SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In her first race of the season, team captain Ruby Roberts led the Washington State women’s cross country team to a 10th place finish at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree Friday morning at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, Calif.
Coach Tim Riley said, “I thought the women competed well today. Having Ruby Roberts back obviously helped on the scorecard, but also from a leadership standpoint. CharLee Linton and Courtney Zalud had good days as well.”
Roberts took 17th in the 5000m race in a time of 17 minutes and 20 seconds. Following Roberts were CharLee Linton 43rd (17:44), Courtney Zalud 57th (17:56), Kiah Condos 80th (18:18), Abby Knight 85th (18:22), Abby Regan 96th (18:33), and Emily Dwyer 115th (18:53). California’s Kelsey Santisteban won the race in a time of 16:23.
The Cougars finished with 263 points behind UCLA (77), Cal Poly (78), UC Davis (88), Sacramento State (102), California (145), Oregon State (145), UC Santa Barbara (198), UC Riverside (228), and Nevada (254). A total of 19 schools competed in the 5000m race.
Student coach Caroline Austin said, “I am very proud of the way the women raced today. Across the board the women ran strong and competed well. We still have some fitness to gain but I feel that come championship season, and next time they see this course, they will be even stronger. Having Ruby able to race, Courtney and CharLee worked together during the race, and the rest of our team was pretty healthy and that led to today’s results.”
In the afternoon, the Washington State men’s cross country team ran in the five-mile men’s Blue Race at the 57th Annual Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame Ind. At race time, the temperature was 80 degrees with 80 percent humidity.
The Cougar men finished 20th. Top WSU finisher, Andrew Gonzales, placed 39th in 25:08.7 followed by John Whelan 80th (25:37.2), Todd Wakefield 98th (25:47.0), Forrest Shaffer 103rd (25:49.1), and Conner Johnsen 183rd, (27:02.0). Lee George and Jackson Haselnus did not finish the race. UTEP’s Anthony Rotich won the race in 24:18.6.
Nine of the 27 teams that competed in the Blue Race were ranked nationally by the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The overall winner was Columbia, ranked 30th nationally, with 113 points. The Cougars finished with 485 points ahead of 29th-ranked Michigan.
“On the men’s side, we had a terrible day. When two of your top seven drop out of the race, the rest of the team really needs to step up and that didn’t happen,” Coach Tim Riley said. “It is frustrating to see that happen to a team that had a realistic goal coming into the meet to finish in the top five. Andrew Gonzales and freshman John Whelan had the races of the day.”
The next race for the Cougars will be Oct. 19 at the Inland Northwest Classic in Lewiston, Idaho.