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Thread: OT Mens XC ... They DID it !!!

  1. #1
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    Default OT Mens XC ... They DID it !!!

    Emerging momentarily from my long hibernation on this board.

    GU finished second at the WCC cross country meet this morning, likely earning their first ever berth to the NCAA championships in Oklahoma.

    GU's James Mwaura finished second (after leading much of the race) and Yacine Guermali finished fourth.

    BYU won the team title. Portland finished third. I believe this is the first time GU has ever beaten Portland in a Men's XC meet.

    Go Zags!

    Re-entering hibernation.
    You have to love the Gonzaga fan. Not satisfied to be affronted merely by common hosings at the hands of ragtag referees, he plows all avenues of discontent. - John Blanchette

    Gonzaga University...Home of the Zags...The Bulldogs. If you pronounce it "Gone Zaw Ga," they'll know you're not from here and they may charge you more for your coffee. - Garrison Keillor

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    That’s a huge “win” for the team. Portland was always dominant before BYU, often having their too 5 guys above the top runner from each of the other respective schools.

    Congrats to the coach and team.

  3. #3
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    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    So does GU send the entire team to the NCAA XC or just those two runners?

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    The team as a whole should be invited. They just missed out on it last year.
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
    - Gandalf the Grey

    ________________________________



    Foo Time

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    Thanks for sharing. Nice to see you Angelo. Don’t be a stranger!

    ZZ

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    Any win in XC takes a team effort. Congrats to everyone!

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    And we should know about the debate team too Pope!

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    Great job guys & gals.

    former1 must have popped the champagne. Still waiting for him to check in!
    But we don't play nobody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingon50 View Post
    Great job guys & gals.

    former1 must have popped the champagne. Still waiting for him to check in!

    Sitting,

    Along with a few other program Alumni I was lucky enough to witness this historic program accomplishment in person, something I’ve been dreaming of for 34 years!

    We did, in fact, pop a champagne bottle (or two)!!

    On to Stillwater where I predict we’ll be celebrating one and possibly two All Americans awards for Mwaura and Guermali!

    These are tremendous young men that represent Gonzaga and we can all be proud of them!

  11. #11
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    A bit O/T, but if you like XC, check out this 2015 movie, McFarland USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDABE80 View Post
    And we should know about the debate team too Pope!
    March Madness coming for GU Debate-earns top district qualifying slot for National Debate Tournament in March

    https://www.gonzaga.edu/news-events/...+for+Nationals

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    That's so awesome former1.

    The WCC is one of the toughest leagues in the country, more so with the addition of BYU. Placing runner-up at the league championships translates to the following:

    Beating currently ranked #8 Portland.
    Beating several West region ranked teams including #10 Santa Clara, #14 San Francisco, and #15 LMU.
    Finishing on the heels of defending national champion and current #1 BYU.
    Gonzaga will probably go from the first team outside the polls to firmly ranked (I could see a Top 20 ranking for next week).

    Pat Tyson is a legend. He's part of the upper class from the golden era of distance running in the region. He's done a heck of a job getting this program where it is today.

    I'm proud to see the Zag harriers making this jump to true national prominence!
    "My golf is woeful, but I will never surrender."--Bing Crosby

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    Quote Originally Posted by former1dog View Post
    Sitting,

    Along with a few other program Alumni I was lucky enough to witness this historic program accomplishment in person, something I’ve been dreaming of for 34 years!

    We did, in fact, pop a champagne bottle (or two)!!

    On to Stillwater where I predict we’ll be celebrating one and possibly two All Americans awards for Mwaura and Guermali!

    These are tremendous young men that represent Gonzaga and we can all be proud of them!
    Congrats former! Wonderful opportunity & memory!

    Don't remember if I ever heard anything definitive from you, but how many scholarships have the Zags been able to cobble together?
    But we don't play nobody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingon50 View Post
    Congrats former! Wonderful opportunity & memory!

