Western to compete at 18th annual Sundodger Invitational on Saturday
Sept. 17, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - For the first time in school history, Western Washington University will have men's and women's teams competing in both the invitational and open divisions at the 18th annual University of Washington Sundodger Invitational Cross County meet being held Saturday at West Seattle's Lincoln Park.
The Viking men are ranked No.7 and the women No.10 in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.
Saturday's first race will be the women's 6,000-meter open, set for 9 a.m., and featuring many local college and club teams. The open men's 8,000-meter race is scheduled for 9:40 a.m.
Following that will be the 6,000-meter women's invitational at 10:25, and the 8,000-meter men's invitational at 11 a.m.
Host Washington's women are the defending NCAA I national champions and ranked No.1 nationally. The Husky men are rated No.24 nationally. Both squads have won the invitational portion of the Sundodger meet in each of the last two seasons.
Western will be among a number of local universities challenging the Huskies. Also competing are Oregon State, Seattle Pacific, Seattle, Idaho, Portland State and Alaska Anchorage.
Last year, the Viking men placed fifth in the invitational and the women were second in the open division.
Last week, Western took both the men's and women's titles at the Central Washington Apple Ridge Invitational. It was the second straight win for the men at that meet. Bennett Grimes (Jr., Pocatello, ID/Century) and Blake Medhaug (Jr., Bothell) placed 1-2 for the Viking men, Grimes having a winning time of 19:49 on the 6,000-meter course, followed by Medhaug in 20:09.
Western's Sarah Porter (Jr., Hockinson) posted a winning time of 15:13 on the 4,000-meter women's course. It was the fifth straight regular-season victory for Porter, who took top honors in the open division at last year's Sundodger meet. She has placed among the top 10 in all 10 regular-season meets during her three-year career.
Grimes, Medhaug and Porter are three of four All-Americans on the Western teams. The other is Jordan Welling (Burlington/Burlington-Edison).
Both Grimes and Porter were named GNAC Athletes of the Week for their performances at the CWU meet. The GNAC award was the third for Porter, who was twice honored last season.
In his 23rd year as Western's coach is Pee Wee Halsell.
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