No. 2 Warriors open season with first-place finish
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The No. 2-ranked Lewis-Clark State College men’s cross country team started its season on Saturday the way it hopes to end its season—in first place. With four runners finishing in the top five, the Warriors cruised to the team title at the Whitman College Invite. The LCSC women fell just short and had to settle for second.
“It was a very encouraging first meet,” said LCSC head coach Mike Collins, now in his 16th season at the helm of the program. “It would have been nice to see the women win, but we’ll take it.”
The Warrior men won with a total of 18 points, Whitman was second at 55, and Pacific Lutheran third with 61. On the women’s side, Whitman, which is ranked No. 5 in the NCAA D-III’s West Region, took the title with 31 points, LCSC had 39, and Pacific Lutheran was third with 62.
Dave Marks (pictured above) led the Warrior men’s effort and took the individual title with an 8-kilometer time of 25:55.85. The senior from Lake Oswego, Ore., finished more than a minute ahead of the nearest runner.
“Dave looked extremely good,” Collins said. “He felt real good, and just ran away from them. He’s running like an All-American right now.”
Sam Atkins took second for LCSC with a time of 26:57.50, Pauric McLaughlin was fourth at 27:24.43, and Hayden Randall fifth at 27:38.00. Dylan Crevelt rounded out the team’s top five as he finished the course in 27:46.13 to take seventh.
In the 6k women’s race, Warrior senior Kelsey Klettke (pictured right), a native of Vancouver, Wash., claimed the individual title with a time of 23:41.15. Teammate Chelsey Leighton was second, finishing in 23:56.50.
“We lost to Whitman last year in this meet, but it was by a much larger margin, so I feel pretty good that we made up some of that gap. Kelsey looked good, but I think the race of the day was Chelsey Leighton’s. She was a long ways back and just turned it on and was flying by people over the final stretch.”
Sophie Bush was the third Warrior to finish in the top 10 as she was seventh at 25:03.04. Collins said that Bush also did a good job of moving up quickly during the latter part of the race.
“The course ran really slow today. Times, in general, were a little slower than what we’d usually see,” Collins said. “With it being our first meet, I instructed both teams to take it really easy at first and then start picking it up after that.”
The team’s next official meet will be the Eric Anderson Invite in Spokane on Sept. 22.