Whitman teams place second at cross country invite

Whitworth runners take the top four placings in both the men's and women's races Saturday.

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Whitman coach Scott Shields encourages a runner during the Whitman Invitational men's cross country race. The men finished second to Whitworth.

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Whitman women's cross country takes off from the starting line at the Whitman Invitational at Fort Walla Walla Park Saturday. The women placed second to Whitworth in the invite. Four Missionary women finished in the top 13 but weren't able to defeat Whitworth's four top finishers.

WALLA WALLA - Whitman finished second to Whitworth University in men's and women's cross country at the Whitman College Invitational at Fort Walla Walla Park here Saturday.

The Missionary women had five runners in the top 13, but it wasn't enough to win the 4,000 meter race. Whitworth's Tonya Turner won in 14:30.28, while fellow Pirates rounded out the top fourth. Whitman sophomore Emilie Gilbert placed fifth in 15:11.11, two spots ahead of Missionary senior Kristen Ballinger, who ran in 15:43.88.

Whitworth was first in the team scoring with 21 place points for its top five. Whitman was second in the four-team invitational with 47 points.

Puget Sound, led by Hayley Walker's sixth-place showing, was third with 81 points, edging Pacific Lutheran by three points. Katherine Gebert was eighth to pace the Lutes.

Also scoring for Whitman were sophomore Lori Mendelsohn (10th, 15:56.91), first-year runner Skye Pauley (12th, 16:17.01) and junior Christine Kiely (16:18.19).

Four more Missionaries cracked the top 20: Eliza Vistica (16th, 16:28.41), Lauren Davis (18th, 16:36.53), Kari Paustian (19th, 16:38.28), and Jennifer Farley (20th, 16:38.54).

A total of 27 Whitman women race in the race.

The Missionary men's cross country team, led by senior Sam Hennessey, placed three runners in the top eight, Whitworth again bested the Missionaries in the men's 6,000.

Whitworth's Trevor Berrian clocked a winning time of 20:03.31, leading the Pirates in the top four.

Hennessey, running to his best-ever finish at the Whitman Invitational, was fifth for the Missionaries in 20:35.03.

Next for Whitman were sophomore Cory Rand, who was seventh in 20:41.11, and senior Daniel Luecke, who placed eighth in 20:43.41.

Whitworth was first in the team scoring with 19 place points for its top five. Whitman was second in the four-team invitational with 53 points.

Pacific Lutheran, paced by a sixth-place effort from Alan DenAdel, was third in the team scoring with 66 points.

Puget Sound was fourth with 100 points. Wes Finger placed 13th to lead the Loggers.

Filling out the team score for Whitman were freshman Spencer Corwin, who was 15th in 21:21.27, and sophomore Taylor Mesojednik, who took 18th in 21:35.03.

Junior Brendan Boyer and freshman Michael Jorgensen led Whitman's second five, placing 21st and 23rd, respectively, with times of 21:43.87 and 21:45.66.

Next in line were freshman Christopher Farley, 26th, 21:51.93; senior John Callow, 28th, 22:02.84; and freshman Taylor Nelson, 29th, 22:06.86.

The Whitman teams travel to Seattle next weekend for the Sundodger Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington at Lincoln Park.

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