Ending on a high note
Vandal cross country completes regular season
Competing more than 2,000 miles apart this weekend, the split Vandal cross country teams yielded fast individual times in the NCAA Pre-Nationals and at the Inland Northwest Championships Saturday.
Idaho senior Barry Britt and junior Hannah Kiser finished eighth in their respective races at the NCAA Division I Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky., while junior Alycia Butterworth finished 51st.
Britt’s 24:28.3 minute eighth place finish came among 278 competitors in the men’s 8-kilometer unseeded race.
Kiser’s 21:29.2 eighth place finish and Butterworth’s 22:17.7 51st place finish came among 243 runners in the women’s 6-kilometer unseeded race. The Vandal runners competed in the unseeded race — which was slightly less competitive than the seeded race — because they did not compete with full teams.
The Vandals dominated the field and got a glimpse of the competition and course they will run if they make it to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
While Britt, Kiser and Butterworth ran in Kentucky, the rest of the Vandals competed in the Inland Northwest Championships in Lewiston. The Vandals finished fourth on the women’s side with 110 points and seventh on the men’s side with 196, despite competing without their best runners.
The Vandals didn’t lose to teams short on talent — the women’s race was won by Gonzaga, the 13th ranked team in the West region with 37 points and the men’s race was won by No. 7 ranked Washington State with 24.
Junior Emily Paradis was the top Vandal finisher on the women’s side, completing the five kilometer course in 18:14 for a seventh place finish. Freshman Halie Raudenbush crossed second for Idaho and 19th overall in 18:44, right ahead of junior teammate Holly Stanton in 20th (18:48). Freshman Abby Larson at 29th and Alex Sciocchetti at 51st rounded out the scoring for the Vandal women.
On the men’s side, senior Jeff Osborn led the way for Idaho with a 23rd place finish in 25:55. Freshman Santos Vargas followed in 26:02 at 26th overall. Sophomore Cayle Turpen (44nd) and freshmen Kasey Hattrup (48th) and Tyler Jaszkowiak (55st) completed the scoring for the Vandal men in Britt’s absence. Several teams on both sides competed without full squads and did not factor into the scoring.
The Vandals showed their depth as young runners stepped up for both the women’s and men’s teams while their best runners were competing in pre-nationals.
The next two weeks will be devoted to preparing for the WAC Championships in Ruston, La., October 27 where the women will go for a “three-peat” and the men hope to expand on their third place finish from last year.
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org