The WSU cross-country men’s and women’s teams redeemed themselves after a recent struggle at Notre Dame, and had a strong race Saturday at the Inland Empire Classic meet in Lewiston.
The men’s team won the overall team race with a score of 24 points, while the women took second place at the meet.
“I was looking for an honest effort today and they ran hard,” WSU Head Coach Tim Riley said in a press conference. “It was a nice, easy trip for us, and we trained through this meet.”
Junior Drew Jordan led the charge for WSU, finishing second overall in the race with a time of 24 minutes and 35 seconds. Sophomore Todd Wakefield finished third behind Jordan with a time of 24:35.
“Drew and Todd ran great, really relaxed and poised,” Riley said.
Senior Andrew Kimpel nearly dropped out of the race due to respiratory issues, struggling with the dry and dusty course. However, he managed to fight through and ran a time of 25:00 — good enough for seventh place.
“Kimpel really toughed it out and showed maturity out there, and that’s what we really needed today,” Riley said.
On the women’s side, senior Caroline Austin finished in first place, winning the individual title of the race with a time of 17:43 in the 5K race. This was Austin’s third win of the season.
Junior Ruby Roberts finished in second place individually with a time of 17:46. After battling injuries for most of last season, Riley said Roberts has bounced back nicely.
“It was great to have the old Ruby back and see her put it together on race day,” he said. “We trained to race, so it was good to see that she performed like she has in practice.”
The WSU women took second place as a team in the race with a score of 71 points. Gonzaga won the team title with 37 points.
“I told the women to go out relaxed in the first mile and then work on the middle of the race,” Riley said. “They followed the game plan, and it panned out.”
The next race for WSU will take place Oct. 27 in Santa Clarita, Calif. for the Pac-12 Championships.