; Anderson (194) also ran; Weber redshirted in 2015.
Weber (56) and Anderson (100) were OSU’s top two finishers in the 2014 regional. Width ran in the 2013 regional, redshirted in 2014 and missed the 2015 regional because of injury.
The Beavers are ranked 11th in the West Region in the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association poll. Seven other Pac-12 teams are also ranked: Washington (1), Stanford (2), Oregon (4), California (6), UCLA (7), Arizona (10) and Arizona State (14). Pac-12 champion Colorado (1) and Utah (3) are ranked in the Mountain Region.
Colorado is also No. 1 in the national Top 30 poll. Washington (4), Stanford (7), Oregon (11), Utah (20) and California (27) are also ranked; UCLA led all teams also receiving votes. Five of the top 16, and eight of the Top 35, teams in the final USTFCCCA rankings will compete in the West regional.