Cross country prepares for next race

Two weeks since last meet, Cougs back at Colfax Golf Club



The WSU women’s team runs the 4k race at the WSU Open on Aug. 30 at the Colfax Golf Course in Colfax, Washington.

DAMIEN ALVARADO, Evergreen reporter

WSU women’s and men’s cross-country teams return to action in the Cougar Classic on Friday at the Colfax Golf Club in Colfax.

The women’s 6k will start at 5:15 p.m. The men’s 8k will start at 5:45 p.m.

Last season left the WSU women’s team disappointed.  The program placed 12th overall at the NCAA West Regional in Sacramento, California. Three Cougars placed in the top 61, which included WSU alumna Vallery Korir, sophomore Zorana Grujic and redshirt senior Janet Okeago.

The Cougars have many returners including senior Desi Stinger, senior Kaili Keefe, senior Melissa Hruska, Grujic and Okeago.

Hruska said the team has goals of wanting to be in the top six in the Pac-12.

“That would be big because the Pac-12 is a powerful distance conference [which includes] Oregon, [Washington], Colorado, Oregon State, [and] Stanford …. Being in the top half of the Pac-12 puts us in a really good spot for our West Regionals,” Hruska said.

As for the men, they finished seventh overall at the NCAA West Regional. WSU alumnus Chandler Teigen finished 27th overall and redshirt sophomore Amir Ado followed finishing 39th overall. The Cougars also had senior Colton Johnsen place 49th overall.

The WSU men’s team returns Ado, Johnsen, junior Zach Stallings, senior Justin Janke, and senior Cameron Dean.

“We are not really on anyone’s radar in terms of like team rankings,” Janke said. “I think it has been really nice in a lot of ways because there isn’t that pressure. … We are out here to prove something.”

Hruska said every team has issues, trials and tribulations, and as a senior she has seen it all.

“Something that is huge when competing in this sport is, you don’t do it for you, you do it for your team,” Hruska said.