By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Willamette University cross country runners put in a solid performance on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the St. Olaf Invitational in Minnesota. The Willamette men's team, ranked #34 in NCAA Division III, took fifth place out of 19 teams. In the women's race, Willamette earned 11th place out of 23 teams. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, ranked #7 in Division III in men's cross country and ranked #20 in women's cross country, won both team titles.
The top finisher for the Bearcats over the 6-kilometer women's race was Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), who attained 7th place out of 321 runners in a time of 22:56.6. Keith Carlson (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA//Bainbridge HS) led the Bearcats in the men's race with a time of 26:28.5, as he took 11th place out of 278 competitors.
Winning the women's individual title was Casey Hovland from College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) in 22:15.3. She won by about seven seconds over Meg Mathison of Carleton College (Minn.), who took second at 22:22.2. Sam Slattery from UW-Eau Claire was third in 22:22.8.
Emily Kaegi of Carleton was fourth with a time of 22:24.8. Raissa Hansen from Winona State University (Minn.) placed fifth in 22:42.9, Bryony Hawgood of St. Olaf was sixth in 22:52.4, just 4.2 seconds in front of Swanson. Morgan Marek from UW-Eau Claire was 0.4 seconds behind Swanson to finish eighth in 22:57.0. Erin Baker of Minnesota State University placed ninth at 22:58.1, and Meaghan Borrowski from University of Minnesota-Duluth was 10th in 22:58.7.
The men's championship went to Darin Lau of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who won by 2.3 seconds with a time of 25:10.6. Donson Cook-Gallardo of Carleton was second in 25:33.9. Cody Sedbrook from the University of Minnesota-Duluth placed third in 25:54.6, while Jack Henschel from St. Olaf was fourth in 26:05.4. Mark Fairley form Central College (Iowa) was fifth at 26:08.2.
Finishing sixth was Kyler Lueck from UW-Eau Claire, as he completed the course in 26:14.0. Lucas Mueller of Carleton was seventh in 26:18.6, while Ben Bitter of Martin Luther College (Minn.) took eighth in 26:19.0, and Patrick Treacy from UW-Eau Claire was ninth in 26:24.1. Thomas Lerdall of St. Olaf placed 10th in 26:25.0.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire won the men's team title with a score of 41 (1-6-9-12-13). Minnesota-Duluth was second at 91, with St. Olaf in third at 102. Carleton took fourth place at 126 and Willamette was fifth at 130 as four Bearcats finished in the top 26. Winona State was sixth at 160 and Central College was seventh at 229.
Carlson paced Willamette's efforts in the men's race. He was joined by strong results from Michael Montague (So., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) in 16th, Morris Wecker (Fr., Missoula, MT/Hellgate HS) in 21st, and Cayce Reese (Fr., Louisville, CO/Monarch HS) in 26th. Montague finished in 26:43.5, while Wecker ran the race in 26:49.8 and Reese was timed at 27:10.8. Jack Kobylka (Sr., Napa, CA/Vintage HS) completed WU's team score by placing 61st overall and 56th among scorers in 27:59.5.
The UW-Eau Claire women's team grabbed first place with a score of 57 (3-8-11-17-18). Carleton placed second with a score of 68. Minnesota-Duluth was third at 101, with St. Olaf in fourth at 107, and Minnesota State in fifth at 131. Winona State placed sixth at 135. Bethel University (Minn.) took seventh at 212, winning a tie-breaker against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.), which placed eighth, also at 212. Willamette was ninth at 282. Macalester College (Minn.) took 10th at 299.
Swanson was joined by Emily Evans (Jr., Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS), Maggie Chapin (So., Buffalo, WY/Buffalo HS), Jamie Smith (So., Seattle, WA/Ballard HS), and Hazel Carr (Jr., Seattle, WA/The Northwest School) in compiling Willamette's team score. Evans completed the race in 24:47.9 to place 58th among scorers and 64th overall. Chapin was 68th among scorers with a time of 25:22.2, Smith took 69th place among scorers in 25:24.1, and Carr was 82nd among scorers in 25:41.3.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Sept. 30 at the 43rd Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational. The first of four races will begin at 9:30 a.m. (PDT).