The members of the Seattle University cross country team who competed at the Sundodger Invitational Saturday morning showed numerous examples of the significant improvement the squad has undertaken as they ran at Lincoln Park in the annual meet hosted by the University of Washington.
In the men's eight-kilometer open race, Peter VanNuland (Newcastle, Wash.) was the top Seattle U finisher, crossing the finish line in 22nd place in 25:35, over a full minute faster than his time last year. Ryan Dennison (Pacifica, Calif.) cut 71 seconds off his 2011 time, finishing in 29th place with a mark of 25:46.
Freshman Chris Davis (Centennial, Colo.) finished in 37th place in 25:57, followed by fellow first-year Redhawk Nathan McLaughlin (Puyallup, Wash.) in 53rd place with a time of 26:16. Kevin Kopetz (Derry, N.H.) was 47 seconds faster from his pace last year, finishing in 60th place with a time of 26:22.
Miles Hille (Woodinville, Wash.) posted a time of 26:29, 12 seconds faster than his 2011 mark, to finish in 77th place, while Gus Arroyo (Portland, Ore.) finished in 92nd place with a time of 26:46. David Strand (Seattle, Wash.) improved his time by 55 seconds from the 2011 event, finishing in 127th place with a time of 27:23. As a team, the Seattle U men finished in fourth place in the open event with 155 points.
On the women's side, Lauren Hammerle (Seattle, Wash.) ran unattached and earned a 49th place finish, completing the six-kilometer race in 23:43, 45 seconds faster than her mark last year. Justine Bates (Arlington, Wash.) posted a time of 23:56 to finish in 63rd place, followed by freshmen Emily Hedberg (Phoenix, Ariz.) in 82nd place in 24:15, Elena Smith (Seattle, Wash.) in 88th place in 24:23, and Lindsay Frederick (Seattle, Wash.) in 93rd place in 24:25.
Amy Tolentino (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) continued her improvement, cutting 82 seconds off her time from last year to finish in 119th place in 24:47. Mary Thompson (Simi Valley, Calif.) took exactly 25 minutes to complete the course, finishing in 135th place.
Haley Kruell (Portland, Ore.) cut almost two-and-a-half minutes off her time from 2011, finishing in 152nd place in 25:29. Fellow sophomore Meghan Manwill (Eugene, Ore.) was nearly two full minutes faster from her effort last year, crossing the finish line in 173rd place with a time of 26:10. As a team, the Redhawk women finished in 15th place with 375 points.
The Seattle University cross country team will have two weeks to prepare for the Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Springfield Golf Course in Springfield, Ore., starting at 10:30 a.m.