Saturday, October 2, 2010

Roberts finishes third at Montana Invitational...

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Washington State freshman Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished third and the Cougar women's cross country team was the runner-up Saturday at the Montana Invitational Cross Country meet at the University Golf Course in Missoula.

Roberts, from Kingston, Wash., ran a time of 17-minutes, 54 seconds for third place in the women's 5000m race, as Katrina Drennan of the host Grizzlies won in 17:41. Cougar sophomore Caroline Austin (Chehalis, Wash.) was seventh in a time of 18:16, and freshman Sarah Bobbe (Vancouver, Wash.) placed 10th in a time of 18:35.

The rest of the Cougar women scoring Saturday included Allison Clark (freshman, Vancouver, Wash.) 11th (18:39), Emily Farrar (junior, Bainbridge Island, Wash.) 18th (18:56), Courtney Zalud (sophomore, Colbert, Wash.) 22nd (19:00), and Ashlee Wall Eskelsen (Walla Walla) 30th (19:10).

For Gonzaga, Laura Volcheff was 14th in 18:43, Lauren Bergam was 18th in 18:55 and Emily Thomas 20th in 18:56 for the Bulldogs.

Eastern Washington placed eighth at the meet, led by senior standout Amy Kolin, who placed eighth overall, in a time of 18:21.

The host Montana women's team won with a score of 33 points, followed by Washington State with 49, Idaho State (73), Gonzaga (101), Montana State (128), College of Idaho (160), Carroll College (183), and Eastern Washington (203).

Complete results from the Montana Invitational are available here.

In Seattle, a pair of true freshmen showed tremendous promise Saturday as those members of the Husky cross country teams that did not make the trip to Notre Dame competed at the Emerald City Open, hosted by Seattle U. at Woodland Park.

Katie Flood, one of the nation's top recruits a year ago, competed for the first time Saturday and looked like a veteran over the hilly 6,000-meter course, placing third overall, while freshman Aaron Beattie, coming off a good run at the Sundodger two weeks ago, took second overall in the men's 8k.

Both Flood and Beattie competed unattached, Flood wearing a Redondo jersey supplied by teammate Chloe Curtis, the 2010 California 1,600m state champion, who also ran for the first time this year and took 10th overall.

Flood's time of 22:03 was a full minute faster than the winning time last year run by former Husky Mo Huber. Claudia Copeland from Olympia, who runs for Club Northwest took the win in 21:47.

Chelsea Orr, a freshman from Sammamish, was the second Husky finisher, clocking 23:02 which was also one second under the winning mark a year ago. Redshirt freshmen Breanna Huschka and Alison Ponce were seventh and eighth overall, followed by Curtis, then sophomore transfer Phoebe Merritt in 11th place in 23:33.

Courtney Lightfoot took 16th, Jacquelyn Komen was 26th, and Nicole Aurigemma and Laura Schmitt rounded out the UW contingent in 29th and 31st-place respectively.

SeattleU was led by freshman Cara Talty, who was 13th in 23:44. Celeste Cassidy finished 18th in 24:43 behind Talty, quickly followed by Sarah Bolce in 19th place with a time of 24:44. Hannah Mittelstaedt was 21st in 24:53, and Lauren Hammerle 24th in 25:07.

Washington's Aaron Beattie, a Naperville, Illinois native, chased after SeattleU's Erik Barkhaus for the last couple laps, but settled for second-place, just 11 seconds back in 26:11. The only other Husky competing in the men's race was sophomore Greg Drosky, who led early on before winding up in fifth-place in 27:01.

Host SeattleU had six men placing in the top twenty runners out of the largest field ever in the Open. Following Barkhaus was Hans Heitzinger in sixth in 27:04, Kelton Sears eighth in 27:16, Matthew McClement 11th in 27:34, Michael Van Nuland was 13th in 27:45, and Jeff Baklund finished 16th with a time of 27:59.

Complete results from the Emerald City Open are available here... 

In other significant NCAA Division I notes, former University of Washington standout Kendra Schaaf, now competing for North Carolina, finished fourth at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Verona, Wisconsin, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

Schaaf, who is projected by Track & Field News as its early favorite to win the NCAA women's individual title,  covered the 6k course in 20:21, as Florida's Charlotte Browning took the win in 20:14.

The Tar Heels finished a surprising second with 98 points behind team champion Syracuse with 89.  Results from the Wisconsin adidas Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, University of Washington and SeattleU provided information for this story.

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