    Don't remember if I ever heard anything definitive from you, but how many scholarships have the Zags been able to cobble together?

    XC scholarships were increased from 4 total full rides to 12 about 4 years ago, 6 for the men and 6 for the women. This was huge!

    In addition, we Almuni have funded two additional partial scholarships to be used at the coaches discretion. We have more plans in the works with ultimate goal of funding the construction of a full size outdoor track. Anyone with deeeeep pockets, feel free to reach out to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by former1dog View Post
    XC scholarships were increased from 4 total full rides to 12 about 4 years ago, 6 for the men and 6 for the women. This was huge!

    In addition, we Almuni have funded two additional partial scholarships to be used at the coaches discretion. We have more plans in the works with ultimate goal of funding the construction of a full size outdoor track. Anyone with deeeeep pockets, feel free to reach out to me.
    A great day for the cross country program as well. A lot of credit to Rob and others for helping the program, keeping alumni engaged, etc. Before Pat Tyson was hired, I emailed Mike Roth somewhat complaining about the lack of support for the xc program. To his credit he emailed back, told me to give him a call, and was willing to discuss his thoughts on the phone. I give Mike Roth and the athletic department staff (and of course the coaching staff and athletes) credit for being willing to devote some resources to the program. As quite possibly the slowest runner on the slowest team in GU history, I'm happy to see where the program has gone. Looking forward to nationals (although I confess i don't even understand what the actual selection process is this year without regionals). Go Zags!

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    Quote Originally Posted by former1dog View Post
    XC scholarships were increased from 4 total full rides to 12 about 4 years ago, 6 for the men and 6 for the women. This was huge!

    In addition, we Almuni have funded two additional partial scholarships to be used at the coaches discretion. We have more plans in the works with ultimate goal of funding the construction of a full size outdoor track. Anyone with deeeeep pockets, feel free to reach out to me.
    Thanks former.
    But we don't play nobody.

  18. #18
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    Default They DID it !!!


    "To be continued ....."
    Father Tony Lehman, SJ

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    This really is a great accomplishment!

    https://gozags.com/news/2021/3/7/gon...nationals.aspx

    It is hard to believe how much this program has had to develop to be where it is. When Former1 and I were running, there were basically no scholarships. We could maybe get some breaks on room and board, mainly due to Tom Fuchs getting many of us jobs in the cafeteria. This program survived for years on what was at best a shoestring budget, volunteerism and passion for GU.

    Now to be nationally ranked and competing in the Nationals is an unthinkable accomplishment.
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
    - Gandalf the Grey

    ________________________________



    Foo Time

  20. #20
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    Congrats kitz.

    I am a former HS XC Coach & I know the pain (& suffering) that comes runners way & goes largely unnoticed.

    You can be very proud to have been a part.
    But we don't play nobody.

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    This is awesome news.
    I grew up in the Mead school district, went to Mead my sophomore year and then Mt Spokane.
    I played soccer and thus naturally my friends circle overlapped with XC runners both at Mead and Mt. Spokane.
    Glad to see Coach Tyson doing well and great to see a local school doing well with the rich history Spokane has with distance running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asoc View Post
    This is awesome news.
    I grew up in the Mead school district, went to Mead my sophomore year and then Mt Spokane.
    I played soccer and thus naturally my friends circle overlapped with XC runners both at Mead and Mt. Spokane.
    Glad to see Coach Tyson doing well and great to see a local school doing well with the rich history Spokane has with distance running.
    A rich history indeed. I have the memory of running "against" Rick Riley in Moses Lake at a regional meet circa 1966. There were probably 200 runners. Rick Riley finished first, and I was likely around number 100, so didn't see him finish LOL. The section of sand on that course was a real #####. Congratulations Gonzaga!

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    First, it’s very important that we recognize Kristen Garcia. She made some history qualifying as an individual for the Women’s National Cross Country Championship. My history might be off, but the women’s Cross Country team at Gonzaga has had significant success, earning a first ever team invite in 2015 under the tremendous coaching of Patty Ley and on the legs of athletes like Shelby Mills amongst others.

