Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cross country preview: SEATTLE UNIVERSITY's cross country series previewing this state's top college and university cross country teams continues, as we move west into Seattle.

Today's cross country preview features the Seattle University Redhawks, coached by Trish Steidl, whose name is very familiar to Seattle area runners.

Besides being married to German World Championships marathoner Uli Steidl, a multi-time winner of the Seattle Marathon, she's the lady who compiles the road racing stats for Northwest Runner, and is an accomplished runner in her own right, having won Seattle as well.

In 2007, Seattle University competed at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with Seattle Pacific, but now makes the jump to Division I. For the 2008-09 season, the Redhawks (almost typed in Chieftains) will compete as an independent, with hopes of getting admission into a conference (most likely the West Coast Conference, with Gonzaga and Portland).

In the 2007 GNAC meet, Seattle finished fifth in the women's team competition, while their men's squad took sixth. The Redhawks finished sixth in the NCAA D-II west regionals, while the men's team finished 14th.

The Redhawks will run Friday at the Pier Park Invitational in Portland, then compete the following week at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, which is shaping up as the unofficial state of Washington championship meet.

Senior Katie Hansen from Portland returns as Seattle U’s top runner, as she won their Green Lake Time Trial race on August 30th against Everett Community College, clocking 17:12.

In the time trial, senior Rhiannon Cadelinia finished second with a time of 18:42, followed closely by junior Greta Stickney in 18:48 and junior Rachel Yorkston in 18:56.

On the men’s side, freshman Erik Barkhaus finished just ahead of sophomore Michael Van Nuland over the 4.3-mile course, with Barkhaus posting a time of 22:51 and Van Nuland crossing the finish line in 22:56. Sophomore Hans Heitzinger with a time of 23:09 finished third in their time trial.

Sophomore Adam Kollgaard finished fourth in 23:15, with freshman Matthew McClement posting a solid time of 23:26 in his first collegiate race.

In talking about her group at Seattle University, Steidl said, “This incoming class of distance runners is going to help us be stronger and deeper at all the distances than we’ve been before.”

NOTE: The sports information office at Seattle University contributed to this report.

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