Cross country off to great start ranking in the top five

Matthew L. Self

The cross country team had a great performance at the Southwestern Baptist Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 1 in Bolivar, Missouri. Both the men’s and the women’s teams had great performances with the men’s team taking second place and the women’s team taking fifth place. Washburn’s men’s cross country team had a total of 45 points while Missouri Southern State had a score of 33 points. The nearest competitor, Southern Baptist University earned third place with 82 points. The Washburn’s women’s team ran a 5k while the men’s team ran a 7k.

Three of Washburn’s men’s team athletes also finished in the top five category in the meet, and all five of Washburn’s men’s runners finished in the top 20. Their total time was 1:55:08. The average running time was 23:01. Washburn’s closest competition, Southwestern Baptist, was outdistanced by 37 points, giving the men’s team a huge lead.

The top runner of the meet was Jacob Klems, junior at Washburn, with a total time of 21:45.57. He finished almost a minute faster than the second place finisher. Paul Becker, another junior, took third place with a time of 22:52.35. Washburn senior Ricardo Banuelos took fourth with a time of 22:55.09. Senior Chryspus Muema finished 18th with a time of 23:47.08 while right behind him was Washburn freshman Joseph Coddington with a time of 23:47.3. Weston Evans and Tyler Coad finished 32 and 40, respectively. Evans’ time was 24:13.38 and Coad’s time was 24:33.22.

Washburn’s women’s team took fifth with 95 points as they were in a tough battle with Drury University who took third with 91 points and Missouri S&T who took fourth place with 92 points. Washburn’s women’s team missed third place by only four points, a very slim margin. Washburn’s women’s team had two runners place in the top ten with a total team time of 1:40:16. The average runner’s time for Washburn’s team was 20:03.

Sierra Mortensen, a sophomore, with a third place overall finish and a time of 18:55.28. Washburn also had Elaina Hubner, a freshman, finish eighth with a time of 19:11.58.

Kaylee Snell, a junior, finished twentieth overall with a time of 19:59.63. Avery Hoffpauir and Lily Johnson landed in the 30s. Hoffpauir placed 31st with a time of 20:55.16 and Johnson placed 35 with a time of 21:14.82. Laurel Singh finished the day for the Ichabods at 70, timing out at 24:49.11.

With this effort, the cross country teams look to continue their success on Sept. 15 at the Missouri Southern State Stampede.