Cross country holds Alumni ‘Rust Buster’ Open

Meet kicked off 2018 season, event included two gendered races



Members on the 2018 WSU women’s cross country team and joining alumni start their 4K race Friday at the Colfax Golf Club.

JASMIN SNYDER, Evergreen reporter

It was a bright and beautiful Friday on the Palouse for the first race of the 2018 cross country season at the Colfax Golf Club.

The WSU cross country team held the Alumni “Rust Buster” meet to start the season. Senior Nathan Wadhwani said the event was mostly to set a baseline for training during the season.

“We realize when we show up here we know it’s just a time travel [event], and it’s not really too serious and we use it mostly for our paces for our training,” Wadhwani said.

The event included two races, a men’s 6K and a women’s 4K race. It was open to anyone, but was mostly comprised of current cross country athletes, along with a few members of the general public and some alumni.

Wadhwani said he was injured throughout last year and is happy to be back running with his team again. He was the first to finish the men’s 6K Friday, clocking in at 17:33:50.

Wayne Phipps, director of cross country/track & field, was impressed with his team and has high hopes for them to place at the National Championships this year. Phipps was specifically impressed with freshman Emma Jenkins, who set a course record.

“For a freshman, Emma Jenkins, to come out and run as fast as she did, [she ran] the fastest time we ever have recorded for this course,” Phipps said.

Jenkins finished the women’s 4K race first with a time of 13:49:50. After her first-place finish, Jenkins said she was excited to finally race with her team as a Cougar.

Second-place finisher in the women’s 4K race was one of the alumni in attendance, Devon Bortfeld, class of 2018, who finished with a time of 13:52:70.

“The group of seniors on this team have been to nationals all four years, and very few can say they made to the national level for cross country all four years they were eligible,” Phipps said. “We are really setting our goals high, and anything outside of top 10 in the nation our group will be disappointed.”

Cougar cross country will return to Colfax Golf Club 5:15 p.m. Sept. 14 for the Cougar Classic, which is free for WSU students and faculty to compete.