The men’s team finished 24 out of 29 in their race while the women’s team finished 16 out of 29.
Cougar head coach Preston Gray recognized that while the team brought solid performances, there is still much room for growth for both the men’s and women’s teams.
“The Stanford Invitational brought some tough competition,” Gray said. “We finished further back than we would have liked, but it was a learning experience.”
Sophomore English major Kristie Sikma was the first Cougar to cross the line with a time of 21:41 for the 6K course, putting her in 23rd place in the race overall. Sikma was able to defend her finishing position from six other runners who finished within four seconds of her time.
Gray said that she will have a chance to finish near the front of the pack at the first conference meet.
Junior business major Sara Higgins and freshman accounting major Sara MacIntosh also ran solid times, finishing at 22:13 and 22:42 respectively. Higgins finished 60th overall and MacIntosh came in 112th. MacIntosh was able to finish ahead of Cal Baptist’s No. 2 runner, displacing the Lancers’ scorer.
The women’s team finished fourth among Division II teams in their race. However, they fended off their rival, Cal Baptist, and edged out the Lancers’ team time by a margin of two minutes and eight seconds.
Senior applied exercise science major Zach Ginn returned to competition after sitting out due to injury and led the men’s team with a time of 26:36 for an 8K course for 143th place overall. Even with Ginn’s return, the Cougars were not able to fend off rival Cal Baptist, who finished with a team time of three minutes and 29 seconds ahead of the Cougars.
Sophomore applied exercise science major Peter Buschek and freshman applied health major Aaron Potts finished second and third for the Cougar team with times of 26:43 and 26:59, respectively. Potts broke 27 minutes for the second straight race and looks to have a promising season ahead.
Gray plans to use the next few weeks as a time for the team to recover from injuries and start training more competitively.
“We’ve got four weeks to get healthy and gear up for the conference meet,” Gray said.
The Cougars will get another shot to race Cal Baptist at the Pacific West Conference Championships on Oct. 27 in Kahuku, Hawaii. The team hopes to start running faster times and to get injured runners back out on the course.
According to Gray the Stanford Invitational is a step for his team to get ready for the next race.
“This race will get us in the mindset for the next race,” Gray said.
The Cougars will gear up for another race on Oct. 13 at the Vanguard Invitational. With a crew of promising freshmen and some seasoned veterans returning from the bench, the future holds potential for the team of dedicated Cougars.