YAKIMA--With the team's goal to give younger runners experience, freshman Lillianna Stelling (left/photo courtesy Western Washington) took individual honors and fellow frosh Sofia Marikis placed fourth as Western Washington University took the women's team title at the Central Washington University Cross Country Invitational held Saturday at Apple Ridge Run.
Stelling won by 12 seconds, completing the 4,000-meter course in 15:48. Marikis was timed in 16:26.
WWU posted a low score of 35 points, eight better than Northwest Nazarene in the four-team field. Host Central Washington was third with 52 points, led by Connie Morgan's third place finish (16:14), and Dani Eggleston's seventh place finish (16:33).
Also finishing among the top 10 for the Viking women were Haley O'Connor in ninth in 16:45, and Arielle Walton in tenth in 16:46.
The Viking men, paced by team co-captain Tanner Boyd also placed first. They bested the six-team field with 37 points, as host Central finished second with 51.
Boyd was sixth, touring the 6,000-meter course in 20:44. Taking the individual crown in 20:07 was Pacific Lutheran's Alan DenAdel.
Three other WWU men placed among the top 10. Ryan Peterson was seventh in 20:45. Tying for ninth at 20:54 were Dustin Sjoerdsma and Dylan Peterson.
Central Washington had one runner in the top ten, as Rudy Spencer was third in 20:13.
In Fairbanks, Alaska, Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker won the short-course event at the Alaska Cross Country Invitational, leading her squad to the team title.
With senior Fricker coming across the 4-kilometer finish line in 15 minutes, 9 seconds, and all four of her teammates making it into the top 10, SPU compiled the day's low score of 27 points. Montana State Billings was second with 43, and host Alaska Fairbanks was third with 50.
As they did on Thursday, sophomore Anna Patti and freshman Sarah Macdonald were the second and third Falcons across the line. Patti, a runner-up two days ago, was third this time in 15:28, and Macdonald was fifth in 15:43.
Junior Jasmine Johnson was eighth, and sophomore Lynelle Decker took 10th.
Turner Wiley, as he did in the long course on Thursday, again led Seattle Pacific in the men's race, crossing the line in 12:58. Wiley came home in sixth place, and the Falcons tied Alaska Fairbanks for second with 54 points. Montana State Billings again was well ahead of the field, winning with 17 points.
Sophomore Adam Avischious was eighth in 13:10, the only other Falcon to crack the top ten.
Friday night, Saint Martin's competed at the Portland State Viking Classic at Blue Lake Park outside of Portland against a field that included two other NCAA D-1 schools in the University of Oregon, and the University of Portland.
Joe Berger was the top finisher for SMU in 28th in 21:32 over a four mile course.
In the women's three-mile race, freshman Kenna Fosnacht was Saint Martin's top finisher in 49th place in 18:50.
All four schools return to action next Saturday at the Sundodger Invitational at Seattle's Lincoln Park, hosted by the University of Washington.
NOTE: The sports information offices of Western Washington, Central Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Saint Martin's University contributed to this report.