USF, Portland Steal The Show At NCAA West Region

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Led by a thrilling kick to the finish from NCAA 10K champion Charlotte Taylor, the No. 4 San Francisco Dons captured the NCAA West Region title on Friday in Seattle, Washington.

By beating NCAA steeplechase champion Allie Ostrander in the final homestretch, Taylor won the individual title in a new course record time of 19:14. Behind San Francisco's winning team score of 59 points, Stanford notched 76 points for second place.

Historically, the NCAA West Region tends to produce some of the best teams in the country, and this year has been no exception. Behind USF and Stanford, who secured automatic qualifying spots to the championship, defending NCAA champions Oregon finished third with 92 points, Boise State closed for fourth with 104 points, California secured a fifth-place finish with 183 points, and Washington earned sixth place with 202 points.

According to the FloTrack NCAA cross country projections, Oregon, Boise State, California, and Washington will earn at-large qualifying bids to compete at the NCAA championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Dons' victory was secured by a dominant showing from a famously deep group of talented athletes. Behind Taylor, teammates Weronika Pyzik finished fourth, Isabelle Brauer finished seventh, Marie Bouchard finished 16th, and Tatjana Schulte finished 31st to close the score.

While the Dons notched the team win, Stanford was led by a close spread between team leader Fiona O'Keeffe and fifth woman Christina Aragon who were separated by less than 45 seconds.

Note: The at-large teams are based on the FloTrack NCAA Cross Country projections and are not the official selection of the NCAA.


Men's Race

After a casual approach to the West Coast Conference Championships, the No. 5 Portland Pilots returned with a vengeance to win the men's team title in the west.

Led by a dominant individual title from Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, the Pilots put three men in the top four places and closed the score with a 27th-place finish from Caleb Webb and a 29th-place finish from Noah Schutte. In total, Portland earned 63 points to beat Washington's 65 points.

In a surprise upset showing, the No. 20 Washington Huskies secured a runner-up finish to earn the final automatic qualifying spot to compete at NCAAs. Colby Gilbert's fifth-place individual finish led the Huskies who scored all five runners in the first 18 places.

Behind Portland and Washington, No. 4 Stanford ran a controlled race to finish third and receive an at-large bid to NCAAs. Stanford finished with 85 points to beat Oregon and UCLA. Even in a "conservative effort," the Cardinal still had five runners finish in the top 25.

According to the FloTrack projections, Stanford, Oregon, UCLA, Boise State, and Washington State will receive at-large bids to compete at the NCAA championships.

The official NCAA championship qualifiers will be announced by the NCAA on Saturday.

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