Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sara Trané wins Montana Invitational...

Washington State junior Sara Trané (above/photo courtesy Washington State University) won the women's race at the University of Montana Cross Country Invitational, and five Cougars claimed the top five places in the Missoula, Mont., race Saturday morning.

Trané, a junior from Pixbo, Sweden, covered the soggy 5,000m course on the UM Golf Course in a time of 18-minutes, 10 seconds.

"Sara ran well. It was perfect for her first race of the season, a good rust-buster," Cougar coach Jason Drake said.

The next four Cougar finishers crossed the line within 30 seconds of Trané. Chelsea VanDeBrake (junior, Yakima) took second place in a time of 18:25, Michelly Foley (freshman, Prineville, Ore.) was third in a time of 18:31, Lisa Egami (junior, Coquitlam, British Columbia) was slowed by a side ache and finished fourth with a time of 18:34, and Amanda Andrews (sophomore, Gig Harbor) took fifth place with a time of 18:40. Three more Cougs finished in the top 11: Marisa Sandoval (junior, Los Alamos, NM) was seventh (18:43), Emily Farrar (freshman, Bainbridge) was ninth (18:51), and Mietra Smollack (freshman, Gig Harbor) was 11th (18:55).

"The rain stopped just before the race began and I thought we ran well. It was a manageable meet with a smaller feel but we were racing and not just running a time trial. Everyone won their individual battles and this meet was a good competition to build confidence," Drake said.

For Eastern Washington, Amber Nickelson finished 10th out of 69 runners, and Nickelson had a time of 18:52 in the 5,000-meter race.

Other Eastern women finishers included Brittney Williams (23rd, 19:50), Stephanie Dye (25th, 19:54), Kelly Downey (44th, 21:02), Lauren Matthews (45th, 21:08), Tera Klein (53rd, 21:46), Amanda Weaver (54th, 21:50) and April Axtell (61st, 22:58).

Laura Volcheff finished 16th for the Gonzaga women in 19:27 over the 5K layout. Elizabeth Slamkowski was 22nd in 19:45 and Molly Funk 26th in 19:59.

For Gonzaga, Colby Litzenberger was 11th in 26:16 in the men's 8K over the University of Montana Golf Course.

Matt Bejar was 16th for the Bulldogs in 26:42 and Brett Withers 23rd in 27:03.

Eastern Washington’s Cody Bradwell, the lone Eagle entrant, was 25th in the men’s race, as the rest of the team ran at Notre Dame.

In other news, Bellevue resident Mike Sayenko, a former University of Washington distance runner, finished fifth in the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis on Sunday, running 2:19:18.

The race, which also served as the USA National Championship for the distance, was won by 2007 World Championships marathon competitor Fernando Cabada, in a time of 2:16:32.

Sayenko, Cabada and the others in the top ten earned qualifying spots for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon, as the national championship race gave competitors a one-day opportunity to qualify for the Trials.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Washington State University contributed to this report, as did USA Track & Field.

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