WSU cross country sees great individual success at Pac-12 Championships

Numerous runners set personal records, one ended up on the podium



WSU’s Neema Kimtai races across Colfax Golf Club, Sep. 5.

HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor

Junior Neema Kimtai has had a fantastic season, but through the first two months, she had yet to lead the team in a race. That changed on Friday at the Pac-12 Championships, where she led a fast team and ended up in the top 10 with a podium finish. 

Kimtai was not the only Coug to have a special race.

The WSU men’s and women’s cross country teams combined for 13 personal records on a course that is certainly not easy. While they did not manage to pull off the miraculous upset and win the whole thing, both teams finished higher than many projected them to be and came away with individual and team successes across the board.

The women had five of those PRs and with those great races they managed to finish in seventh place overall. Kimtai cut a massive 31 seconds off her previous best 6-kilometer race, coming in 10th place with a time of 19:38.5. 

Behind her was junior Alaina Stone Boggs who continued a fantastic breakout season with an 18th place finish and a time of 19:47.8, followed by Caroline Jerotich, Pietra Da Silva and Samantha Boyle rounding out the scoring runners. Their seventh-place finish as a team made them the highest-finishing unranked team in the entire race.

The men’s race looked a little more like the previous races, with Brian Barsaiya taking the lead for the Cougs as he has all season. He came in 33rd place, running a 23:53.7. Behind him was more of the usual suspects, Leif Swanson and Kelvin Limo, who had PRs by 41 seconds and 27 seconds respectively. 

In fact, the first eight WSU men’s runners across the finish line all had personal records. The numbers were all there and with so many successful individual races the team managed to come in 6th place overall.

The Cougs will race next at the NCAA West Regionals on Nov. 11 in Seattle, where they will be looking to continue to surprise and improve in hopes of making some noise as the underdogs.