Oct. 6, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Alaska Anchorage won the women's title for the third straight year, but was unable to accomplish the same feat in the men's race, finishing second just three points behind Victoria BC, at the 39th annual Western Washington University Invitational Cross Country Classic held Saturday at Lake Padden Park.
The Seawolves took the women's crown with 41 points to 57 for runner-up British Columbia. Simon Fraser was third (85) and Victoria fourth (90).
Victoria won the men's division with 37 points to 40 for Alaska Anchorage, the two-time defending champion.
Host WWU placed third (80) in the men's race and fifth (152) in the women's competition. The field was one of the largest in meet history with 300 competitors, 178 men and 122 women.
"This was an excellent competition for us," said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell (26th year). "It's one of the best meets we've had here in a long time." Two Alaska Anchorage runners were the individual champions.
Micah Chelimo won the men's title for the second straight year, completing the 10-kilometer course in 31:12. That was five seconds better than runner-up Paul Limpf of Club Northwest.
Susan Tanui dominated the six-kilometer women's run with a 21:31 clocking. Eleven seconds separated her from second-place Alison Jackson of Trinity Western BC.
Dak Riek (Jr., Everett/Mariner) led the WWU men, placing 10th in 31:41. Chip Jackson (Jr., Shoreline/Shorewood) finished 13th in 31:42, Tyler Cannon (Sr., Kennewick/Kamiakin), 21st in 32:10; Kyle Johnson (Sr., Nine Mile Falls/Lakeside), 29th in 32:32; Tabor Reedy (So., Poulsbo/North Kitsap), 30th in 32:32; Zachary Bursell (Fr., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas), 31st in 32:33; and Tanner Boyd (Jr., Camas) 37th in 32:37.
"The men ran a very solid race with a lot of people moving up," Halsell said. The Vikings were just four seconds off of having eight runners ahead of their No.3 runner at last year's invitational.
Completing the Viking scorers were Taylor Guenther (Fr., Vancouver/Prairie), 37th in 23:29; Arielle Walton (Jr., Issaquah), 43rd in 23:50; Maddie McGee (So., Spokane/North Central), 45th in 23:54; Haida Ikeda (Jr., Issaquah), 53rd in 24:28; and Haley O'Connor (So., Sammamish/Eastlake), 55th in 24:31.
The Vikings came into the meet ranked No.11 in the men's division and No.23 in the women's division in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 polls. Alaska Anchorage was No.5 in the women's poll and No.7 in the men's rating, and Simon Fraser was No.11 in the women's ranking.
WWU takes a week off before competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 20 at Monmouth, Ore. (host Western Oregon).
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