Erik Barkhaus (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) competed as an unattached runner at the Pacific Northwest Track & Field Cross Country Championships Sunday, Nov. 6, at Lower Woodland Park.
Barkhaus finished fifth in the meet with a time of 32:01 over the ten-kilometer course, which was five loops of the same course used in the annual Emerald City Open, Seattle U's home cross country meet. In the first eight kilometers, Barkhaus posted a time of 25:45, 15 seconds faster than his winning time in the 2010 Emerald City Open.
Barkhaus finished just behind Seattle U assistant cross country coach Uli Steidl, who sprinted ahead at the very end for a fourth-place finish in 32:00. Because he redshirted during the collegiate cross country season, Barkhaus pointed to this race as his focus for the fall.
He will likely next compete at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships Saturday, Dec. 10, at Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course, the site of the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country West Regional Meet. Barkhaus will use that event as part of his preparations for the upcoming track season, plus it will help him gain some experience with the course for next year's regionals.
The Seattle University distance running team is preparing for the 2012 indoor track season.