Cross country teams both place in top 10
The Washington University cross country team continued its season on Saturday at the 2008 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships in Rock Island, Ill. The women continued their success, placing third in a field of 43, while the men placed 10th out of 39.
With its third-place finish, the women received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 22.
The women came into the meet with high expectations after placing first in the past three regional meets. However, the Lady Bears fell short by only nine points to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and runner-up University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Placing for the Lady Bears were sophomore Taryn Surtees, freshman Elizabeth Phillips and junior Molly Schlamb, who placed fifth, 12th and 20th respectively. All three runners received NCAA All-Midwest Region recognition Saturday.
Schlamb described this season as “incredible…because having graduated those awesome seniors, we’ve been given a challenge. We’ve gotten the chance to show that while we are young, we are tough, and that our expectations for success haven’t changed.”
Junior Hope Rathnam and graduate student Angela Hartman placed 32nd and 48th respectively.
“We have been through a lot of health issues, but we will be standing at the start line next Saturday with a healthy and prepared team. I really think we can finish anywhere from 2-12,” Head Coach Jeff Stiles said.
The men fell short to No. 2 ranked North Central College, who won the meet with 51 points. Sophomore Dave Spandorfer anchored the team, placing 41st with a time of 25:49.6.
“While we weren’t thrilled with our results, I think we can use this as a motivation to get better for indoor, outdoor and ultimately next cross country season,” Spandorfer said.
Also scoring for the bears were senior Nick Silverman, junior Alex Bearden, freshman Tucker Hartley and junior Matt Kruger, who placed 54th, 58th, 62nd and 77th, respectively.
“The season for the men was one of maturation. We return six of the seven guys who competed at Regionals. We have had some key members injured, but the ingredients are on campus to be a great team. I couldn’t have been more proud of our effort at regionals,” Stiles said.
“We ran hard. Some guys ran better than they expected, and some guys weren’t as far up as they had hoped, but we competed…we went out there and gave it our all,” Silverman said after racing in his final cross country race at Wash. U.
The women will continue their season next weekend after receiving an at-large berth to the Division III Cross Country Championship meet. The race will begin at noon on Saturday in Hanover, Ind.