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Ritter Takes 29th at NCAA Regionals, Leading Cal Poly to 10th at WSU

Ritter Takes 29th at NCAA Regionals, Leading Cal Poly to 10th at WSU

COLFAX, Wash. — Jake Ritter took 29th place individually at the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships on a rainy afternoon Friday 15 miles northwest of Pullman, leading Cal Poly to 10th place in the Men's 10K event around Colfax Golf Complex.

Ritter, the back-to-back Big West champ, clocked a career-best time of 30 minutes, 18.7 seconds, pacing the team to 333 points in all. He was more than 20 seconds better than his time at last year's regional meet as a sophomore.

On a wet course, Portland won the 2019 western title by tallying a score of 65 points, edging No. 4-ranked Stanford by 13 for the team crown on a 38-degree day.

Two redshirt freshmen were next for Cal Poly, which started out from Box No. 7, as Anthony Benitez took 69th place via 31:15.5, right next to John Bennett in 70th at 31:15.9.

Senior Chas Cook, competing in his third postseason 10K, followed in 77th at 31:21.1, before three more redshirt freshmen were on his heels in their NCAA-West debuts: Will Fallini-Haas taking 88th place in 31:33.8; Hayden Hansen 187th (34:48.5); and Elias Opsahl (DNF).

Andrew Jordan of Washington won the individual crown at 29:43.4.

Cal Poly finished 20th in the Women's 6K, compiling a team score of 583 points. Starting from Box 3, Sierra Brill led the Mustangs taking 86th place with a time of 21:27.1.

Redshirt freshman Misty Diaz added a 143rd-place 22:06.2 for Cal Poly, before junior teammates Cate Ratliff (102nd, in 21:39.2), Abbey Fisk (124th, at 21:51.0), Angela DiPentino (131st, via 21:57.2) & Annie Meeder (175th; 22:32.1) followed.

Cal Poly scored with a DNF from 2018 All-Regional honoree Miranda Daschian. Daschian, an NCAA Championship qualifier last year, graduates as a back-to-back Big West Athlete of the Year and as the department's overall BWC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2019.

Stanford, highlighted by a medalist showing from Ella Donaghu (19:50.8), won the western title Friday tallying 39 points, topping rival Washington by 10.

Photo Courtesy © Malcolm Slaney