|XC sweeps team titles|
MOSCOW, Idaho - Juniors Markus Geiger and Julia Veseth paced the Idaho men's and women's cross country teams to victory on Saturday in the season-opening All-Idaho Cup at the Virgil Phillips Farm County Park.
Idaho cross country coach Wayne Phipps said he was pleased with the performances over the weekend, especially considering that the team went through a heavy workout load early in the week.
Veseth, a former walk-on from Moscow, Idaho (Moscow HS), paced the women with a second-place overall finish and time of 18:09.12 in the 5,000m course. She was followed closely by her Idaho teammates, who took fifth through ninth to give Idaho an impressive team score of 28.
Geiger out-kicked teammate Barry Britt to take home the title on the men's side. He finished the 8,000m course with a time of 24:52.81, while Britt followed with a 25:03.97 for second place. The men's team compiled a score of 34.
"It's amazing how we push each other in the workouts and also now in the competition," Geiger said of his friendly rivalry with Britt. "Without Barry, I definitely would have run half a minute slower today."
Kelsey Klettke of Lewis-Clark State took the women's individual title with a time of 17:48.41.
On the women's side, junior Lauren Schaffer (5th, 18:35.78), junior Anna Kalbrener (6th, 18:38.15), senior Erica Digby (7th, 18:43.44) and freshman Hannah Kiser (8th, 18:45.84) rounded out the team scoring. Freshman Holly Stanton took ninth for Idaho in 19:00.03, while fellow first-year Vandal Emily Paradis was 16th with a time of 19:12.68.
Junior Alex Brekke was Idaho's third finisher on the men's side at seventh overall (26:15.75), followed by senior Jeremiah Dubie (12th, 26:26.72), and sophomore Sam Salus (17th, 26:39.41) to round out the team's top five.
The individual victory is the second of Geiger's career, while the runner-up finish for Veseth is the highest for her as a Vandal.
In the men's team scoring, College of Idaho took second with 68 points, just ahead of Gonzaga, which had 69. Lewis-Clark State was fourth at 80 and Eastern Washington was fifth with 86. For the women, Gonzaga took second with 48 points, while College of Idaho was third with 78, LCSC was fourth with 104 and Eastern Washington was fifth with 121.
After a one-week break from competition, Idaho will head to Seattle for the Sundodger Invitational on Saturday, September 18.