WWU cross country competes at UW Sundodger Invitational on Saturday

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Head Coach Pee Wee Halsell
Head Coach Pee Wee Halsell

Sept. 11, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Five GNAC teams travel to Seattle Saturday for the annual University of Washington Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park. Western Washington, which was ranked 16th in the NCAA Division II men's pre-season national poll, will be joined in the meet by Simon Fraser, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington and Saint Martin's.

Simon Fraser was ranked 13th in the women's pre-season poll. The first regular-season national poll will be released next Wednesday (Sept. 18). In addition to the Sundodger, GNAC teams will be competing at four other venues Saturday.

Western Oregon hosts the WOU Ash Creek Preserve Invitational Friday at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Northwest Nazarene will compete in the Roger Curran Invitational in Nampa. MSUB will compete in the Black Hills State Yellowjacket Invitational and Alaska Fairbanks is in Hawaii for the Hawaii Big Wave Invitational. Alaska Anchorage is idle.

Peterson, Fricker Earn Red Lion Athlete of the Week Honors Robert Peterson of MSU Billings and McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific each won a pair of races in Fairbanks last weekend and were selected the GNAC Red Lion Athletes of the Week.

On Thursday, Peterson won the Alaska Fairbanks Invitational in a 8,000-meter time of 26:12.8 as MSUB swept the first five places to post its first perfect team score in 25 years. Two days later, Peterson repeated his victory winning the UAF Short-Course Invitational in a 4,000-meter time of 12:40.9 as the Yellowjackets won the team title with a team score of 17.

Fricker posted her first two collegiate cross country victories leading the Falcons to a pair of team victories at Fairbanks. On Thursday, the 2012 Indoor 800 meter All-American was clocked in a 6,000-meter time of 22:58.3 to finish 15 seconds ahead of teammate Anni Patti. She posted another 15-second win Saturday in a 4K time of 15:09.4 as Renae Hepfner of MSUB finished second in 15:224.8.

MSUB MEN TIGHT PACK AT UAF: Montana State Billings outpointed Alaska Fairbanks (56) and Seattle Pacific (66) in earning a perfect score of 15 in Thursday's 8,000-meter race at Fairbanks. Its first four runners were separated by just nine seconds and its fifth runner finished just 24.3 seconds in back of Peterson. Peterson also Saturday's short-course 4K race in a time of 12:40.9 as the `Jackets posted a team score of 17. Seattle Pacific and UAF tied for second with 54 points ... Seattle Pacific's women finished 11 points ahead of MSUB (29-40) in Thursday's 6,000-meter race and 16 points ahead of the `Jackets (27-43) in Saturday's 4K race.

VIKINGS SWEEP TEAM TITLE AT YAKIMA: Western Washington swept the team titles Saturday at the CWU Appleridge Invitational outpointing Central Washington 37-51 in the men's team scoring and finishing eight points ahead of Northwest Nazarene (35-43) in the women's standings. Freshman Lillianna Stelling led the Viking women to the team title finishing first in a 4,000-meter time of 15:48, 12 seconds ahead of Natalie Evans of Northwest Nazarene. Central Washington's Rudy Spencer, a transfer from Spokane Falls, was the GNAC's top finisher placing third in a 6,000-meter time of 20:13.

TANUI EARNS SEVENTH CAREER VICTORY: Susan Tanui earned her second consecutive victory of the young season lead Alaska Anchorage to a perfect score of 15 in the Chaminade Invitational. Tanui, who now has seven career wins, covered the 3.1 mile course in 18:13. The first six finishers were all from UAA. The Seawolves also won the men's race with a team score of 23 as Dylan Anthony earned his second individual win in two weeks. Anthony had a time of 15:30, 16 seconds ahead of teammate Isaac Kangogo.


Alaska Fairbanks Invitational (Sept. 5 at Fairbanks): Men - Montana State Billings 15, Alaska Fairbanks 56, Seattle Pacific 66. Individuals (8,000 Meters) - 1. Robert Peterson, MSUB, 26:12.8; 2. Chase Robinson, MSUB, 26:15.6; 3. Michael Luhr, MSUB, 26:17.7; 4. Jamon Rodriguez, MSUB, 26:21.8; 5. Thomas Neale, MSUB, 26:37.1; 6. Wiley Turner, SPU, 26:54.9. Women - Seattle Pacific 29, Montana State Billings 40, Alaska Fairbanks 55. Individuals (6,000 Meters) - 1. McKayla Fricker, SPU, 22:58.3; 2. Anna Patti, SPU, 23:13.3; 3. Renae Hepfner, MSUB, 23:18.8; 4. Jinise Osborne, MSUN, 23:21.8; 5. Sarah Macdonald, SPU, 23:49.9; 6. Kali Striker, UAF, 24:02.3.

Portland State Viking Classic (Sept. 6 at Blue Lake Park, Fairview, OR): Men: No team scores. Individuals (4 Miles) - 1. Alex Dillard, UP, 20:12; 28. Joe Berger, SMU, 21:31.87; 34. Nathan Morgan, SMU, 21:48.99; 44. Josiah Shelman, SMU, 22:09.87; 50. Matt Dunford, SMU, 22:29.34; 53. Skyler Larson, SMU, 22:48.14. Women: No team scores. Individuals (3 Miles) - 1. Megan Patrignelli, UO, 16:08.49; 49. Kenna Fosnacht, SMU, 18:49.43; 56. Erika Crock, SMU, 19:17.55; 58. Justine Malek, SMU, 19:19.12; 61. Claire McCloskey, SMU, 20:00.21; 62. Megan Teigen, SMU, 20:03.14. Note: Meet scored only as dual among Division I schools.

