Cross-Country readies for season with new recruiting class

From staff reports

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The men’s and women’s cross-country teams are running into the 2015 season with a strong group of freshmen to boost the already accomplished squads.

Last year was current Director of Cross-Country and Track & Field Wayne Phipps’ first year at the helm, although it did not in any way hinder the performance of the team. The 2014 season found the men’s team coming in ninth overall and the women’s in tenth at the Pac-12 championships. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished thirteenth at the NCAA West Regional Cross County Championships at Stanford.

The men’s Cross Country team is made up of eight freshmen, two sophomores and four juniors. One of the returners, junior John Whelan, placed second among his teammates and 15th overall at the Stanford Invitational contributing to the Cougars team win at the meet.

Senior CharLee Linton, returning for the women’s team, finished second on the team and 66th overall at the NCAA West Regional 6K.

Joining the older members of the teams is a group of six total recruits that already have Phipps excited for the upcoming season.

“I’m very excited about the signees,” Phipps said in a press release. “This group is very excited about WSU and the direction of our program. They all will make an immediate impact, especially on the men’s side.”

Recruits for the men’s team include top runners from all over Washington State, British Columbia and one local from Moscow. Freshman Paul Ryan helped lead the Bears to a second place finish for the 1A/2A Idaho state championship after he won the race.

“Paul Ryan has developed into one of the top distance runners in the history of the state of Idaho,” Phipps said.

Other members of the touted recruiting class include freshman Cole Christman, a seventh place finisher at the Nike Pre-National and freshman Nathan Tadesse, who won the British Columbian High School Cross Country championship 6400m senior race. Freshmen Chandler Teigen and Nathan Wadhwani also come to Pullman with impressive resumes. Teigen is a two-time state 1B/2B champion in cross country. Wadhwani placed eighth in the 5K high school seeded section at the Stanford Invitational Cross Country meet.

On the women’s side, another new recruit is Anisa Allaet, a three-time All-Greater Spokane League first-team selection.

The team has its first meet at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1 at the Clash of the Inland Northwest in Colfax.

Reporting by Casie Moe