WWU men third, women fifth at 38th Annual Viking Invitational
Oct. 8, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The Western Washington University men placed third and the women finished fifth at the 38th annual Viking Invitational on Saturday at Lake Padden Park.
Alaska Anchorage and Victoria dominated both races, finishing one-two with just 10 points separating their men's teams and a margin of only 12 points between their women's squads. UAA was the defending champion in both divisions.
"We had some good upward movement," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell (25th year). "We still have a ways to do, but we're moving in the right direction."
UAA's Micah Chelimo won the men's individual crown, completing the 10-kilometer course in 31:05. Victoria's Cliff Childs was second in 31:19.
Winning the women's title was UAA's Ruth Keino with a 21:10 clocking over the 6-kilometer distance. Club Northwest's Claudia Copeland was second in 21:19.
UAA won the men's team title with 33 points in a field of 11 teams. Victoria was second with 43 and Western third with 86.
UAA had 45 points in taking the women's crown, Victoria finishing second with 57. Club Northwest was third among the nine teams with 101, followed by Simon Fraser with 107 and Western with 126.
Leading the WWU men for the third straight meet was Tyler Cannon (Jr., Kennewick/Kamiakin), who placed sixth in 31:31. Dak Riek (So., Everett/Mariner) was 12th for the Vikings in 32:14. Both are transfers, Cannon from Brigham Young and Riek from CC of Spokane.
"Tyler has been doing a great job for us," said Halsell. "He's 25 years old and his maturity helps him a lot ... and Dak has a load of talent and is just getting over some knee problems."
Completing WWU's top seven were Tanner Boyd (Jr., Camas), 20th in 32:38; Nick Abraham (Sr.., Sammamish/Skyline), 22nd in 32:42; Dylan Peterson (So., Seattle/Garfield), 27th in 33:08; Kyle Johnson (Sr., Nine Mile Falls/Lakeside), 30th 33:17; and Chip Jackson (So., Shoreline/Shorewood), 31st in 33:18.
Pacing the Viking women were Rachael Johnson (Sr., Yakima/West Valley), the team's top finisher for the second consecutive meet, and Lauren Breihof (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View). Johnson placed 20th in 22:47 and Breihof 21st in 22:52.
Three freshmen were among WWU's next five finishers with Katelyn Steen (Fr., Sammamish/Eastlake), 24th in 23:03; Mikhaila Thornton (Fr., Bend, OR/Mountain View), 36th in 28:32; and Haley O'Connor (Fr., Sammamish/Eastlake), 46th in 24:00.
Entering the meet, the Vikings were ranked No.21 in the men's division and No.15 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.6 in the women's poll and No.12 in the men's rating.
In both the West Regional men's and women's rankings, Alaska Anchorage was second and Western third.
WWU takes a week off before competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 22 at the Apple Valley Fields Course in Yakima.
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