Western Washington senior Lauren Breihof placed ninth at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships held Saturday at the Apple Ridge Run Cross Country Facility near Yakima.
“Yes, the GNAC race went pretty well for me personally,” the Mountain View High School graduate said after completing the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) course in 22 minutes, 45 seconds.
Placing among the Top 10 garnered all-GNAC honors for Breihof, who finished two seconds out of fifth place as three runners finished a second ahead of her. All-conference recognition was a goal of hers, although she said she “didn’t have a very strong race” in the final regular-season meet, WWU’s 38th Annual Western Classic Invitational on Oct. 8.
“I started off somewhere in the middle and began to move up during the first mile,” she said. “I was fairly settled in somewhere around spot six for much of the race with a couple of girls right with me.
“At the end a few of those girls kicked and I couldn’t quite catch them, finishing 1 second behind three of them. Other than wishing I had been able to catch them at the finish, I was happy with my race and felt very strong throughout. Our team as a whole ran well, too, which is exciting with regionals in two weeks.”
The NCAA Division II West Regional Cross Country Championships are Nov. 5 at Plantes Ferry Sports Complex near Spokane. Two weeks later, the same facility will host the Division II national championships.
“We were able to run the regionals course at the end of September, so we actually have already had a preview,” Breihof said. “When we ran at the preview meet it was very hot outside so it should be a milder day for the regional meet, which will be very nice.”
Breihof was an NCAA-II All-American in cross country as a sophomore by placing 31st at nationals in 2009. Last year, she slipped back to 49th, nine spots out of All-America status. The summer before her senior season took a turn for the much, much worse.
A bout with iliotibal band (IT band) tendonitis in her left knee left her unable to run for a month and a half. The band, thigh tissue over the hip and knee, is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running.
“I didn’t think I was even going to be able to compete,” she said. “I had my first pain-free run the second week or so of August, and things have been going strong since then. The season has taken a slow start for me since my summer training was so minimal, but our team is looking very strong and I am feeling like I am on the right track to peaking at nationals.”
Breihof’s goal is to complete her collegiate career with another All-America finish, with a team goal of qualifying for nationals.
WWU’s women placed third at the conference meet. Three of the Vikings’ top seven runners are freshmen — “which is very exciting for the future of the team,” Breihof said.
“I am feeling more confident as the season goes on that I will be where I want to be by the time nationals comes around,” she said. “I have been feeling so thankful this entire season to even be racing after such a disappointing summer, so making it to nationals would be the best possible way to end my final season.”
Scobba defensive in final year at CWU
After three seasons playing in midfield and at forward for the Central Washington women’s soccer team, Katelyn Scobba is spending her senior year anchoring a historically stout Wildcats defense.
The Prairie High School graduate has started 12 of the team’s games while playing in all 15 for a CWU team that has allowed 15 goals. The goals-against average of 1.00 is third best in program history as an NCAA member school.
The Wildcats (8-3-4, 7-2-2 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) have won four consecutive games and are in the hunt for a regional berth as they stand second behind Seattle Pacific in the GNAC standings.
Gordon preseason D-III All-America
Keisha Gordon, a senior wing for the George Fox University women’s basketball team, was named to D3hoops.com’s NCAA Division III preseason All-America third team. The Heritage High School graduate earned Second Team All-West Region honors from D3hoops last year and was a First Team all-Northwest Conference selection while averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.5 steals a game.
She led the NWC in steals, and ranked second in assist/turnover ratio (1.24), third in assists, fifth in rebounding, sixth in scoring, seventh in free throw percentage, ninth in field goal percentage, and 12th in 3-pointers per game.
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