Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Markus Geiger
Kiser, Geiger lead Idaho XC
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 09/03/2011
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SPOKANE, Wash. – The University of Idaho men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2011 season on Saturday with an impressive showing at the Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic at Spokane’s Mead High School.

“Overall, I was very pleased with the way things went today,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “It was a big improvement by the whole team over last year.”

Vandal Sophomore Hannah Kiser took second overall and was the top collegiate finisher in the women’s 4.2-mile race with a time of 14:11.3, while senior Markus Geiger took fifth in 18:34.8 to lead Idaho in the 6.2-mile men’s race.

As a team, the Idaho women took second with 41 total points, just behind Washington State’s 31. The Vandal men also took second behind WSU with 65 points to the Cougars’ 16.

In addition to Kiser’s finish, the Vandal women put four more runners in the top 14, as senior Anna Kalbrener ran a 14:38.4 for eighth, sophomore Alycia Butterworth took ninth with a 14:42.5 and senior Julia Veseth (14:50.8) and sophomore Emily Paradis (14:51.6) took 13th and 14th, respectively.

“I was very pleased with the way the women ran,” Phipps said. “We weren’t running everybody, but the people who ran were amazing. We’re really counting on some of our sophomores to step up, and they all had great races.”

Idaho newcomer Stephane Colle, a senior, was the second Vandal finisher on the men’s side, as he ran an 18:56.5 and took 10th. He was followed by junior Barry Britt in 11th with a time of 18:57.9 and junior Jeremiah Dubie in 26th with a time of 19:30.7. Senior Alex Brekke rounded out the top five in 34th overall with a time of 19:47.1.

“We were probably just a little too conservative at the beginning, but that was pretty much the race plan early on,” Phipps said of the men’s race. “I thought it was good. We definitely need to close that gap from our four and five runners to our top three, but I was very pleased with our effort overall.”

Former Vandal great and current Idaho assistant Allix Potratz-Lee was the top overall finisher in the women’s race with a time of 14:09.3. A 2010 Idaho graduate, Potratz-Lee is the only woman in Western Athletic Conference history to be named WAC Athlete of the Year in three different sports (cross country, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field).

After taking next weekend off from competition, the Idaho men and women will next be in action on Sept. 17 in the Sundodger Invitational at Seattle, Wash.

“This week was a very hard week of training, next week will be even harder, then we’ll back off a little bit for Sundodger, so we can compare there to what we’ve done in the past,” Phipps said. “This first race is always a little bit of a shock because it’s your first high-intensity effort of the season, so I think we’ll be in even a better position to compete two weeks from now.”

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