Women's Cross Country News
October 11, 2008
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Today's 6th edition of the Pete Steilberg Geoduck Open Cross Country Meet featured The Evergreen State College versus three outstanding Canadian teams. The University of Victoria won both team titles and in the women's race, ending a four year streak of wins by NAIA National Champions Simon Fraser University at this meet.
Under clear skies and temperatures in the low 40's, the four team women's 5k took off with a smallish field of 48 runners but an extremely competitive one. Simon Fraser, the 5 time defending NAIA National Championship team, was joined by two high ranked Canada Universities Athletic Association teams, Victoria and U of Alberta. Evergreen moved up to 35th in the NAIA national rankings this week.
Alberta's Paula Findlay, the eventual winner, was shadowed the entire race by Victoria's Marilyn Arsenault and former SFU standout Julia Howard representing the Valley Royals. Findlay pulled ahead in the last few hundred meters for the win in a time of 17:19.93, just two seconds off the course record.
Evergreen's Ana Casillas finished 20th in a personal best of 18:51. Frosh Britta Peterson (28th) moved up to ESC's number two position on the team in a best of 19:25.01. Emily Uhlig (31st) and Karissa Carlson (32nd) were close behind in 19:32.99 and 19:39.0 respectively. Fifth runner Annie Mullen ran strong despite losing a shoe and stopping to snug it up again. Mullen's finished 39th in 20:23.9.
The Geoducks averaged a 19:34.22 5k for the top 5, an improvement over last weeks performance at Willamette.
Victoria scored 25 points for the win followed by Alberta with 50. SFU and Evergreen were 3rd and 4th with 58 and 103 points respectively.
Today's course was relatively dry, but many tight turns and undulating terrain provided a challenge for the runners in both races.
In the men's 8k, Geoff Martinson surged ahead of teammate Daniel Mallie for good just before 1 mile to go. Martinson missed Mallie's ('07 Champion) course record by under 4 seconds to win in 25:16.57. Dylan Gant, a NAIA All-American who graduated from SFU was 5 seconds behind Mallie.
Junior Brian Rakestraw continues his strong running for Evergreen to place 5th overall, the highest finish for an Evergreen athlete in this meet. The '07 All-Conference Raketraw's time of 26:10.4 was a best on the home course by 25 seconds. Eric Jones finished 18th in 27:20.37, his best on this course as well.
The team competition was equally strong in the men's race, with Victoria winning by 6 points over Alberta with a score of 37. SFU was third with 60 points followed by ESC with 95.
Evergreen will compete in the Northwest University Invitational next Saturday to preview the Cascade Conference Championship course. The races will be held in Lincoln Park in West Seattle.