October 5, 2016
PORTLAND, Ore. --- Both Portland Pilots men's and women's cross country teams rank in the top 10 in the national polls this week, with the women rising to a new program best. At the Roy Griak Invite a few weekends ago, both teams swept the field making a huge statement in the USTFCCA National Rankings.
The Pilots continue to rise up the rankings this week, moving from No. 7 to No. 5, making this the best ever ranking for the women in program history. They also moved up one spot in the West Regional rankings from No. 3 to No. 2. Competing in the Charles Bowles women's cardinal 5K last weekend, the women's "B" team finished with a score of 87, just in front of New Mexico State, who finished with 96 points. They were led by redshirt junior Mathilde Sagnes, who placed second overall. Junior Lauren LaRocco also continues to be ranked nationally at No. 12.
"It's pretty amazing to be ranked in the top five nationally, but that's probably a bit generous," said Portland women's head coach Ian Solof. "Our only goal at this point is to be ready to run hard at Pre-Nationals. The rankings won't get us to the NCAA meet, competing at a high level will."
The men held on to the No. 7 spot in the poll, along with their No. 1 spot in the West Region. The Pilots are coming off of another win at the Charles Bowles Invite in Salem last weekend, despite withholding some of their top runners. Portland finished with a team score of 23, which was 64 points higher than second-place New Mexico. Transfer Brady Johnson led the Pilots with a first-place finish.
"I like how we are positioned but don't want to lose sight of the work that needs to be done over the next month and a half," said men's head coach Rob Conner. "Full speed ahead."
The Portland men will next be in action at the prestigious Adidas Wisconsin meet in Madison, Wisc., on Oct. 14. Both teams will compete at NCAA Pre-Nationals as well in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 15.
Get more Pilot athletic news at portlandpilots.com.