BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The Western Washington University cross country teams turned in strong performances in their last competition date prior to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships as the men placed 2nd and the women placed 4th at the 44th Annual WWU Cross Country Classic on Saturday morning at East Lake Padden Park.
The WWU men finished with 76 points to place 2nd among 11 teams behind only Chico State and was the top GNAC team among seven conference schools competing on Saturday. Chico State, ranked No. 4 nationally in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, turned in a dominating performance with all five scoring placers among the top eight finishers for 17 points.
The Viking men were led by senior Andrew Wise (Denver, CO/East) who finished 6th with a time of 31:42.4 on the 10,000-meter course. Junior Jadon Olson (Mill Creek, WA/Jackson) placed 15th in a time of 32:01.2 while redshirt sophomore Liam Cossette (Spokane, WA/Ferris) finished 20th (32:20.9) to give WWU three finishers among the top 20.
Redshirt freshman Eric Hamel (Enumclaw, WA) was 30th with a time of 32:43.9 and junior Dylan Hayes (Seattle, WA/Garfield) placed 32nd in a time of 32:46.9 to complete the WWU scoring, with Hayes finishing just ahead of junior Nick Mounier (Kelso, WA) in 33rd (32:55.1) and redshirt sophomore James Jasperson (Lacey, WA/North Thurston/Everett CC) in 34th (32:59.6).
"On the men's side I think we had some solid performances - I mean Andrew (Wise) ran a great race and that was fun to see," head coach Pee Wee Halsell said. "To come in and be 2nd behind Chico State - Chico State just dominated - but to be there and to beat Simon Fraser again was good...They ran a good team race."
The WWU women totaled 106 points in 4th place among 12 teams competing. Simon Fraser, with a national No. 4 ranking in the most recent USTFCCCA poll, finished with 44 points to edge out No. 12 Chico State (46 points) for the women's team title. The Vikings were 2nd among seven GNAC teams competing.
Senior Lillianna Stelling (Langley, WA/South Whidbey) led the WWU women in 19th place with a time of 22:28.4 on the 6,000-meter course and was followed closely by senior Alexandra Laiblin (Oak Harbor, WA) in 22nd with a time of 22:35.7.
Redshirt sophomore Tracy Melville (Lamont, WA/Lind-Ritzville/Sprague) placed 32nd (22:54.0) and freshman Jane Barr (Seattle, WA/Roosevelt) was 36th in a time of 23:02.4. Sophomore Sophia Galvez (Los Alamos, NM) completed the scoring for the Vikings in 40th place with a time of 23:12.0, just ahead of senior Maddy Hutchison (Snoqualmie, WA/Mount Si) in a time of 23:12.3 (41st) with sophomore Peyton Shinnick (Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma) and junior Aundrea Koger (Osage City, KS) following closely as well as in 43rd (23:17.4) and 44th (23:19.0), respectively.
"The women had a really solid race, I was very pleased with how they're doing," Halsell said. "I think there's a long ways to go so in two weeks so I can see them bettering their times...I look for that to happen with how they did (today)."
Keenan Viney, an unattached runner, won the men's individual title in 31:16.5 with a trio of Chico State runners (Connor Fisher, Eddie King, and Teddy Kassa) finishing together to claim the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place spots. The women's individual title was won by unattached runner Lindsey Butterworth (21:14.7) with Chico State's Hannah Dorman (5th) the top placer associated with a team.
Saturday's meet marked the first of two consecutive home meets for the Vikings as WWU will host the GNAC Championships at East Lake Padden Park for a third consecutive year on Oct. 21.
"I think it's always fun to be home," Halsell said of competing in Bellingham at East Lake Padden Park on Saturday. "You always want to show off at home and I think that the kids like that, and the venue is great. We thank the parks people for letting us use the facility -- it's a beautiful place and everybody loves it, so it was a great day."
The GNAC Championships take place in two weeks with the women's 6,000-meter race at 10 am and the men's 8,000-meter race at 11 am. Following the conference meet will be the NCAA II West Regional, hosted by Western Oregon University on Nov. 4 in Monmouth, Ore.
WWU Classic Team Scores:
- Simon Fraser (44)
- Chico State (46)
- Club Northwest (68)
- Western Washington (106)
- Seattle Pacific (114)
- Central Washington (165)
- Chadron State (204)
- Northwest Nazarene (242)
- Saint Martin's (249)
- Alaska Fairbanks (283)
- Oiselle (339)
- Green River CC (366)
- Chico State (17)
- Western Washington (76)
- Simon Fraser (92)
- Club Northwest (117)
- Chadron State (117)
- Seattle Pacific (180)
- Central Washington (182)
- Northwest Nazarene (193)
- Alaska Fairbanks (276)
- Seattle Running Club (305)
- Saint Martin's (312)
- Lillianna Stelling (22:28.4) - 19th
- Alexandra Laiblin (22:35.7) - 22nd
- Tracy Melville (22:54.0) - 32nd
- Jane Barr (23:02.4) - 36th
- Sophia Galvez (23:12.0) - 40th
- Maddy Hutchison (23:12.3) - 41st
- Peyton Shinnick (23:17.4) - 43rd
- Aundrea Koger (23:19.0) - 44th
- Brook Wedin (23:38.4) - 57th
- Tovah Swartz-Ireland (23:38.7) - 58th
- Waverly Shreffler (23:47.4)
- Nicole Vijgen (25:52.7) - 100th
- Andrew Wise (31:42.4) - 6th
- Jadon Olson (32:01.2) - 15th
- Liam Cossette (32:20.9) - 20th
- Eric Hamel (32:43.9) - 30th
- Dylan Hayes (32:46.9) -32nd
- Nick Mounier (32:55.1) - 33rd
- James Jasperson (32:59.6) - 34th
- Peter Butler (33:29) - 48th
- Colton Hoggarth (33:45.9) - 55th
- Colton Pulver (34:10.1) - 71st
- Kyler Sager (34:21.3) - 78th
- Nick Siegfried (34:54.7) - 87th
- Porter McMichael (35:26.8) - 98th
- Dario Cirlincione (35:130) - 100th
- Ben Crowell (37:16) - 119th
- Keaton Spiller (38:00.8) - 123rd
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