KANSAS CITY, MO. – Seattle U cross country took on the best in the conference on a beatufiul Saturday morning at Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo., as they competed in the Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships to kick off their postseason. Both the men’s and women’s squads came in seventh place as a team, while the Utah Valley men and California Baptist women took home the trophies for their respective races.
“We came up a bit short from our goal, but not for lack of effort,” said Head Coach Kelly Sullivan. “Both teams have learned from this, and know what they need to focus on for our next meet.”
The top Redhawk finisher in the men’s 8k race was junior Nathan Pixler, who placed 22nd overall with a time of 26:03.14. Classmate Hamza Ali finished behind Pixler at 26:42.95, followed by freshman Gus Harquail (26:42.95), senior Andrew Ayers (26:50.01) and junior Kyle Kennedy (27:08.55). Next across the finish line was senior Blake Delaney at 27:10.74, and just behind him came sophomore Ansel Pendley-Griffin with a mark of 27:16.71. Finally, sophomores Lance Slichko and Stephen Crocker rounded out the field with respective times of 28:33.52 and 28:51.01.
In the women’s 6k race, senior Olivia Stein led the way for Seattle U with a 16th-place time of 22:12.12, while freshman Delaney Griffin at 23:09.49 was the second Redhawk to cross the finish line. Junior Rachel Kastama came next with a time of 23:14.05, followed by sophomore Ellie Postma’s mark of 23:43.82 and sophomore Courtney Gelmini’s 24:01.01. Keeping pace with Gelmini was sophomore Marie-Therese Chahrouri, who posted a time of 24:04.29. Senior Shannan Higgins finished her final WAC Championship race at 24:25.92, while freshman Fiona O’Leary reached a personal-best time of 26:56.74.
“I’m proud that this group never feels sorry for themselves, even when things don’t match their expectations,” said Sullivan. “We know that success doesn’t come easy, and we’re going to start preparing for Regionals in two weeks.”
Next up, Seattle U will head to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) West Regionals in Colfax, Wash., on Nov. 15. The women’s 6k race will begin at 11:30 a.m. PT, while the men’s 10k will start at 12:30 p.m.