SPOKANE, Wash. — Santa Clara cross country braved wet and windy conditions at the West Coast Conference Championships Saturday at Plantes Ferry Sports Complex, and walked away with a pair of Second Team All-WCC performances. Mary Kriege and Grayson Murphy finished in 14th and 15th place, respectively, to garner conference honors for a women's team that took sixth place. The men's team finished seventh as a group and was led by Ryan Greenough.
Kriege and Murphy earned the first all-conference honors for the women's team since 2010.
"I could not be more proud of the way our women competed," head coach Felipe Montoro said. "Obviously, Mary and Graysee set the tone and earned the first all-conference honors for the women's program in five years. That was a very difficult task in such a stellar field.
"I am so happy that Mary was able to close out her conference career with a Top 15 finish. She has been knocking on the door since her sophomore year and she did it."
14. Mary Kriege — 21:30.4
15. Grayson Murphy — 21:34.9
29. Heather LaPlante — 22:24.5
40. Elsa Valenzuela —22:57.0
69. Bevin McCullough — 24:37.5
71. Kaitlyn Kuehn — 24:43.6
72. Camille Dyer — 24:49.5
75. Allison Maio — 25:08.7
77. Allison Martinez — 25:25.8
Kriege and Murphy also earned the first all-conference honors for the Broncos since 2011, when Ben Demaree and Robbie Reid were named First Team All-WCC. Stephanie Wilson was the last women's runner named to an All-WCC team; she accomplished the feat in 2010.
"Heather LaPlante really came through today as well and is continuing her progress," Montoro said. "She should be even better at the regional meet. Elsa Valenzuela had our best performance. She ran out of her mind, and was the biggest reason we beat San Diego."
Gonzaga and BYU finished in a tie for first place and the Bulldogs won the tiebreaker to claim the conference crown.
27. Ryan Greenough — 26:05.4
29. Bryan Crook — 26:07.4
41. Joey Berriatua — 26:30
51. Noah Westfall — 26:52.2
52. Austin Blankenship — 26:56
56. Evan Misuraca — 27:11.2
62. Will Burschinger — 27:36
68. Jack Prazich — 28:18.9
Greenough has now led the Broncos in two of their biggest races this season, the Roy Griak Invitational and the conference championships. WCC Championship returners Crook, Berriatua and Westfall crossed the finish line in Santa Clara's Top 5. Blankenship also scored for Santa Clara in his WCC meet debut.
"Our guys were disappointed they weren't able to close the gap on Saint Mary's and Loyola Marymount," Montoro said. "We came up about 15 seconds per man short of competing with them. I'm very pleased with their efforts, and know that our young guys learned a lot that will make us better at next year's championships.
"Ryan Greenough and Noah Westfall had our best performances relative to expectations."
BYU ran away with the team title; the Cougars finished 1-2-3-5-6 as part of their victory.
The Broncos return to Washington for the NCAA West Regional Championships Friday, Nov. 13 in Seattle.
"The task now for both teams is to put this race behind us and prepare for the most competitive race of the year," Montoro said. "We will take a few days to recover, then get back to work."