LEWISTON, Idaho--Washington State's men's squad earned the team title and Cougar senior Caroline Austin (left/photo by Paul Merca) took individual honors at Saturday's Inland Empire Classic cross country meet at the Lewis-Clark State College Orchards Course.
Austin, a senior from Chehalis, and Ruby Roberts, a junior, finished one-two in the women's 5000m race. This was Austin's third win of the season and she crossed the finish line in a time of 17 minute, 43 seconds. Roberts, who is coming off an injury-plagued 2011-12 year, ran a time of 17:46. Cougar women scoring with their times were Emily Dwyer (18:39, 16th), Courtney Zalud (18:58, 24th) and Abby Knight (19:20, 36th).
The other WSU women and their finishes included CharLee Linton (19:31, 37th), Kiah Condos (19:40, 46th), Marisa Stoick (19:55, 57th), and Amanda Henderson (20:03, 60th).
Gonzaga took the team title in the women's race, as they had four runners in the top 10 with Emily Thomas third in 17:47, Lauren Bergam fifth (18:07), Amelia Evans sixth (18:08) and Maggie Jones eighth (18:16) over the brand new 5K layout. The Zags scored 37 points to out-distance second-place WSU with 71.
Eastern Washington was tenth with 225 points, led by Berenice Penaloza, who was 17th for the Eagles in 18:42.
Leading the WSU men's team to victory was junior Drew Jordan with second place and sophomore Todd Wakefield who finished third. Jordan and Wakefield were both credited with a time of 24:35 on the 8,000m course.
Andrew Gonzales finished sixth in a time of 25:00 and Andrew Kimpel, who was had some respiratory issues during dry and dusty race and nearly dropped out, also ran 25:00 and finished seventh. Forrest Shaffer's time of 25:24 was 13th and was the fifth scorer for the Cougars. Richard Shroy ran a time of 26:44 for 47th. Lee George, bothered by the dry and dusty conditions dropped out of the competition.
Former EWU star Paul Limpf, running unattached, won the men's race in a time of 24:28.
The Gonzaga men had three runners in the top 12 as Tate Kelly once again led the way in 24:47 for third place over the 8K layout. Colin O'Neil was 11th in 25:20 and Robert Walgren 12th in 25:24.
Eastern Washington, which finished ninth in the men's race, was led by freshman David Thor in 25:35, who crossed the line in 20th, marking the fourth straight meet he's led the team.
In Seattle, the SeattleU Redhawks won the men's team title at their own Emerald City Open at Lower Woodland Park, running against local competition.
Erik Barkhaus cruised to the individual title with a time of 25:20, leading the Redhawks to a 1-2-4 finish, as he ran almost 34 full seconds ahead of teammate Matthew McClement, who finished second in 25:54. A strong finishing kick from Ryan Dennison advanced him to fourth place with a time of 26:07.
In the women's race, Club Northwest's Kristi Houk (22:11) and Olympic Marathon Trials participant Ruth Perkins (22:29) went 1-2 over the 6-k course, as CNW finished second by a two-point margin to Simon Fraser, 36-38.
Host SeattleU was third with a score of 64 points, led by Hannah Mittelstaedt's tenth place finish in 22:54.
NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University contributed to this report.