WSU cross country to open the season on the West Side


Men’s and women’s cross country team ready for their season opening meet in Seattle.

From staff reports

Men’s cross-country

The WSU men’s cross-country team will make the trek west to Seattle this weekend to open its season at the 25th annual Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park.

The 8,000-meter race will test the runner’s versatility, as the course will run through grass, dirt, light gravel and bark chips.

Endurance and the ability to adapt to a variety of different surfaces will be key for the Cougars at this race.

WSU is coached by Wayne Phipps, who is beginning his third season as the head coach of the WSU cross-country program.

Phipps, with the help of Assistant Coach Allix Potratz-Lee, hopes to continue and improve upon last season’s success where the team finished sixth at the Pac-12 Championships, fourth at the NCAA West Regionals and competed in the NCAA championships.

Led by senior John Whelan and junior Michael Williams, the Cougars sit just outside the top-30 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings.

The team received 32 votes in the poll which was the most of any unranked team. WSU is ranked sixth in the West Region for week one of the season.

Whelan hopes to continue his success coming off a strong season where he placed second overall at the NCAA West Regionals. Williams was right behind him, finishing third overall.

The performance of these two upperclassmen as well as those of key returning scorers sophomores and Jake Finney and Chandler Teigen and junior Sam Levora will be crucial to the team’s success this fall.

The race starts at 11:35 a.m. and results can be found at post-race.


Women’s cross-country

The women’s cross country team will also be heading to Seattle this weekend to compete in the Sundodger Invitational.

The women’s race is 6,000 meters long and the course extends through the same array of surfaces as the men’s race.

Led by junior Devon Bortfeld and senior Morgan Willson, the team is currently unranked nationally and is ranked 12th in the West Region.

Bortfeld is coming off a solid sophomore year in which she finished with the second-fastest time on the team at the Pac 12 Championships and 49th overall.

Wilson finished third on the team at last season’s Pac 12 Championships and 54th overall.

The team is young with seven freshmen joining the squad this year, led by Morgan Lash. Lash placed third at the WSU Alumni Women’s 4k and looks to have a bright future on the team.

Freshman Desi Stinger finished right behind her in fourth and freshman Marie Gaudin took seventh.

The women’s team races first at 11 a.m. and results can be found at post-race.

Reporting by Jake Archambeau