    However, Kristen Garcia is to my knowledge the second individual qualifier in program history behind Francesca Fairbanks in 1997. Congratulations Kristen!!

    As I mentioned in a previous post, a lot of us old runners have been dreaming about this teams accomplishments for a long time. In the mid 80’s, Coach Bill Berg pulled together an unruly group of solid athletes, nicknamed the “Dickweeds” and started having success taking 2nd place conference team honors for the first time in 1986. An unbroken string of second place finishes continued into the mid 90’s through Coach Tom Fuchs tenure.

    I had the privilege of being on the team that ran in Gonzaga’s first ever NCAA regional championships under Coach Fuchs. These teams produced many All Conference athletes and school record holders. All of this despite a bear minimum of support from the cash strapped athletic administration.

    When Coach Fuchs, a very young man at the time, decided to give up his role and focus on his career in IT and his family, the program started to decline a bit, not because of the athletes but because of a lack of coaching and support.

    Along came Coach Kevin Swaim who heroically as a part time, underpaid patiently and methodically rebuilt the program. Eventually he took a bunch of folks who wouldn’t necessarily be considered good athletes and with hard work turned them into great athletes. These guys brought the program back to prominence of the early 90’s and were once again on the heels of Portland. Their success started to attract better athletes like Joe Miller who still is the programs only 4 time All Conference stand out. James Mwaura will have a chance to match Joe’s record next season.

    All of the success Coach Swaim had got the attention of the athletic department and prompted the decision to bring in the programs first ever FULL Time Coach. The fates were shining on Gonzaga when legendary coach Pat Tyson was available to take the position. Coach Tyson has been hugely successful as an athlete winning a team National Cross Country title alongside his roommate Steve Prefontaine at Oregon, then as a high school coach at Mead High School winning 12(?) state championships and now finally the pied piper of Gonzaga cross country and track.

    Coach Tyson has been tremendous, not only bringing the athletic achievements to heights never even dreamed of, recruiting unreal athletes, but also creating an atmosphere of love, respect and brotherhood amongst the athletes. Not only that he has created that same atmosphere with the alumni.

    With the momentum Tyson has created a lot of influential individual have gotten behind the program and deserve our gratitude, including Mike Roth and our very own Pontiff. Without them, our team would not be going to nationals.

    The best is yet to come!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawkmandale View Post
    A rich history indeed. I have the memory of running "against" Rick Riley in Moses Lake at a regional meet circa 1966. There were probably 200 runners. Rick Riley finished first, and I was likely around number 100, so didn't see him finish LOL. The section of sand on that course was a real #####. Congratulations Gonzaga!
    Rick Riley... that's a blast from the past. I believe he still holds the Washington State 3200 meter record at 8:48. I ran into him awhile ago. He's coaching Saint George's and loving it. In his early 70's and coaching a small school in a picturesque location. It sounds quite idyllic, really.
    "My golf is woeful, but I will never surrender."--Bing Crosby

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillZag View Post
    Rick Riley... that's a blast from the past. I believe he still holds the Washington State 3200 meter record at 8:48. I ran into him awhile ago. He's coaching Saint George's and loving it. In his early 70's and coaching a small school in a picturesque location. It sounds quite idyllic, really.

    Washington States 3200 record is held by Gonzaga’s own James Mwaura when he ran for Lincoln High School! ��

    8:46.87

    https://www.wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=506

    James will be leading Gonzaga’s team at the National Championships in Stillwater this coming Monday.


    **** As an aside, it’s likely Rick Riley’s time was for 2 miles, rather than 3200 meters. Of course the most amazing performance over that distance for a Washington HS athlete is 8:40.1 by Jerry Lindgren on a 16 laps to the mile indoor track. I personally think this is the greatest ever performance for a high school distance runner. Most would put Alan Webb and Jim Ryun’s record mile runs ahead of Lindgren’s performance.

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