Seawolves cross country has been off to a great start this year. So far they have had two very successful showings. Both the men and women’s teams won in the home meet against Abilene Christian University. More recently at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, the women won the open race and the men placed a strong fourth in Div. I competition.
As of September 23rd, the women are ranked No. 2 in the West Region overall just behind Chico St. while the men are in the No. 3 spot behind Chico and Western Washington.
“Our women’s team has really come together,” Head Coach Michael Freiss said.
“They have a really strong team concept and turned in a notable performance at Sundodger.”
There were five UAA women in the top ten, including Ruth Jeptoo in second, and both Hallidie Wilt and Laura Carr in the top five. For the men, Micah Chelimo came in second followed by Marko Chesteo in fifth. Paul Rottich, Alfred Kangogo and Thomas Hill also logged impressive times in the 8k race.
“I’d say we have four of the strongest runners in the region and we’re developing a fifth, and probably two of the best in the conference,” Friess said.
“Much of our success can be attributed to the hard work that the athletes put in this summer,” Assistant Coach T.J. Garlatz said. “For the women, Jeptoo, Shoshana Keegan, Miriam Kipngeno and Wilt are so much stronger than what they were last year. For the men, Cheseto and Chelimo have run at a very high level for us this year.”
“Our entire focus is on preparing to run as fast as possible in the championship portion of our season,” Garlatz said.
“This is going to be a tough race to try to be our best, at this point in the season, we’re really just trying to get a feel for the course and the conditions,” said Friess of the Regional preview hosted by San Francisco State.
This meet is only the halfway point in the cross-country season. The Seawolves plan to progress their training to the next level and continue working towards the nationals.
Now it’s off to San Francisco for the West Region Preview meet on Oct 9.