XC sees better weather, same results

MEN PLACE EIGHTH WHILE WOMEN FAIL TO QUALIFY IN CROSS COUNTRY MEET

By Jacob Thompson

The Clackamas Print

On Saturday, Oct. 14, Clackamas Community College’s men’s cross-country team took eighth place in the Wes Cook Invitational for the second straight year, while the women’s team saw all its runners set new personal records.

With the mercury reading below 40 degrees at the start of the first race, the Cougars were battling cold temperatures, thick fog and tough competition as they looked to close out the regular season strong.

“I think the only thing that a lot of us were battling with was that it was really cold,” said sophomore Angel Castellanos. “It was a lot better than last year when it was pouring down rain and just a giant mud bog. Nobody was slipping. It’s just that some people got psyched out with the cold.”

The cold didn’t seem to bother Castellanos who had the strongest finish for Clackamas with a time of 27:02.1, taking 28th place in the men’s 8k.

“I think the race went pretty good,” said Castellanos. “I didn’t get to race the last race out, so this is my second actual 8k this season and I’m five seconds off my [personal record].”

Clackamas’ men’s team had a total of five runners participate in the 8k race. Freshman Hayden Earl finished in 35th with a time of 27:24.5. Freshman Seth Martin finished in 47th with a time of 27:55.8. Freshman Santos Roquel finished in 56th with a time of 29:20.9. Freshman Ben Davis finished in 59th with a time of 29:58.5.

“As a team we’re doing pretty good,” said Earl. “[We] need to keep improving and dropping down [our times].”

On the women’s side of things, the Cougars were unable to place due to a lack of runners but still had a lot of success, with each runner setting a new personal record in the 5k race.

“[We did] really good,” said head coach Michelle Rose. “It was the first time we had almost a full girls team and they performed really well, all of them actually [set personal records].”

Sophomore Suzy Botsford led the women’s team with a time of 22:14.8, followed by freshman Brittany Coleman (24:18.5), freshman Hanna Steigman (25:44.1) and Jasmine Gloden (27:22.5).

George Fox University is the host of the Wes Cook Invitational, and after last year ’s race was impacted heavily by the mud, they decided to put down bark chips on the course in hopes of improving the runners’ traction, and Botsford was happy about the change.

“I liked the bark chips,” said Botsford. “It was hard enough to get a grip, but it wasn’t too soft that I slip around, so I really liked that.”

Clackamas will look to keep the momentum rolling as they head into the Southern Region Championships.

“I think we want to go in there and mix it up with the top teams and see how we come out,” said Castellanos.

“We’re looking to place top three. It should be pretty fun.”

The Southern Region Championships will be held on Oct. 28 in Roseburg, Oregon and will feature Clackamas, Lane, Clark, Mt. Hood, SW Oregon, Treasure Valley and Umpqua.

Photo by Doug Fry