Cross-country teams shine under the sun

It was a nice change of scenery for the SFU cross-country teams, getting out of the Vancouver rain and racing under the California sun. But for both the men’s and women’s sides, the results of their races at the Stanford Invitational were quite familiar.

Racing against some of the top competition in both the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I and II programs, the Clan men finished seventh and the women second at the Invitational.

Lindsey Butterworth, a senior on the squad and the women’s captain, led the way for the Clan finishing 35th in the 5km race, with a time of 22:40. Kirsten Allen finished second for the Clan, with a time of 22:54, and teammate Kansas Mackenzie was right behind her, finishing 46th in 22:55.

Nanaimo native Rebecca Bassett, a freshman, and sophomore Emma Chadsey filled out the top five for the Clan women, finishing 61st and 74th respectively.

After three strong finishes to start the cross-country season, the Clan will get a week off from competition before heading to Bellingham, WA for the Western Washington Tune-up next week.

“We’ve been very consistent through the first three races and it will be good to get a week off from racing and have a hard week of training,” said Butterworth. “We are excited to see what we can accomplish at our conference meet and regionals after that.”

The week off will be used as a chance for improvement.

“I know the women can be better,” said head coach Bit Townsend. “The women were only 10 points behind first-place Chico State. With a week off and a hard week of training, they will be motivated to get things

Meanwhile, it was a freshman leading the Clan men in their seventh-place finish. Chilliwack’s Oliver Jorgensen, finishing the 6km race in 26:28, placed 76th. Finishing only four seconds behind him was senior team captain James Young, who finished 87th with 26:32.

“Overall we ran well considering we have raced three weeks in a row,” said Young, as his men’s side prepares for their first 10km race of the season in Bellingham. “Moving forward we are excited to do a 10km and are hoping to close the gap between our top five runners.”

Austin Trapp, Cameron Proceviat, and Ephraim Tadesse rounded out that top-five.

“I’m very happy with how our men competed. This was a really tough race. We have had some sickness and nagging injuries that we hope will sort itself out with a week off,” said Townsend. “The Stanford Invitational is one of the top meets in the nation and by racing here, it makes us mentally tougher.”

That, with a week off to prepare for their next race, points to improvement on an already successful start to the 2013 season.