The Western Washington University men's cross country team stole the show during the 40th annual Western Washington Classic Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Lake Padden Park.
The men took first through fifth place among runners attached to full teams. It is only the fourth time in the meet's history the sweep of top spots has been accomplished. The last time it happened was in 2008 when the Vikings took the crown.
"It's big since we missed two weeks," WWU cross country coach Pee Wee Halsell said. "They all ran great."
The Vikings dropped out of the Saint Martin's Invitational on Sept. 28 due to timing conflicts.
"It wasn't what we wanted," Halsell said. "But it helped us build confidence."
Chip Jackson led the charge with a time of 32 minutes, 3 seconds in the 10K race. He was followed by a group of four Western runners, which included Nathan Richards (32:15), Tanner Boyd (32:18), Dylan Peterson (32:22) and Ike Griffith (32:23).
"It's great for us," Jackson said. "There wasn't as much competition as last year, but it's good to come out and do well heading into the postseason."
Last year's champion, the University of Victoria, didn't compete in this year's competition.
The men's sweep overshadowed a great showing by Point Grey Track Club, which took the top two individual spots. Luc Bruchet was the star of the meet, coming in almost a minute faster than anyone else with a time of 30:57.
"The goal was to come out and run hard to prepare for the provincial meet in a couple weeks," Bruchet said.
The Western women didn't fare quite as well as the men's side, taking sixth in the team competition.
"The ladies ran great," Halsell said. "It was a much deeper field."
Katelyn Steen was the first to come in for Western with a time 22:04 over 6K. She placed fifth among individuals.
"It was freaking hard," Steen said.
Trinity Western's Sarah Inglis and Alison Jackson took first and second in the run. Inglis came in with a time of 21:31 and Jackson finished 17 seconds behind.
"I really enjoyed the course. It was very scenic," Inglis said. "I just pushed on in practice and tried to be consistent. It was enjoyable to get the win."
The Vikings now enter the postseason, which starts off with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Monmouth, Ore. It is followed by the NCAA II West Regional and National Championships, both in Spokane.
40TH ANNUAL WESTERN WASHINGTON CLASSIC INVITATIONAL
At Lake Padden Park
Team scores: 1. Western Washington 15; 2. British Columbia 60; 3. Trinity Western 85; 4. Club Northwest 136; 5. Alaska Fairbanks 168; 6. Club Northwest Masters 259.
Individual results: 1. Luc Bruchet 30:57 (PGTC); 2. Keir Foster 31:41 (PGTC); Dak Riek 31:43 (Una.)
WWU: 1.Chip Jackson 32:03; 2. Nathan Richards 32:15; 3. Tanner Boyd 32:18; 4. Dylan Peterson 32:22; 5. Ike Griffith 32:23; 6. Jonathan Quimby 32:42; 7. Matt Lutz 32:43.
Team scores: 1. Greater Bellingham RC 75; 2. Simon Fraser 78; 3. U. of Victoria 84; 4. Trinity Western 93; 5. British Columbia 99; 6. Western Washington 139; 7. Club Northwest 161; 8. Central Washington 178; 9. Alaska Fairbanks 270; 10. UBC Okanagan Heat 273.
Individual results: 1. Sarah Inglis 21:31 (Trinity Western); 2. Alison Jackson 21:48 (Trinity Western); 3. Kristen Carter 21:51 (GBRC).
WWU: 1. Katelyn Steen 22:04; 2. Austen Reiter 23:01; 3. Mikhaila Thornton 23:14; 4. Haley O'Connor 23:14; 5. Taylor Guenther 23:16; 6. Lilliana Stelling 23:25; 7. Arielle Walton 23:38.