Oct 02, 2010

CHARLES BOWLES INVITATIONAL: Bruins Finish 22nd in Huge Willamette 8K

A Winning Tradition

  • Eight NAIA Men's National Meets (5 Top 10 finishes)
  • Five NAIA District Men's Championships (1977, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992)
  • One NCCAA Women's National Championship (1988)
  • Nine NAIA Women's National Meets (6 Top 10 finishes)
  • Six NAIA Women's District Championships (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993)
  • One Cascade Conference Women's Championship (1994)
  • Two NAIA Region Coaches of the Year
  • 10 Conference / District Coaches of the Year
  • 23 All-Americans (6 men, 17 women)
  • 53 Academic All-Americans (18 men, 35 women)

SALEM, Ore. - Joseph Pia led the Bruin men's efforts for the fourth time in as many races and a young George Fox University women's cross country team turned in some of their best performances of the year in the 36th annual Charles Bowles Willamette University Invitational Cardinal 5K race Saturday morning at Bush's Pasture Park.

Chelsea Sowards had the best time for George Fox, as she has for all four of the Bruins' races this fall, finishing 133rd overall out of 257 runners and 111th for team scoring in 19:48.82.  Also scoring for the Bruins were  Kate Freiheit (20:17.59, 168th/132nd), Lizzy Alaimo (20:33.04, 187th/143rd), Alyssa Turner (21:36.50, 235th/158th), and Melissa Kristovich (21:46.79, 236th/159th). 

"This was one of the best races by our women's team that we have run in several years," said Bruins distance coach Jeff Larson.  "While we know we still have a lot of work to do, we're a very young team and the kids are excited about the future."

"Chelsea ran a 5K personal record and broke the 20-minute barrier for the first time.  Melissa ran her fastest 5K ever.  Lizzy was competing in a 5K for the first time and ran extremely well.  Alyssa ran a great first mile, maybe a little too fast, and didn't have a lot left at the end of the race, but she's learning how to pace herself.  We also were without our only senior, Anja Harder, for this race.  All told, I am very proud of our effort today."

“Considering that the men were without two of our top three runners - Dylan Arana with an Achilles problem and Allen Cassel with bad allergies - we had a good effort,” continued Larson.  “Our two freshmen who led the way today, Joseph and Kyle, turned in solid 8K’s under 27 minutes, and Chad Sutfin stepped up big for us in the third spot; I’ve told him we need that kind of effort from him, especially with some kids out now.”

Pia placed 102nd overall and 80th for team scoring with a time of 26:10.56.  Other George Fox scorers included Kyle Dreibelbis (26:47.08, 136th/106th), Chad Sutfin (27:40.00, 170th/131st), Mike Calavan (27:44.97, 175th/136th), and Aaron Molstad (27:49.67, 179th/139th).

The Charles Bowles Invitational has become one of the largest cross country meets in the nation with 49 college teams, numerous club teams and unattached runners, and over 1,140 total entrants in this year's four races.  The Cardinal 5K races consisted of NCAA Division I, II, and III teams running against one another.

The George Fox men earned 591 points, just behind Pacific University’s 580 but well ahead of California State University-East Bay’s 705.  The University of Portland (D-I), with runners in the 2-3-4-5 positions, won the event with 25 points, out-distancing Chico State University (D-II) with 62 points.  Marko Cheseto of the University of Alaska-Anchorage won the race with a time of 23:18.70, with Trevor Dunbar of Portland second in 23:22.67.

The Bruin women earned 703 points, 60 points behind No. 23 Pacific University.  The University of Idaho (D-I) captured the race with 55 points, well ahead of the runner-up University of Alaska-Anchorage (D-II), which had 95 points.  Miriam Kipng'eno of Alaska-Anchorage won the race with a time of 17:19.04, besting Frida Aspnaes of Hawai'i Pacific University, who ran a 17:28.05.

NEXT: George Fox will take a week off before returning to competition in the Lewis & Clark College Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 16, at McIver State Park in Estacada, Ore.  The first race of the day is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.