Cross Country News
November 2, 2007
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Clan of Simon Fraser University nearly swept all of the wins today at the 2007 NAIA Region I Cross Country Championships. They walked away with both the women's and men's team wins, an individual woman win, female Athlete of the Year and two Coach of the Year titles.
Evergreen's campus witnessed some great racing and enthusiastic spectators. The Evergreen course, which is one of the more exciting race courses in the Northwest, is great for spectators and in many places the noisy crowds packed the edges of the course for a hundred yards or more.
In the women's meet, Simon Fraser's Kristen Kolstad led from start to finish, winning the 5K in 17:46, a 5:44 mile pace on the challenging course.
Kolstad broke her own course record by 15 seconds (Set at October's Pete Steilberg Open) and won by 27 seconds.
"I heard runners behind me early in the race, but I stopped hearing them at about two kilometers," Kolstad said. "The first part of the race was like an 800. You had to get out fast."
The Simon Fraser women swept the top three spots, helping the British Columbia team win the team title with 25 points. The University of British Columbia was second with 70 points.
Evergreen's Emily Uhlig ran a strong race for the Geoducks, finishing in 29th place overall (38th in '06) and a personal best time on her home course of 19:42.
The Geoducks finished 12th of 17 teams.
"It wasn't a surprise that Simon Fraser won the women's title," Evergreen coach Craig Dickson said. "But it was a surprise the men did. They were ranked fourth in the region. They really came through."
Placing two runners in the top three and all five scorers in the top twenty-two places, there was little question who won the team title at the end. SFU totaled 46 points for the victory. Runner up Eastern Oregon University tallied 74.
With 200 meters remaining in the men's 8k race, Dylan Gant of SFU had the lead after a three person battle most of the race. Calin Hantau of LC State was waiting patiently behind Gant until that point before unleashing a strong kick that Gant had no answer for. David Wambui, last years individual champion finished a close third for the Clan.
Hantau, a senior at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, ran the 8K in 25 minutes and one second, a pace of 5:02 per mile
"I had a little more left in the end," Hantau said. "I didn't want to finish second again."
The Evergreen men finished 14th with Brian Rakestraw placing 27th with a time of 26:29, to lead the Geoducks.
Uhlig and Rakestraw finished near contention for individual spots to Nationals but individuals and at large teams (placing 2nd-4th) will not know if they can book tickets to Kenosha, WI until Tuesday.