Cross-country teams keep staggering pace

The last time we caught up with the Seawolf cross country teams, they were undefeated heading into the midway point of the season. Not much has changed.

Both the men’s and women’s teams continued to molly-wop opponents as the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships approached. The two squads took flawless records with them to Spokane, Wash., for the championships in early November. But only one left unscathed.

The women — who entered the meet ranked No. 4 in the country — had to make room in their case for yet another trophy. The team bested the Chico State Wildcats by a slim three points en route to its fourth title in five years.

The win propelled them to Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Team of the Week honors. It also booked them a spot at the NCAA Division II Championships next weekend.

Senior Susan Tanui and sophomore Joyce Kipchumba registered key performances.

Tanui strengthened her UAA legacy by defending the West Region Championship Belt she took home last year. Kipchumba crossed the line three seconds later, finishing as the runner-up.

Seniors Ivy O’Guinn and Susan Bick had big days too, capturing top 20 victories that helped boost the ‘Wolves score.

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The men’s team couldn’t stop the Wildcats from steamrolling but were the closest to doing so. They snagged second place and will join the women at the NCAAs.

The first three runners to cross the finish line were Wildcats. Their grip only tightened when a fourth Wildcat crossed in sixth place.

While Chico State had a big day, the UAA men’s team still put up a fight. Junior Dylan Anthony and freshman Victor Samoei both had top 10 finishes. Junior Isaac Kangogo narrowly missed the top-10 mark, landing in 12th place.

The two teams have kept an exhausting pace over the last five seasons. As mentioned before, the women have won the West Regions four times over that span. The men have two wins and two second-place finishes in that time.

Dynasties aren’t born overnight. A dynasty is molded from many seasons of success, and that’s exactly what this program has had on the west coast. The descriptor may or may not be apt, but it’s worthy of discussion.