With the top three runners finishing within six seconds of one another, the Chadron State College men's cross country team tied for fourth among the 11 teams at the 44th annual Western Washington University Cross Country Classic on Saturday in Bellingham.
The Chadron State women, led again by sophomore Alyse Henry and senior Nicky Banzhaf , who finished within a 10th of a second of one another for the second consecutive meet, were seventh among 12 squads.
"The men did much better than two weeks ago at the Roy Griak Meet (in Minnesota)," said CSC Coach Brian Medigovich. "The women were okay. Our third, fourth and fifth women did well, but the leaders started a little too slow. There's room for improvement."
Chadron State was the only entry that didn’t hail from the West Coast, Canada or Alaska.
The five Chadron State men who scored were: 26, Riley Howard, 32:35.7; 28, Eric Yager, 32:38.9; 29, Phil Duncan, 32:41.4; 37, Levi Avila, 33:05.9; and 44, Sheldon Curley 33:24.8
All five finished within the top 15 on Chadron State's all-time 10-kilometer performance list. Howard’s mark is sixth on the list.
Henry and Banzhaf also cracked the top 10 on the CSC women’s 6-K performance list, at 23:03.2 and 23:03.3, but both women were shy of their own personal bests from 2015.
The Lady Eagles' other placings and times were: 67, Julia Eskelson, 23:54.0; 71, Taylor Allison, 23:59.6; 74, Dominique Oden, 24:08.2; and 95, Emma Willadsen, 25:34.9. The team totaled 204 points.
The Chadron State men shared fourth with Club Northwest with 117 points. Taylor Dick rounded out the Eagles' contingent, finishing 97th in 35:22.6. Without the club teams' scores, the Eagles would have finished at an even 100 points.
California’s Chico State dominated the men’s team standings, claiming all the top six places except fourth. The Wildcats had 17 points while host Western Washington was second with 76.
The individual winner was Keenan Viney, a Canadian running unattached who was once affiliated with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Simon Fraser University, the NCAA's only Canadian member, won the women's team title with 44 points, two fewer than second place Chico State.
Lindsey Butterworth was the women's individual champ in 21:14.7. She is a two-time NCAA Division II champion in the 800 meters and seven-time All-American at Simon Fraser when she finished her collegiate eligibility in 2015.
The Eagles' next outing will be Saturday, Oct. 21, when the college hosts the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Meet.