SEATTLE – Seattle U cross country opened the 2018 season at the Sundodger Invitational Saturday morning at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, displaying a lineup of primarily new faces in both the women's and men's races.
"Overall it was a good day," said Head Coach Kelly Sullivan. "We took this opportunity to give many of our freshmen and transfers an opportunity to compete and it's always good to see what our new additions will do. We raced against some of the best schools in the country with Boise State and Washington, which was good because it allowed our young athletes to see that level of competition."
Sophomore Rachel Kastama was the top Redhawk finisher on the women's side, completing the 6k race in 23:46.30. Freshman Marie Chahrouri followed close behind, finishing in 23:47.70. Classmate Ellie Postma crossed the finishline in 23:52.80, junior Shannan Higgins finished in 24:05.00, freshman Abby Smith finished in 24:29.90 and freshman Adahra Poasa rounded out the Redhawk runners with a time of 27:13.40.
The women's field included Seattle U, host Washington, Boise State, Oregon State and Trinity Western. The Broncos are ranked No. 5 nationally by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) while the Huskies are ranked 18th to open the season.
On the men's side sophomore Nathan Pixler led the Redhawk harriers by finishing the 8k course in 25:42.70. Senior Cal Davidson-Turner was the second Seattle U runner to cross the finish line, turning in a time of 26:06.20. Freshmen Alex Franklin and Javon Arnone finished back-to-back in 26:17.60 and 26:44.60, respectively, in their first collegiate competition.
Freshman Ansel Pendley-Griffin crossed in a time of 26:52.50, sophomore Kyle Kennedy finished in 27:30.80, freshman Stephen Crocker finished in 28:01.10 and senior Evan Talan rounded things out with a time of 28:33.10.
The men's field included the likes of 24th ranked Boise State, 27th ranked Washington and Trinity Western.
"We had three freshmen in our top five on the women's side and on the men's side, this was really the first official cross country meet for Nathan and I was really pleased with his performance," Sullivan said. "We have a couple of ladies we need to get healthier over the next couple of weeks and on the men's side we'll be plugging in about four more guys who will make a big difference."
The Redhawks return to action in two weeks, heading to Springfield, Ore., to compete in the Dellinger Invitational hosted by University of Oregon on Sept. 21.