|Cross country breaks out|
Sophomore Hannah Kiser broke a school record and the University of Idaho men’s
and women’s cross country teams made strong statements on Saturday at the
Sundodger Invitational at Seattle, Wash.
Kiser was the top collegiate finisher at the meet and second
overall, behind only Idaho assistant coach Allix Lee-Painter, with a
school-record 6000m time of 20:58.43. She led the Vandal women to a second-place
finish behind Washington, the nation’s 11th-ranked team.
“It was the fastest time in Idaho history, and any time we
can run under 21 minutes for a 6k on a course like this, it’s pretty
impressive,” Idaho head coach Wayne Phipps said. “We were just kind of being
conservative through the first part, then really racing the last 2k and they
really separated themselves from the Washington girls through the end of the
As a freshman last season, Kiser ran an Idaho
freshman-record 21:30.79 on the course, but on Saturday, she trimmed 32 seconds
from that time to break the former Idaho record of 21:02, set by Dee Olson in 2005.
Sophomores led the way for Idaho, as Alycia Butterworth was
the team’s second finisher at eighth overall with a time of 21:28.69 and Emily
Paradis took 10th in 21:40.55. Senior Julia Veseth ran a 21:47.51 and finished
14th, and sophomore Holly Stanton came in 19th overall at 21:59.52.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic about those four sophomores today,”
Phipps said. “For Alycia to run as fast as she did, Emily to bump into the top
10 and Holly to run under 22 minutes – it far exceeded my expectations and it
was great to see them compete so well today.”
Not to be outdone, Idaho’s men put four runners in the top
nine overall and posted a team score of 37 to finish just seven spots behind
team champion Washington, the West Region’s No. 6 team. Junior Barry Britt led
the way with a third-place individual finish, while senior Stephane Colle took
fourth, senior Markus Geiger took seventh and senior Jeremiah Dubie finished
“Dubie really stepped up, which is something we knew he was
capable of doing, and then our number five and number six runners, James and Jeff,
ran great races, too,” Phipps said. “It was probably the best we’ve competed as
a team on the guys’ side in quite a while, and it was 22 seconds faster than
last year’s average.”
Britt ran a 24:14.36, while Colle went 24:18.02, Geiger
posted a 24:32.39 and Dubie ran a 24:33.80 on the 8000m course. Senior James
Clark was the team’s fifth finisher with a time of 25:14.51 for 25th place
overall and 18th among collegians.
Phipps said earlier in the week that the course’s
consistency in layout and distance makes it a good source of year-to-year team
comparisons, and he liked what he saw when he got the final results sheet.
Of the 13 current Vandals who ran this course last season,
nine had individual time improvements, and five had one-year improvements of
better than 30 seconds over last year’s race.
Paradis and Butterworth led the way with matching
one-minute, 32-second time cuts, while Clark made a 56-second improvement and Dubie
slashed 40 seconds off his previous time in the race. As groups, each team
posted program-best average times on the course.
“We averaged 23 seconds faster per person this year than we
did last year, and it ended up being the fastest team averaged we’ve ever had
on this course, and that includes our 2004 team that finished 25th
in the nation,” Phipps said of the women. “We also did it without our No. 1
runner from conference last year, Lauren Schaffer.”
Phipps said he was also happy with the way the teams
competed on both ends with highly-ranked Pac-12 programs.
“It’s always fun going against a team like UW that is
nationally-ranked, because we can use them as a litmus test of where we stand
in the region,” Phipps said. “It was fun on the men’s side to be really
competing stride-for-stride with them in the race, and it made it a really
Still in the early training part of the season, Phipps said
the team will continue with a heavy workload for the new few weeks before
settling into final race preparation for the Western Athletic Conference
Championships on Oct. 26, at Honolulu, Hawai`i.
“You know you’ve put in the hard work and you know you’re in shape, but until you see the concrete, tangible results from a meet like this, you never know,” Phipps said. “After seeing this, you can tell that everyone is really confident, which carries over into training and future competitions, as well.”