SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Pioneers had two top-60 placers to lead the Lewis & Clark cross country teams to matching 17th-place overall finishes at the Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington at Lincoln Park. The men competed in the 8K men's open, while the women competed in the 6K women's open.
Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Keith Woodard said it was a "fast course and fast field," and the Pioneers rose to the occasion, sporting six personal records.
Both teams were second among teams from the Northwest Conference.
Men's Cross Country
Running alongside 291 competitors, Blake Slattengren finished 47th overall and third among NWC finishers with a personal record of 25:38.9. This was a 14-second improvement over his 58th place finish last year at 25:52.
Also with individual personal bests, teammates Jeffrey Mullins and Liam Monheim finished neck-and-neck at 78th with a time of 26:02.1. Mullins was unable to compete in the invitational last year due to an injury, but improved upon his 2014 time by 17 seconds.
The men's team finished an impressive second against other NWC squads, just behind Whitman College.
Laurence Seabrook was the fourth runner over the finish line for the Pioneers, finishing with a mark of 27:09.3, followed by Sean Richardson at 27:58.6 and Ryan Nguyen at 28:02.6.
In his first Sundodger race, freshman Kurt Barbara finished 219th, followed by teammates Miguel Haro-Ruiz (231st), Will Hoard (238th) and Ivan Ramos-King (270th).
Women's Cross Country
Currently ranked eighth in the West Region, the Lewis & Clark women's cross country team finished second behind Whitworth in the NWC field.
Junior Kori Groenvold finished 57th overall with a personal best time of 22:53:1. Frances Swanson set a new PR as well, crossing the line in 80th with a time of 23:14.9. They had sixth and ninth place finishes among NWC runners, respectively.
Freshman Samantha Bowen finished 108th overall, setting a 6K personal record of 23:50.1 during her first time on the course. Fellow first-year Morgan Taylor finished 168th and Amelia Jackson finished 189th with a times of 24:47.1 and 25:07.1, respectively.
Running in a 267-woman field, Kiera Crabtree (162nd), Ina Waring-Enriquez (212th) and Dawn Mist Mouch-Fields (250th) all competed at the invitational for the first time.
Returners Elisabeth Kirkwood (231st) and Katie Hull (265th) competed on the course for their second time. Hull finished at 27:57.90, almost two minutes faster than last year's race.
"It was a good day," said Woodard. "The teams are excited about the opponents that are ahead."
Lewis & Clark competes next at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Oct. 1 in Salem, Ore.