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Cross County Pete Steilberg Invitational 2004

October 9 2004

Olympia, WA-The Evergreen men's and women's cross country teams hosted the annual Pete Steilberg Invitational. The women's side attracted some of the best runners in the nation as last year's national champions Simon Fraser attended the event.

In fact the Clan posted a perfect score taking the top five scored spots. Six of Simon Fraser's runners finished in the top nine places with only club or unattached runners able to best them.

Now running for the Valley Royals, former UW runner and Canadian National Team member Courtney Inman of British Columbia took the top spot. Inman powered her way to a course record time of 17:17 averaging a mile pace of 5:34 over the 5K course. Inman bested last year's meet winner and course record holder Natasha Wodak by nearly a full minute.

St Martins took second place with a team score of 58 points, Western Oregon was third with 67 points and Evergreen finished fourth with an incomplete score.

It was a flat day for the Geoduck runners who, to this point, have been gaining ground every week.

"Looking tired at this point of the season isn't completely unexpected," said Evergreen coach Craig Dickson. " The racing schedule starts to catch up with them about now."

The strongest performance by a Geoduck on the day came from newcomer Christina Cornett who finished in a season's best 24:04 knocking 12 seconds off last week's time.
Meagan Mower was Evergreen's top finisher posting a time of 21:01 for a 22nd place finish..

Liesl Plomski was Evergreen's second finisher with a time of 22:34. Rachel Williams and Christina Cornett finished in 32nd and 33rd place with times of 22:55 and 24:04 respectively.

On the men's side it was again Simon Fraser who won the event. Clan runners Richard Mosley and David Wambui dashed to times of 25:24 and 25:37 respectively to claim the top two spots. For Mosley it was a successful defense of his win at this event last year. His time will stand as the new eight kilometer course record as last year's event was a four mile race.

The men's team turned in the strongest performance of the season as they are finally competing with a full team with the addition of three runners this week. Sean Gaskell, Grahm Wiley and Patrick Murphy spent the early part of the season cross training as they recovered from injuries.

Josh Klimek was the fastest Geoduck turning in a time of 26:51 for 9th place overall. Kyle Skaggs crossed the finish line at 28:17 to help the Geoducks to a 4th place finish in the meet. Also scoring for Evergreen were Sean Gaskill and James Huson in 25th and 26th place, and Jason McConnell with a time of 29:09 for 28th place.

Said Dickson, "We closed the gap between our first and fifth place runners by over two minutes from last week which should make a huge difference at regionals."

The Geoduck next travel to Salem, Oregon where they will participate in a Pre-Regional event.

"It is a good chance for some of our returning runners to get another good race in," said Dickson. "And an opportunity for the runners who have been competing all season to get their legs back a little bit."