Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cougars, Vikings dominate at Erik Anderson & Saint Martin's Invites...

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- Washington State freshman Ruby Roberts and junior Justin Englund (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the individual titles and led their Cougar teams to wins Saturday under sunny skies and 80 degrees at the Erik Anderson Memorial Invitational Cross Country meet at Plantes Ferry Park in the Spokane Valley.

Roberts, from Kingston, Wash., won the women's 5000m race with a time of 18-minutes, 27 seconds. Cougar teammate Caroline Austin (sophomore, Chehalis) was second, just 15 seconds back.

Englund, from Federal Way, Wash., won the men's 8000m in a time of 25:15, with Cougar sophomore and 2010 USA world junior cross country championships competitor Andrew Kimpel (Spokane), running unattached, second by 3 seconds.

The Cougar women's team won with a team score of 30 followed by Gonzaga (61), Whitworth (84), Lewis-Clark State (97), Spokane CC (158) and Central Washington (187). The WSU men's team won with a team score of 19 followed by Lewis-Clark State (74), Gonzaga (98), Whitworth (98), Spokane CC (130), and Central Washington (217).

"The women looked strong and in control," Cougar Head Coach Pete Julian said. "The women's team has certainly tremendously improved from a year ago. I think they are starting to get excited about their potential. It was a very good, strong showing and it was nice to be up in Spokane where we can go up and compete and be back home by the afternoon."

"On the men's side, it was a really tough week of training so we eased our way through it and by the end we had the top three. Everybody looked really strong. It was the first time I've really seen Justin Englund run with so much control and poise. He is really stepping into the role we envisioned for him to be filling this year. We are excited and we're looking forward to the next race."

Results from the Erik Anderson Memorial Invitational can be accessed here.

Meanwhile in Lacey, the Western Washington Vikings flexed their might in winning the Saint Martin's Invitational, sweeping both the men's and women's team titles, despite resting the majority of their top runners.

The Vikings' Sarah Porter, who is one of the pre-season favorites to win the NCAA Division II cross country title, took individual honors in the women's run, posting a winning time of 21:37 over the six-kilometer course.

It was the seventh time during Porter's four-year career that she has won a regular-season meet. Porter is a nine-time All-American for the Vikings, honored three times each in cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

"We held her back during the first portion, and then let her go," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell (24th year) of Porter. "Both teams ran well. It was a very good effort."

Western's women finished first with 29 points, followed by Clark CC 60, Saint Martin's 76, Pacific Lutheran 89, Seattle Pacific 123, Evergreen State 170 and Olympic CC 195.

The Viking men won with 31 points, 32 better than second-place Saint Martin's (63). Pacific Lutheran was third (85), followed by Clark CC 97, Green River CC 114, Seattle Pacific 158, Olympic CC 158 and Evergreen State 216.

Saint Martin's alum John Riak, a former NCAA D2 All American, won the race in 26:07.

Western was led by Chip Jackson (R-Fr., Shoreline/Shorewood), who placed fifth, completing the eight-kilometer distance in 27:01.

All five Viking All-Americans will compete at the Greater Louisville Open on Saturday, Oct. 2, the site of this year's NCAA Division II National Championships. They are Lauren Breihof (Jr., Vancouver/Mountain View), Bennett Grimes (Sr., Sr., Pocatello, ID/Century), Blake Medhaug (Sr., Bothell), Porter and Jordan Welling (Sr., Burlington/Burlington-Edison).

The men's results from the Saint Martin's Invitational can be accessed here, while the women's results are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State, Gonzaga, Western Washington and Seattle Pacific all contributed to this report.

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