SEATTLE—While it’s only September, the Washington State Cougars may have issued a statement to the rest of the teams in the Pac-12 conference, and for that matter, the rest of the nation, after decisively defeating host Washington at the Sundodger Invitational men’s 8k race on a cloudy day at Lincoln Park.
The Cougars, perhaps stinging from being snubbed by the voters of the USTFCCCA national coaches poll that did not consider them worthy of a national top-30 ranking after qualifying for last year’s NCAA championships, put seven scoring runners in the top ten to easily win their third straight Sundodger Invitational.
Washington All-American Colby Gilbert (#638/photo by Paul Merca) was in control of the race, as he easily won in a time of 23:39, with Washington State’s Michael Williams (#675) taking the runner-up spot three seconds behind.
The Huskies’ Andrew Gardner, who shared the early lead with Gilbert, was an easy third in 23:58, just ahead of Washington State’s John Whelan (24:01), who ran unattached.
It was the runners behind Whelan who were the story for the Cougs, led by Sam Levora in 5th (24:04), Chandler Teigen in 6th (24:10), Nathan Wadhwani in 7th (24:12), and Nathan Tadesse in 8th (24:19), giving Washington State an excellent 1-5 split of 37 seconds.
Finishing behind Gilbert and Gardner for the Dawgs, who were admittedly tired from their annual pre-season training camp on the Washington coast, were Blake Nelson in 14th (24:45), Keith Williams in 17th (24:49), and Julius Diehr in 21st (25:02), giving the Huskies a final score of 40 points to the Cougars’ 24.
Husky freshman Gavin Parpart competed unattached, running 24:34 for 11th, and fellow frosh Ryan Gregory was 15th in 24:47.
Seattle University finished third with a final team score of 99 points, led by Chay Weaver’s 22nd place finish in 25:08.
In contrast, the Washington women, who were ranked #11 in the USTFCCCA national poll entering the weekend, were dominant, placing six runners in the top ten, as Canadian internationalist Charlotte Prouse was given credit for the win over the 6k course in 20:19 over Husky teammate Katie Knight as they held hands across the finish line.
Fresno State’s Annemarie Schwanz made the finish a bit interesting as she tried to make a late charge at Prouse and Knight, but ran out of real estate, taking third in 20:20.
NCAA 1500m qualifier Amy-Eloise Neale was fourth in 20:25, followed by a pair of UW freshmen competing unattached, Kaitlyn Neal in 5th (20:26), and Nicole Zielinski in 6th (20:40).
Rounding out Washington’s five scorers were Anna Maxwell in 7th (20:52), and Kaylee Flanagan in 8th (20:53), giving them a low score of 18 points.
Washington State was led by Devon Bortfeld’s 12th place finish (21:12), followed by Morgan Willson in 13th (21:32), Morgan Lash (18th, 22:05), Melissa Hruska (19th, 22:13), and Josie Brown (25th, 22:24), giving them a score of 67 points.
Hawaii was third with 99, three less than SeattleU. The Redhawks were led by Lila Rice, who finished 21st in 22:14.
In the first race of the day, former Washington State standout Caroline Austin, now competing for the Seattle Running Club, led for most of the way before being overtaken in the final 100 meters by Trinity Western’s Regan Yee, as both were credited with at time of 20:30.
Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter finished fifth in 20:57, while Kayla Leland of Division III Whitworth was tenth in 21:18.
Declan White of Trinity Western won the mens open race in 24:00 over Western Oregon’s David Ribich, who ran 24:05. Former Seattle Pacific standout Turner Wiley was the top runner with Washington ties, finishing 8th in 24:35.
Complete results of the Sundodger Invitational are available below.
NOTE: The University of Washington contributed to this report. The results will be updated later to include team scores.