MONMOUTH — The official start to the 2019 season arrives for the Western Oregon University cross country teams when they will host the Ash Creek Invitational this coming Friday at the Ash Creek Preserve on the WOU campus.
The meet will feature a 4k race for the women that will start at 5:15 p.m. and the men to follow at around 5:45 p.m. with a 6k. Teams set to compete include Chemeketa CC, Lane, Oregon, Clackamas, Linfield, Umpqua CC, Willamette, Clark, Multnomah, Walla Walla, Concordia (Ore.), Northwest Christian and Warner Pacific. Last year, both teams cruised to the win with the women tallying 42 points and the men 21. In the women’s race, WOU held off a challenge from Corban to take the title in a field of seven teams.
Returning sophomore Kaylin Cantu began her collegiate career in style, leading WOU by placing third with a time of 19:57.1. Shayla Solomon, returning junior, was the next one in for the Wolves coming across in seventh with a time of 20:28.6. That was just ahead of senior returner Rachel Bayly who came in eighth with a clocked time of 20:37.7. Fellow senior returner Cassie McKinney made it for three straight finishes in a row for the Wolves when she came in with a time of 20:44.4 for ninth place.
On the men’s side, WOU cruised to the team victory, beating Willamette by 24 points.
Graduated seniors Dustin Nading and Tyler Jones finished first and second, Nading crossing with a time of 21:02.5 and Jones with a time of 21:06.8. Returning senior Justin Crosswhite crossed with a time of 21:36.8 to place fifth. Graduating senior Parker Marson was right behind Crosswhite in sixth with a time of 21:39.8, followed by returning sophomore Hunter Hutton who posted a time of 21:46.9 to place seventh.