SALEM, Ore. -- Sean Richardson set the sixth-fastest time in Lewis & Clark Pioneers history on Saturday with his fourth-place finish at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational at Bush Park. The second-fastest Northwest Conference finisher, Richardson clocked in at 24:51.5, which moved him past Rich Recker's 25:55.0 at the same race in 1980.
The Lewis & Clark men's team finished fourth overall and second out of NWC teams after placing 17 points shy of George Fox.
Freshman Madeline Swanberg ran her fastest race to date and was the top women's finisher with a time of 18:51.5. Lewis & Clark took 12th in the team standings and was the sixth Northwest Conference team. Serna led a pack of teammates and used a strong second-half push to run one of the team's three sub-20-minute 5K races.
"We really challenged our team to work together as a group today," head coach Matthew Barreau said. "They responded perfectly, and I'm so incredibly proud of their races today.
"It has taken us a couple races to all be on the same page, but we got there today and I think they're seeing the benefit of executing a race plan instead of just running hard."
Numerous Pioneers shaved double-digit seconds or more from their previous personal bests. Adalynn Griesser had Lewis & Clark's fourth-fastest time and lowered her previous PR by nearly 30 seconds. Etta Moen was right behind her at 20:15.7, about 13 seconds faster than her prior best. Alexandra Coons was also among the top 110 in the field and was nearly a half-minute better than her prior all-time best.
Matthew White set a PR (25:58.5, 37th place) on the men's side and fulfilled a specific challenge from Barreau.
"We asked Matt to run with Owen Deffner and Miguel Haro Ruiz for about half the race today to help those two with some things," Barreau said. "He fulfilled that perfectly and was able to close real well."
Deffner took 68th place (26:43.0) and was 13 seconds faster than his first 8K race. Haro Ruiz didn't set a PR, but was within six seconds of it (26:51.1) in 75th place.
"Execution was at a very high level today, and the results matched," Barreau said. "We know our fitness is improving on a daily basis, but we only have a few chances in meets to really see that we're taking even bigger steps forward in how we take advantage of that fitness. It was good to see that progress come forward today."
- Kalevi Paavola and Connor Robertson were also personal-best setters on Saturday finishing at 28:10.6 and 28:30.5, respectively
- Gillian Pifer crossed in 20:20.7 and nearly broke the top 110
- Marcella Chavez trimmed just under six seconds from her prior personal best with a time of 21:49.2
- After missing the last race, Isabel Jamieson returned for her first 5K and a time of 21:30.1
- Bowen's time of 19:37.9 was only three-tenths of a second from her all-time best
- Like Jamieson, Hanna Callinan raced for the first time in a month and posted a mark of 22:20.5
- Kara Wood finished ahead of Callinan at 21:27.3
- Justin Seidel and Jack Hyde did not race for the Pioneers
- The men's team placed 32 points ahead of the third NWC team finisher, Whitman
Lewis & Clark hosts the L&C Invite in two weeks, the final regular-season event before the NWC Championships on Nov. 2.