The Western Washington University men won for the second time this season with a perfect score, and the Viking women prevailed without their top runner at the WWU Cross Country Open held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Hovander Homestead Park.
The competition was the last of the regular season for WWU, which competes in the GNAC Championships on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Monmouth, Ore.
“We accomplished a lot today,” said WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell. “They went out and did what we wanted them to do. They learned from it in regards to tempo, we got information to round out our choices for the conference championships and the weather held for us.”
WWU swept the seven-kilometer men’s run with the first five finishers for a score of 15. Central Washington was second with 55 and Northwest University was third with 75.
The Vikings’ Cody McCranie took individual honors with a time of 22:34, two seconds in front of runner-up Matt Lutz and six seconds ahead of third-place Max Romey. Tabor Reedy placed fourth in 22:48 and Andrew Wise fifth in 22:49.
On Sept. 27, the WWU men posted a perfect score in winning the Saint Martin’s Invitational.
In the five-kilometer women’s race, the Vikings won with 27 points. Central was second with 36, followed by Northwest with 77.
Two runners from the runner-up Wildcats placed one-two individually with just one-tenth of a second separating them. Connie Morgan was first in 18:43.1 and Dani Eggleston second in 18:43.2
WWU’s Taylor Guenther finished third in 18:45, with teammates Austen Reiter fourth in 18:56 and Haley O’Connor fifth in 18:58.
The Vikings were without their top runner, All-American Katelyn Steen, who sat out. She has finished among the top 10 in all three of her races this season, being eighth at the University of Washington Sundodger Invitational and third at the WWU Classic in a 12-team field.