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Cougar cross-country readies for the Clash at Colfax Golf Course

Sophomore+Sam+Levora+races+in+the+Stanford+Invitational+held+in+Stanford%2C+Calif.%2C+Sept.+27%2C+2014.
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Cougar cross-country readies for the Clash at Colfax Golf Course

Sophomore Sam Levora races in the Stanford Invitational held in Stanford, Calif., Sept. 27, 2014.

Sophomore Sam Levora races in the Stanford Invitational held in Stanford, Calif., Sept. 27, 2014.

Sophomore Sam Levora races in the Stanford Invitational held in Stanford, Calif., Sept. 27, 2014.

Sophomore Sam Levora races in the Stanford Invitational held in Stanford, Calif., Sept. 27, 2014.

From staff reports

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The Cougar runners will lace up their spikes today as they head to the Colfax Golf Course for the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet to open up the cross-country season.

The smoke from the surrounding wildfires will not keep local teams like Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Whitworth, Lewis-Clark State and Idaho from coming to the meet. There, they will compete and offer a preview of how the golf course will hold up for the Pac-12 Championships at the end of October.

After training all summer and working on high altitude training in Idaho, WSU’s squad is ready to move. The eagerness to race can be attributed to the wealth of freshmen and sophomores on the men’s team. Head Coach Wayne Phipps is confident that despite the Cougar men’s lack of veteran runners, the team has a good chance to have a strong season.

Some of the returning talent that is expected to share their experience with the young crowd are sophomores Sam Levora and Michael Williams, and juniors Jackson Haselnus, Conner Johnsen, Alex Simpson and John Whelan, who is the “senior-most” upperclassman, according to a press release.

Although not sporting the youth of the men’s side, the women’s team also has an impressive show of underclassmen ready to prove themselves equal to that of senior CharLee Linton.

“Every year (Linton has) made significant improvements, and this year is going to be no different,” Phipps said in a press release.

The expectation is for Linton not only to improve herself this season, but to pull the underclassmen along beside her with the help of the other returners on the women’s side. These include sophomores Devon Bortfeld and Emily Dwyer, juniors Alexys Garcia, Ashlie Standow and Morgan Willson, and senior Amanda Henderson.

The men’s 6,000m race begins at 6 p.m. and the women’s 4,000m race begins at 6:30 p.m. The DI schools will compete in dual meet team scoring. Team and individual results will be available at wsucougars.com after the races. 

Reporting by Casie Moe

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Cougar cross-country readies for the Clash at Colfax Golf Course