SPOKANE VALLEY--For both Gonzaga and Washington State, both of whom face major tests next weekend at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, and the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, the emphasis was on letting their less experienced runners compete at Saturday's Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park.
In the women's 5k race, College of Idaho's Hillary Holt took the overall victory in a time of 17:24.
Though the races were run together, the results were scored separately by collegiate, NAIA, and junior college categories.
Washington State freshman Emily Dwyer (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) was the top Cougar woman to cross the finish line and the top woman in the collegiate category finish, but was 10th in the overall standings.
Dwyer ran the 5000m course in a time of 18-minutes, 44 seconds. Abby Knight was second in the collegiate standings and 19th overall in a time of 18:53. The other Cougar freshmen finishers included Kiah Condos (19:38), CharLee Linton (19:53), and Amanda Henderson (20:10).
For Gonzaga, Addi Johnson finished fourth overall in 19:15 and she was followed by sophomore Alison Fraher (19:18) and freshman Alaina Kowitz in 19:26 in fifth and sixth, respectively. Another pack of freshman Allie Nichols (19:33), redshirt sophomore Jordan McCann (19:33) and freshman Zoe Urcadez (19:38) in eighth through 10th.
Central Washington was led by Chelsea Dowell in a time of 20:22.
Gonzaga took the women's collegiate team title over the Cougs 27-39.
In the men's 8k, Washington State's Jono Lafler, who only has track eligibility left for the Cougs, finished second overall with a time of 24:22, as Greg Montgomery of College of Idaho won in 24:18.
Nate Gesell, who is considering holding on to his redshirt season led Gonzaga in a time of 25:38, but was scored as an unattached runner.
Andrew Walker (25:51), Andy Phillips (26:19), Erki Fagan (26:21), Ben Lance (26:23), and Anthony Galvan (27:03) were the first five scoring Bulldogs across the line, but were narrowly edged by MSU-Billings for the team title 27-29.
VIKING WOMEN WIN SMU INVITE IN LACEY
In Lacey, giving younger runners experience was the theme as well, although that was not the case for Western Washington, as the Vikings' Katelyn Steen and Dak Riek each placed third in their respective individual standings with the Viking women winning and the men finishing a strong second at the Saint Martin's University Cross Country Invitational held Saturday on the SMU campus.
The WWU women scored 27 points to 48 for runner-up Seattle Pacific in the five-team field.
2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials participant Ruth Perkins from Club Northwest took the women's title with a time of 22:08 over six kilometers in a field of 53.
Scorers for the WWU women were Austen Reiter 12th (23:43), Arielle Walton 14th (23:55), Haley O'Connor 17th (24:07) and Maddy Jalbert 18th (24:08).
SPU was led by Katie Thralls in eighth in 23:18. Sophomore Jasmone Johnson ran 16th overall on Saturday in 24:05, and freshman Anna Patti was 20th in 24:23.
Josephine Becker (25:07) and Elizabeth Doe (25:10) rounded out the SPU scorers.
In the men's race, Victoria's Ryan Cassidy led a field of 83 men's runners, completing the eight kilometer course in 25:41.
WWU's Riek was clocked in 25:48. Also finishing among the top 10 for the Vikings were Tyler Cannon eighth (26:30), Tanner Boyd ninth (26:35) and Dylan Peterson 10th (26:42). WWU's Tabor Reedy was 12th (26:47).
Host Saint Martin's was fourth in the women's team race with 95 points, and fourth in the men's team standings with 125.
KIP GETS NOSED OUT BY CENTRO AT FIFTH AVENUE MILE
On the pro circuit, world championships bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz kicked passed defending champion Bernard Lagat and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano to win the men’s race at the Fifth Avenue Mile on the streets of New York City in a time of 3:53 (3:52.4 to 3:52.9 for Lagat).
Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara was tenth in a time of 3:57 (3:56.5).
WSU alum Lagat was well-positioned to make a play for a repeat victory. He said that he began his kick earlier than he normally might have due to the presence of Centrowitz and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, both strong finishers.
“I knew that someone, either Leo or Matt, was going to come,” Lagat, who finished fourth in the London Olympic 5000 meters, said. “I wanted to give my best and run hard that last 100 because if I left it to 20 meters like normal I thought I might not have a good shot at it. I started pushing at 100 to go because I knew these two gentlemen would be in pursuit, and that’s what happened. With 50 meters to go, a great miler just passed me.”
After Saturday's race, Lagat begins his five week sabbatical of no running until November 1st.
NOTE: The sports information office of Washington State, Gonzaga, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and the New York Road Runners contributed to this report.