Men and women set program records for team times
SALEM, Ore. - The Lewis-Clark State College men's and women's cross country teams both set program records for the fastest team times in a meet when both placed in the top five at the presitigous Charles Bowles Invitational, which was hosted by Willamette University on Saturday.
The Warrior men had six of their top seven finishers set personal records on their way to a fourth place finish in the Gold Meet, which was composed of NAIA and junior college programs. Southern Oregon, ranked sixth in the NAIA, won the meet with 41 points, while Embry-Riddle, ranked seventh was second at 49. British Columbia, ranked fifth, was third at 94, followed by LCSC, ranked No. 14, with 121 points. Eastern Oregon was a distant fifth at 200.
"We came in a with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder and I thought we ran very well," LCSC coach Mike Collins said. "We had seven guys nearly run under 26 minutes so there was good running."
Not among the top seven was Eric Tuwei, the defending Frontier Conference champion. Collins said Tuwei went out with the top runner for Azusa Pacific and tried to keep pace with him, but couldn't maintain that pace and wound up finishing back in the back. Collins said the APU runner won the meet by 30 seconds and will be one of the favorites at the NAIA national meet in November.
Leading LCSC for the third straight week was Dave Marks, who finished fifth overall in a school-record time of 24 minutes and 16 seconds. That broke the 8-kilometer school record set by Calin Hantau during his freshman year when he finished 10th at the national meet.
Sean Huey was next for LCSC in 29th at 25:01, followed by Jake Miller in 41st at 25:16. Nick Pierson was 50th in 25:25, followed by Grant Eldredge in 63rd at 25:34. Those were all personal best times, including nearly by a minute for Miller.
Chris McConnell was LCSC's next finisher in 25:48, while Mickael Testa was next in 26:02.
"That was a great team time," Collins said. "To give an example, that time was three minutes faster than what Southern Oregon ran last year at this meet and they finished fourth at the national meet."
The Warrior women also ran well, placing fifth. Top-ranked Azusa Pacific won with 34 points whle fourth-ranked Biola was second at 93. Concordia was third at 134, followed by British Columbia at 143 and LCSC at 158.
Collins said in both races, some of the finishers did not show up in the results so the team scores will be change. He did say, however, that the standings will likely remain the same.
Kelsy Klettke led the Warriors with a 26th finish overall in 18:13, while Lindsay Szybura was next at 18:22 in 29th place. Kyli Astle was 30th in 18:26, followed by Stephanie Shuel in 50th at 19:00 and Tayler Harrington in 61st at 19:11. Madison Randall was 68th in 19:15 and Chelsey Leighton was 73rd in 19:20.
Collins said five of LCSC's top seven finishers set personal bests. He noted that Shuel and Harrington did not because they are still recovering from injuries. The two finished first and second, respectively, in the Frontier Conference meet last year.
"I don't think we're too far away," Collins said. "Right now there is a bridge between our third and fourth and fifth runners, but both Stephanie and Tayler are coming off of injuries and we know what they are capable of. I think this team is capable of doing some great things."
Collins said the Warrior women had 12 runners finish under 20 minutes in the meet.
"It was a good day for us and I'm very encouraged with the results," Collins said.