Alaska runners, coaches excel at college regionals
Isaac Updike of Ketchikan nearly won another major title, but he settled for getting Eastern Oregon University to the national championships instead.
Updike finished second at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships in Caldwell, Idaho, covering the 8-K race in 25:47. Last spring he won a national title in the steeplechase.
The top 12 finishers earned all-conference and Anchorage’s Hans Roelle was third on the EOU team and 11th overall, missing out on the top ten by one-hundredth of a second.
Eastern Oregon, which is coached by Ben Welch of Wasilla, finished second in the team chase, securing a berth to the NAIA Championships, Nov. 23 in Lawrence, Kan.
At California Baptist, cross country head coach Ben Gall of Anchorage has guided the Lancers to nationals in their first season at the NCAA D2 level.
Cal Baptist finished fifth at the West Region Meet to snag the final berth to nationals, Nov. 23 in Spokane, Wash.
“Our men set a goal a year and a half ago to qualify for the NCAA national championships in their first opportunity,” Gall told the school’s website. “They really wanted to establish CBU cross country in the NCAA as part of their legacy as Lancers. The entire team, including the athletes not competing next weekend, have worked really hard to make that goal a reality. The coaching staff could not be more proud of how hard they worked to get here.”
Sticking with D2, Michigan Tech University’s Jani Lane of Anchorage earned all-region honors with a 21st place finish in the men’s 10-kilometer race in Kenosha, Wis. He crossed the line in 32:13
“Jani had an awesome day being all-region,” his coach told the school’s website. “It’s been a few years since we’ve had an all-region runner and he deserved it with they way he prepared himself.”