Men and women’s cross country continue success

| Sports Reporter

The Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their successful season this past weekend at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Border Wars meet, a meet consisting of Division II and III schools. The women finished fourth and the men finished seventh.

The men’s team had seven runners finish in the top 52, with the top seven finishing within 21 seconds of each other. Sophomore David Spandorfer led the team with a 38th place finish and a time of 27:22.26. Sophomore Kwin Keuter finished close behind, placing 39th with a time of 27:26.13. The other runners, junior Matt Kruger, sophomore Nick Silverman, junior Zach Griffen, freshman Tucker Hartley and sophomore Michael Waterson finished 44th, 46th, 48th, 50th and 51st respectively.

The No. 24-ranked women also put up impressive numbers this past weekend, with six runners finishing in the top 50. Senior Hillary Superak led the group, placing 24th with a time of 19:33.45. Graduate student Angela Hartman was close behind in 26th with a time of 19:35.51. Sophomore Kelli Blake, junior Hope Rathnam, freshman Erica Jackey and freshman Elizabeth Phillips also finished 27th, 28th, 37th, and 46th respectively.

“I think this team has made some definite progress over the past few weeks,” Superak said. “We have had to work through a great deal of adversity, but we are getting closer to being injury-free.”

“It has been an adverse season,” Blake said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries and a lot of sickness…we’re back, and it’s not perfect, but we’re realizing that we have to do the best with what we have. We all trust in each other to pull through.”

The SIUE meet was the first race of the season for freshman Liz Phillips and junior Kate Gallagher, who have both spent most of the season cross-training due to injury.

Both teams will compete again this upcoming weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on Oct. 18, the final meet before both teams prepare for the 2008 University Athletic Association Championships on Nov. 1, hosted by Emory University.

“We’re not currently ready to go to the finals but we will be. We can do better. The men were okay, but they need to compete with more sense of urgency. The women competed pretty well considering the injuries,” Head Coach Jeff Stiles said.

“We have a lot of competitive personalities on the team, so I think that we can depend on each other to come through for the important meets at the end of the season,” Superak said.

‘The UAA is probably the deepest conference in D-III cross country. But we have the talent to succeed at the conference meet. What we need now is fine tuning and confidence,” Spandorfer said.