LCSC men take second at Erik Anderson Invite
SPOKANE – Propelled by a strong team effort and a sixth-place finish from Dave Marks, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s cross country team out-paced stiff competition to finish second at the Erik Anderson Invitational on Saturday. The LCSC women, pushed by a fifth-place performance by Kelsey Klettke, were fourth overall.
Running in just its second official meet of the season and up against schools which included Gonzaga, Whitworth, Central Washington, and Washington State, Warrior head coach Mike Collins was more than happy about how the men’s team ran.
“I’m excited about the results,” said Collins. “This is the first race where we’ve had everyone in there, with the exception of a couple of runners, and to beat everyone but Washington State is very exciting.”
The Cougars finished with 19 points overall, while the Warriors finished with 74 points to top Gonzaga and Whitworth which had 98 points apiece.
“The real encouraging thing on the guy’s side is that we had a great pack, and also that we beat Whitworth—and beat them pretty handily.”
Collins noted that Whitworth defeated two top-ranked NAIA schools in British Columbia and Simon Fraser at the Sundodger Invitational last week. In the most recent NAIA poll, British Columbia was ranked No. 6, and Simon Fraser was one spot above LCSC at No. 18.
Marks finished the 8-kilometer course in 25:44.02, and he was followed by teammates Fernando Esperanza and Sean Huey who claimed 14th and 15th, respectively. Esperanza had a time of 26:40.81 and Huey had a time of 26:41.41.
In the women’s 5k race, Klettke ran the course in 18:56.73, Shaelie Edwards came in next for the Warriors at 17th-place with a time of 20:12.96, and Chelsey Leighton took 21st with a mark of 20:17.04.
Overall, the women earned 97 points to finish ahead of Spokane Community College and Central Washington, but short of WSU, Gonzaga, and Whitworth which earned first, second, and third, respectively.
“Two weeks ago (at the Idaho Cup) we finished three minutes behind Gonzaga as a team, and this time they were just two minutes ahead of us, so we were able to gain a minute on them and I’m happy with that improvement.”
The Warriors will compete next at the Willamette Invite in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 16.
“Next week is as close to nationals as we get during the regular season,” Collins said. “We’ll be racing against 20-30 national caliber teams. It will give us a good opportunity to see where we are.”