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Gonzaga's Men's Cross Country Earns Second Consecutive Nationals Berth

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  • Gonzaga's Men's Cross Country Earns Second Consecutive Nationals Berth

    Men's Cross Country Earns Second Consecutive Nationals Berth

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Eight months after doing it for the first time in program history, No. 15 Gonzaga men's cross country is heading to Nationals as a team for the second straight season.

    After a fifth-place finish at NCAA West Regionals on Friday, the Zags heard their names called in the NCAA Selection Show Saturday as one of 31 teams to compete for a national championship in Friday's race on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee.

    "So pumped for this team! So pumped for our alums! So pumped for Gonzaga University! So pumped for Spokane!" said GU head coach Pat Tyson. "We know what we can do in Tallahassee — and that's compete."

    Gonzaga Cross Country & Track

    In the pandemic-delayed 2021 season, GU finished 27th as a team at Nationals, led by the best individual finish in program history from Yacine Guermali (55th, 31:03.0). This fall, GU returned nine of its top ten runners from that squad, going from unranked at the beginning of the year to a program-best No. 13 ranking in the USTFCCCA polls three weeks ago after knocking off multiple ranked opponents in the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, Ore. and the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisc.. They're No. 15 in the latest rankings.

    In Sacramento Friday, James Mwaura's fifth-place individual finish anchored the lowest point total in program history at a Regional race, running the fastest 10K in program history with a time of 29:35.2. Fellow All-Region Zags Wil Smith (14th, 30:04.5) and Cullen McEachern (17th, 30:10.6) ran the fourth- and sixth- fastest 10K's in program history as well, with all of the Zags top seven cracking the Top 75 individuals.

    "This is something I guess we expected, and yesterday we ran well, but so did Boise State and Portland and Oregon and Washington and Stanford," Tyson said. "It looked like possibly if things didn't line up that we might not be going ... I'd say 'relieved' is a good word."

    Friday's race is set for a 9 a.m. start, with streaming and live stats available via NCAA.com. CheckGoZags.com and follow @ZagRunning on Twitter and Instagram for race updates, coverage and more.

    Gonzaga Article Link
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