The Western men’s cross country team starts off the 10k WWU Cross Country Classic at the Sudden Valley Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Western Men’s cross country team placed second out of 13 teams. // Photo by Alex Moreno
The Western men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the 46th annual WWU Classic at Sudden Valley Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The two teams finished in second place in Saturday’s races, trailing behind the No. 1 regionally-ranked and No. 4 nationally-ranked Chico State in both races.
The Vikings women’s top five runners finished the day with a score of 88 points and finished just ahead of University of Alaska Anchorage, who finished the day with 93 points.
Junior women’s co-captain Jane Barr finished in ninth place and led the women’s team with a time of 22:17.5 during the 6-kilometer race.
Sophomore Tovah Swartz-Ireland finished in 21st, while seniors Tracy Melville and Sophia Galvez finished 25th and 26th in the race for the Vikings.
The Vikings women’s team entered the Classic ranked fifth regionally and 18th nationally, while finishing ahead of both Seattle Pacific University,-No. 2 regionally, No. 7 nationally,- and UAA,- No. 4 regionally, No. 14 nationally.
“Honestly, a lot of our girls didn’t feel great today,” Barr said. “A lot were kind of sick and just knowing that we didn’t feel 100% and we still got second is pretty great. I felt great today, I didn’t realize and kind of kept going and picking girls off, and I got pretty close to my PR of 22:10 and that’s good to know that I’m close to that time this early in the season.”
The men finished with a team score of 97 points, while having three runners finish in the top 20 and all five of the scoring runners finishing in the top 26.
Junior Eric Hamel helped lead the Vikings with a 15th place finish and a time of 32:38.1 in the 10-kilometer race.
“It’s a beautiful spectator course,” Hamel said. “There’s fans going everywhere and cheering you on and [it] really gives you that motivation to push and get that next guy in front of you.”
Senior Liam Cossette finished in 26th place, senior James Jasperson finished in 27th, junior Edward Kiolbasa finished in 32nd and sophomore Macauley Franks finished in 42nd.
“I thought both teams raced exceptionally well today, working together with a pack mentality and that led to two great second-place finishes,” said Western’s Head Coach Pee Wee Halsell. “It was another great WWU Classic that we really enjoyed hosting. Great weather, great competition and great hosts out here at Sudden Valley. Couldn’t have asked for a better fall day.”
Now that the regular season has crossed the finish line, both teams will focus on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships in two weeks at Amend Park in Billings, Montana on Oct. 26.