The No. 26 ranked WSU men’s cross-country team won their first meet of the season, ousting four other teams at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet Saturday in Spokane.
After finishing 21st in the NCAA Championships last season, high expectations ride on the WSU men long distance runners this season. The team got out on the right foot Saturday, capturing the top seven spots in Saturday's 6K race.
The WSU men’s team won the overall race with a score of 28 points, followed by Gonzaga, Idaho, Whitworth and Eastern Washington.
Individually, senior runner Andrew Kimpel took first place and earned the individual title at the meet, finishing with a time of 18:25.0.
While coach Tim Riley said he was overall impressed with the meet, the team still has work to do.
“The guys ran hard but did not run all-out today,"Riley said."They ran controlled, so finishing one through seven with our unattached guys was good to see."
The WSU women’s cross-country team had a successful meet as well. The team finished second out of five teams, falling to Gonzaga by 20 points.
Senior runner Caroline Austin took first place in the 4K race, finishing with a time of 14.09.6.
“I was really happy with Caroline’s race,” Riley said. “She ran well, and a win is always nice.”
The next female WSU runner to finish was sophomore Ruby Roberts, who finished sixth with a time of 14.47.0.
The WSU women have a roster riddled with young runners, including seven freshmen. Riley said the team is talented but has plenty to learn this season.
“We found out what we need to work on and what works in a race,” Riley said. “We just started to get into our training cycle so in a couple of weeks the bodies will be more in rhythm with what we expect on Saturdays.”
The next race for both teams is the West Coast Invitational on Sept. 15 in Portland, Ore.