The Saints Men’s Cross Country team was picked 11th in the preseason poll while the women’s team was picked 8th for the 2017 season. The women’s team excelled at the Puget Sound Invitational held in Lakewood, Washington. SMU competed against University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University, Olympic College and Green River Community College. Junior Larissa Kolinski opened up with an early lead and was able to hold on to it until the end, finishing first out of the 31 runners. Kolasinski commented on the meet saying, “it was a good meet but it a very hot day and everyone’s time was pretty slow. I was running in front by myself which was hard because there was no one to run with to keep pushing me and right behind me was a pack of Puget Sound runners.”
Despite the obstacles, she was able to fight through and walk away with the win. Following Kolasinski, sophomore Yeshi Vaughan finished 11th, freshman Sadie Dalgleish finished 13th, Olivia Abbott finished 24th and Cassie La Brake finished 25th giving the Saints five more points.
Senior Josh Hunt finished 7th overall for the Saints while junior Levi Schilter finished close behind in 9th place. Senior Austin Miller finished 20th, freshman Miguel De LaMelena finished 22nd and freshman Derrick Howlett finished 24th out of the 38 runners.
As a team, the women finished second with 60 points and the men finished 3rd with 79 points. The next weekend Hunt finished 15th overall with Schilter and Miller finishing second and third for SMU. On the women`s team, Kolasinski finished 12th overall, junior Lindsey Dorney finished 16th and Vaughan finished 3rd for SMU.
When asked about the competition this season, Kolasinski stated, “The race we had here last weekend which was rescheduled last minute, had some great competitions like WWU which is a really strong team!”
This season looks to be filled with tough competition for both the men’s and women’s team. According to sophomore Seth Chism, “the toughest challenge will be for everyone to stay healthy.”
Chism stated, “last year our women’s team performed amazing but the men were riddled with injury. For me personally, last year ended on a sour note getting injured and I want to come back this season stronger than ever before. Now with a full healthy squad I think we can really go out there and surprise some people.”
The returning runners as well as the freshman this year seem to really want a great season. Chism says that, “Our captain, Skyler Larson as well as Josh Hunt, Larissa Kolinski and Levi Schilter really worked their tails off this summer and its paying off. Our freshman came in hungry and have been working hard from day one. The rest of the returners are looking to improve from a disappointing last season.” The Saints had a little bit of time until their next meet which was the SMU Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:00 a.m. at home.
Written by Lauren Allison