FAIRBANKS, Alaska--Behind the 1-2 finish by Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker and Anna Patti (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University), the Falcons won the women's team title in the Alaska Cross Country Invitational long-course race Thursday night at the West Ridge Ski Trails.
Fricker, who was an NCAA Division II All-American both indoors and outdoors last season in the 800 meters, and was part of the squad that made it to the NCAA Division II Championships last fall, finished the 6K course in 22 minutes, 59 seconds, and Patti was next across the finish line in 23:14 as SPU tallied the evening's low total of 29 points. That easily beat runner-up Montana State Billings (40) and host Alaska Fairbanks (55).
In the men's 8K race, the Falcons' Turner Wiley, fully healthy after missing all of the 2012 regular season with an injury, established himself as the team's front runner with a sixth-place finish behind a pack of five Billings runners, stopping the watch in 26:55.
That gave the Yellowjackets a perfect score of 15, with Fairbanks second (56) and Seattle Pacific third (66).
Robert Peterson of Montana State Billings took the win in 26:13.
This meet marked the cross country coaching debuts of SPU track/cross country program head Karl Lerum and new assistant coach Audra Smith.
All three teams face each other Saturday in the short-course race over a 4k distance.
NOTE: The sports information office at Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.