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Cross country: Whelan, Williams lead WSU men to fourth place at NCAA West Regionals

John Whelan and Michael Williams finished second and third, respectively, and the Washington State men’s cross country team took fourth place out of 35 teams at the NCAA West Regionals at a rain-soaked Jefferson Park Golf Course Friday in Seattle.

Whelan covered the 10,000-meter course in 30 minutes, 54.9 seconds and Williams finished in 31:05.4. Oregon’s Edward Cheserek claimed medalist honors with a time of 30:43.2.

Cheserek took the lead from Whelan at the 8,000-meter mark and held off the two Cougars at the finish line.

Washington claimed the team title, followed by Stanford and Oregon.

Gonzaga was led by Matthew Crichlow (18th; 31:30.4) and Troy Fraley (23rd; 31:39.9) and finished in 10th place.

Eastern Washington’s top finisher was Alex Kimsey, who took 90th in 32:54.1. The Eagles finished in 18th place.

Gonzaga’s Shelby Mills qualified for nationals after a seventh-place finish in the women’s race. She covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:47.4. The Bulldogs finished sixth as a team.

Eastern Washington’s Sarah Reiter also qualified for nationals after taking ninth in 20:53.9 and leading the Eagles to a 12th-place finish.

Idaho’s top finisher was Kinsey Gomez (17th; 21:05.5) and Washington State’s top finisher was CharLee Linton (47th; 21:32.2). Oregon won the team title, followed by Boise State and Washington.

The top two teams, along with the top four individuals not on a qualifying team, automatically qualify for the national championships, which will be held Nov. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Thirteen additional teams and two individuals will be choosen for an at-large selection that will be announced on Saturday.

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