Western Washington University's Chip Jackson won the men's open division title and Katelyn Steen placed third in the women's open division at the 21st Annual University of Washington Sundodger Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Lincoln Park.
The Viking men finished fifth among 22 teams, and the WWU women were sixth in a field of 19 squads.
Jackson topped 236 runners, being clocked in 24 minutes, 55 seconds over the eight kilometer distance. He won by three seconds over Jesse Baggenstos of Northwest Nazarene.
"Chip ran a great race, a very smart race," said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell. "He was 15th or 20th around the mile mark, far enough back that nobody was worried about him, but he gradually picked them all off. He was the only one of our top (men) returnees who ran today."
Steen had a time of 22:09, finishing 19 seconds behind winner Emily Thomas from Lewis & Clark (21:50) on the six-kilometer course. Seattle Running Club's Marlene Farrell was second (22:03) among 213 runners.
The Vikings began the season with their men ranked No.10 nationally in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll and their women rated13th.
WWU next competes in the Saint Martin's Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22.