PORTLAND, Ore. -- A new 20-second personal best for senior Frances Swanson to finish third behind teammate Kori Groenveld highlighted the Lewis & Clark Pioneers women's race at the Westmoreland Season Opener on Thursday.
Lewis & Clark's Blake Slattengren led the men's race by 20-plus seconds before winning with a time of 20:53. He was the lead runner of a Pios' pack of five that crossed before any other racers.
The meet was a pseudo-dual with Northwest Conference-mate Pacific as the only other team competing.
Women's Cross Country
Swanson, a fourth-year runner, finished third with a time of 19:28.9 and set a new personal best. At last season's Westmoreland Season Opener, she ran the course in 19:47.5 and finished in 14th place, although the field of teams was much bigger in 2015.
"The first mile I was on the heels of two Pacific girls and then I passed them in the second mile and I was trying to hold on and keep Kori in sight," said Swanson. "For the last part there was a girl who was catching up to me, so I tried to outkick her, and it worked."
Groenveld was 12 seconds ahead of Swanson in second place behind Pacific's Stephenie Spencer, who won the race with a mark of 18:39.0.
Overall, the Pios had three of the top-five finishers, with freshman Samantha Bowen in fifth at 19:57.1 in her first intercollegiate race. Additionally, 11 of the 14 best times belonged to the Pioneers.
Freshman Morgan Taylor was seventh at 20:21.3, followed by Korina Waring-Enriquez, who ran her first race as an upperclassman and finished eighth with a time of 20:39.2. Boo Kirkwood crossed in 20:42.4 for ninth and Madison Sullivan was 10th with a time of 20:46.5. Another freshman, Keira Crabtree, rounded out the top 11 at 20:56.8.
"They looked great and had some really strong pushes," said Swanson about the freshmen. "They're wonderful and I'm really happy we have them on our team."
Katie Hull was the last Lewis & Clark finisher, placing 17th in 23:49.1.
Men's Cross Country
Slattengren controlled the majority of the race despite running about 15 seconds slower than his 2015 time. The Westmoreland men's course, four miles in length, required approximately three-and-a-half loops, and Slattengren held a double-digit lead for the vast majority.
"It's hard. You have to really focus within yourself and try and run evenly and know what pace you want to go at," said Slattengren, an All-Northwest Conference selection last season. "I could have done better, but I'm still happy."
Three of the next four finishers for the Pios were making their collegiate debuts. Second-place finisher Liam Monheim ended the race with a mark of 21:09.4, followed by Laurence Seabrook's 21:18.3. Jeff Mullins, an All-West Region selection last year, placed fourth at 21:21.1, and freshman Sean Richardson, who competed for La Salle Prep in Milwaukie, Ore. just over five miles from Westmoreland Park, was fifth.
"That has been so awesome and exciting because we have such a big freshman class," said Slattengren of the freshmen. "To see them all race today, they did really awesome and had some great performances."
Kurt Barbara, a freshman, Ryan Nguyen and Ivan Ramos-King were eighth, ninth and 10th place, respectively. It was the first race ran by Ramos-King, a junior, since 2014.
First-year runner Will Hoard rounded out the field for Lewis & Clark with a mark of 23:13.8.
Lewis & Clark will compete next at the Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 17 in Seattle, Wash.