Alaska Fairbanks Short-Course Invitational (Sept. 7 at Fairbanks): Men - MSU Billings 17, Seattle Pacific 54, Alaska Fairbanks 54. Individual (4,000 Meters) - 1. Robert Peterson, MSUB, 12:40.9; 2. Michael Luhr, MSUB, 12:44.9; 3. Chase Robinson, MSUB, 12:47.5; 4. Jamon Rodrigues, MSUB, 12:48.8; 5. Isaac Lammers, UAF, 12:55.1. Women - Seattle Pacific 27, MSU Billings 43, Alaska Fairbanks 50. Individuals (4,000 Meters) - 1. McKayla Fricker, SPU, 15:09.4; 2. Renae Hepfner, MSUB, 15:24.8; 3. Anna Patti, SPU, 15:28.0; 4. Jinise Osborne, MSUB, 15:31.7; 5. Sarah MacDonald, SPU, 15:43.3.

CWU Appleridge Invitational (Sept. 7 at Yakima): Men - Western Washington 37, Central Washington 51, Northwest Nazarene 64, Green River CC 99, Pacific Lutheran 104, Evergreen State 164. Individuals (6,000 Meters) - 1. Alan DenAdel, PLU, 20:07; 3. Rudy Spencer, CWU, 20:13; 4. Chase Cunningham, NNU, 20:15; 6. Tanner Boyd, WWU, 20:44; 7. Ryan Peterson, WWU, 20:45; 8. Kalen Fleenor, NNU, 20:48; 9. Dustin Sjoerdsma, WWU, and Dylan Peterson, WWU, 20:54. Women - Western Washington 35, Northwest Nazarene 43, Central Washington 52, Pacific Lutheran 93. Individuals (4,000 Meters) - 1. Lillianna Stelling, WWU, 15:48; 2. Natalie Evans, NNU, 16:00; 3. Connie Morgan, CWU, 16:14; 4. Sofia Marikis, WWU, 16:26; 5. Hailey Bradshaw, NNU, 16:31; 6. Susanna Fleming, NNU, 16:32; 7. Dani Eggleston, CWU, 16:33; 8. Jaydn Gourley, NNU, 16:36; 9. Haley O'Connor, WWU, 16:45; 10.. Arielle Walton, WWU, 16:46.

Chaminade Invitational (Sept. 7 at Honolulu): Men - Alaska Anchorage 23, Hawaii Pacific 57, BYU-Hawaii 62. Individuals (3.1 Miles) - 1. Dylan Anthony, UAA, 15:30; 3. Isaac Kangogo, UAA, 15:46; 5. Victor Samoei, UAA, 16:02; 6. Michael Mendenhall, UAA, 16:03; 8. Philiip Messina, UAA, 16:09; 9, Andrey Ionashku, UAA, 16:15; 10. Dominik Notz, UAA, 16:19. Women - Alaska Anchorage 15, BYU-Hawaii 58, Hawaii Pacific 80. Individuals (3.1 Miles) - 1. Susan Tanui, UAA, 18:13; 2. Joyce Kipchumba, UAA, 18:57; 3. Susan Bick, UAA, 19:05; 4. Christi Schmitz, UAA, 19:06; 5. Bryn Haebe, UAA, 19:11; 6. Ivy O'Guinn, UAA, 19:14; 8. Jessica Pahkala, UAA, 19:52.

SEATTLE - Summer is seemingly still in full swing in Seattle this week, so the Sundodger Invitational may have to work extra hard this Saturday to live up to its name. Hopefully the sun will break through again and the trees of West Seattle's Lincoln Park will be providing shade from the sun rather than shelter from the rain. The Washington men's and women's cross country teams will be out to kick off the season in earnest, looking to defend their Sundodger titles against the region's top teams.

Over the past few years, the Sundodger Invitational has expanded to include not just the Northwest's top college teams, but also standout local high school teams as well. Saturday's schedule features a total of eight races, four college races and four high school competitions. The first college race is at 9 a.m. and the final race of the day goes off at 1:30 p.m. In-between, the women's invitational race featuring the Huskies starts at 11 a.m., with the men's invitational race following at 11:35 a.m.

The Sundodger Invitational has been held every year since 1992, making this the 22nd installment. Washington has swept the men's and women's races for the past six years, but only four of the previous 15 installments were swept by the Dawgs.

For the first time in several years, Washington State will be making the trip west to match up against the Huskies in this season-opener. Also competing in the invitational races both men and women will be Gonzaga, Idaho, Seattle U., Eastern Washington, and just on the women's side Oregon State and the University of British Columbia will also lace up the spikes. The open college races feature many more local small colleges and running clubs.

To reach the park in West Seattle, take the West Seattle Bridge exit off of I-5 North or South. As you head into West Seattle take a right onto Fauntleroy Way and follow signs to the Vashon Ferry Terminal. Lincoln Park is along the right side of Fauntleroy Way hanging over Puget Sound.

Washington's lineups for Saturday remain in flux and subject to change, but many of UW's top returners are expected to compete either in uniform or unattached. For the fifth-ranked Husky women, All-Americans Katie Flood and Megan Goethals could both line up for action on Saturday, along with senior Justine Johnson and Liberty Miller and top-seven veterans Eleanor Fulton and Maddie Meyers. Freshmen Katie Knight, Haley Suarez, and Kaylee Flanagan are expected to make their official Husky debuts as well.

The men could be about evenly split between attached and unattached runners, but expect veterans Tyler King, Aaron Beattie, and Aaron Nelson to be on the line, along with Meron Simon in his first cross country race since 2011. Washington's large group of newcomers will likely compete mostly unattached, though freshman Andrew Gardner and sophomore transfer Jacob Smith are expected to run in uniform.