Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekend roundup: Collegiate cross country opens up around the state...

In Spokane, the Washington State men's and women's cross country teams won the team titles at the Clash of the Inland Northwest Cross Country meet hosted by Eastern Washington and Gonzaga at Mead High School Saturday.

The Cougar men dominate the field with eight of the top nine places being claimed by WSU. Justin Englund, Andrew Kimpel, Andrew Gonzales and Jono Lafler finished first through fourth with Todd Wakefield, Drew Jordan, Richard Shroy and Matt Cronrath taking sixth through ninth places. Englund's winning time for the 6,200 meters was 18-minutes, 33 seconds.

The Cougar men's team was the overall winner with 16 points, followed by Idaho (65), Gonzaga (76), Eastern Washington (97), and Whitworth (133).

Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) was the top finisher for the Cougar women, taking fourth place with a time of 14:24 for the 4,200m course. Caroline Austin finished fifth and Allison Clark took sixth while Sarah Bobbe, Emily Farrar and Katie Fleischer were 10th through 12th, respectively. Former Idaho standout, Allix Potratz-Lee, now running for the Oiselle club, won the women's race in a time of 14:10.

"It was really great to see the men run in a tight pack and run with confidence and poise. It certainly was a good starting point for this season," Cougar Head Coach Pete Julian said. "The women looked strong and came into the season quite fit and comparing today to two years ago, this team is light years ahead of that team. I'm very pleased with where both teams are and this will be a good springboard for the whole season."

For Eastern Washington, freshman Katie Mahoney led the Eagles by placing 20th. For the men, senior Bowe Ebding finished in 15th.

"The girls that went ran pretty well," Eastern coach Chris Zeller said. "All of the young women stepped up nicely. (Sophomore) Micaela Rasmussen (28th place) did really well. She's much stronger than last year.  Sophomores Megan Auch and Kimberly Macias did really well also. They stepped up their game. I was pleased with all three of them."

With some of his top runners participating unattached or sitting out due to injury, Gonzaga coach Pat Tyson thinks the meet gave him a good idea of where the teams stand early in the season.

The Bulldogs have a dual meet with the University of Oregon in Sunriver, Ore., next Saturday followed by the Erik Anderson Memorial at Plantes Ferry in Spokane prior to heading to the University of Montana, a meet "we'll use for more for  grooming," according to Tyson.

Washington State's release is here; Eastern Washington's release is here; and Gonzaga's release is here, with a link to the complete results of the men's and women's competition.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, Seattle Pacific's Natty Plunkett took the women's short course race, and the Seattle Pacific men's squad took the team title in the Alaska Nanook Invitational meet against Montana State Billings and Alaska Fairbanks.

Seattle Pacific's recap of the meet is available here.

Friday, the University of Washington easily defeated SeattleU 15-48 in the men's 4.5 mile race at Magnuson Park in Seattle, and 16-39 in the women's 3 mile, with Taylor Carlson credited with the win in the men's race at 22:33, and freshman Eleanor Fulton, competing unattached, getting the win at 17:13 over NCAA track qualifier Megan Goethals in the same time.

SeattleU's release is here; the University of Washington's release is here, along with a link to results.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, Seattle Pacific, the University of Washington, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

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