Harriers wrap up season at NAIA Region I / Cascade Conference Championships
November 4, 2006
LA GRANDE, Oregon. - Both the Men's and Women's Cross Country teams competed in the Cascade Collegiate Conference / NAIA Region I Championships today. Evergreen was led by first year team members Emily Uhlig and Brian Rakestraw in the women's 5k and men's 8k respectively.
The women's 5k race was loaded with some of the best individuals and teams in the NAIA. Simon Fraser University took the top individual spot as well as the team title. Kristen Kolstad covered the challenging, winding course with seeming ease as she pulled away from her teamate Meredith McGregor halfway into the race for a 20 second victory. Her time was 17:45. SFU won the Region I title with 20 points. Corban College won the Cascade Conference title.
Evergreen's Kelly Beckham ran a gutsy race near the leaders with Uhlig not far behind. Beckham eventually faded in the last mile and Uhlig was there to cover. She crossed the line in 38th place overall (18th in the Cascade Conference). Beckham was right behind her in 39th place (19th CCC). Their times were 20:00 and 20:07 respectively.
Kelsey Blair (71st, 40th CCC), Amanda Kirklin (83rd, 51st CCC) and Diann Leo (95th, 61st) completed the scoring five for Evergreen. The Geoducks finished 6th in the Cascade Conference. They were unable to score in the Region I Championships after a NAIA ruling that teams must undeclare near the end of the season if it appeared they may not have a full team at the Regional Champs. At that time Evergreen was competing with four team members.
The men's 8k featured very strong teams as well with some surprises among those who came out on top. Concordia University dished out the big upset by taking both the Region I and Cascade Conference title. Evergreen finished 10th in the Region and 7th in the Cascade Conference. The race was won by Simon Fraser's David Wambui, who two weeks ago won Evergreen's home meet, in a time of 25:14.
Freshman Brian Rakestraw (27:20) regained his former spot as Evergreen's number one runner with his 24th overall finish (14th CCC). James Hudson was next in 30th (18th CCC). Miguel Pineda (50th, 34th CCC), Eric Jones (57th, 38th CCC) and Graeme Paulsen (71st, 49th CCC) were the scorers for Evergreen.
The final NAIA ratings on Monday will determine which individuals will qualify, and which teams will earn at-large bids, to the NAIA National Championships on November 18th in Louisville, KY.