TACOMA — Running to its best performance this season, the Whitman College men’s cross country squad finished third in the team scoring in Saturday morning’s Puget Sound Invitational at Fort Steilacoom Park in Tacoma.
Cory Rand, part of Whitman’s electric freshman class, sparked the Missionary charge, finishing the 8,000-meter course in seventh place in 26:52.34.
"As a team and individually, we ran a really great race," Whitman coach Malcolm Dunn said. "Cory has continued to move up into the field and he actually was mixing it up with the top Whitworth runners and had a great finish against the No. 2 Linfield runner."
Senior captains Curtis Reid and Matthew Kelly were next for Whitman, placing at 13th (27:31.19) and 15th (27:41.31), respectively.
Juniors Sam Hennessey (24th, 27:56.41) and Dan Luecke (26th, 27:58.20) also scored for Whitman.
"Curtis had a really strong second half of the race, and both Sam and Dan had strong finishes to round out the top five," Dunn said.
Freshman Alfredo Villasenor placed 33rd in 28:43.60 to pace the second half of Whitman’s top ten. Junior John Callow (35th, 28:46.62), freshman Taylor Mesojednik (36th, 28:47.50), sophomore Brendan Boyer (46th, 29:18.52) and sophomore Yonas Fikak (50th, 29:37.15) rounded out that group.
Others running for Whitman were junior Terrence Reid (52nd, 29:43.30), freshman Whitney Griggs (59th, 30:27.90), and sophomore Erick Aguayo (73rd, 34:13.76).
Whitworth was first in the team scoring with 38 points, beating runner-up Linfield by eight points. Whitman was third with 85 points, finishing ahead of Lewis Clark 94, Puget Sound 126, and Pacific Lutheran 135 points.
Whitman’s high finish gives hope to the team’s goal of finishing in the top half of the field at the Northwest Conference Championships in two weeks.