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Cross Country gets season rolling with first meets

The Portland State men’s and women’s Cross Country squads ran in their first competition this week. Top competitors from the Pac-10 conference and other Division I schools were in attendance.

The women’s team did not participate earlier this week in the Portland Scoring Meet as scheduled, but it did run at the Sundodger Invitational on Saturday. The squad recorded a score of 345 points, placing 10th as a team in the meet. The top runner for PSU was freshman Anne Kawasaki (Honolulu, Hawaii). Kawasaki placed 34th, finishing with a time of 18:26, 2:02 behind the first place finisher of the meet from the University of Washington, Sabrina Monro.

“Anne had a very strong showing this weekend, and this shows to be a great sign for things to come in the future for Anne,” assistant coach Mike Hickey said.

Three other runners competed for PSU, Megan Lucas, Ashley Tendick, and Amelia Mayer- none of whom were able to place in the top 50.

The men’s top three runners all finished within one second of each other at the Portland Meet. Freshman Paul Loprinzi (Sandy, Ore.) finished with a time of 19:52 and 12th overall and first out for the Vikings’ team. Chris Hollis followed with a time of 19:53 to grab 13th place, and Kyle Boyd finished with a time of 19:54 to come in 14th. The Vikings’ kept a steady workout pace through the meet in order to plan ahead for the Sundodger Meet. This first meet was more a practice run for the Vikings’ team, rather than a real competition.

In Washington on Saturday, the men’s team placed seventh overall out of eight teams. Boyd, Hollis, and Loprinzi once again finished as the top three runners for PSU. Boyd turned in a time of 26:14, placing 52nd. Hollis placed 56th, with a time of 26:21 and Loprinzi placed 60th with a time of 26:35. The meet was filled with all kinds of talent. The pack of runners was solid, and showed to be a good challenge for the men’s cross country team.

“I was very impressed on our men’s side with the freshmen. They raced well and hung in with a lot of Division I talent,” Hickey added. The teams will now prepare for the Willamette Invitational this weekend in Salem, Ore. This meet will showcase more of the top runners around the Big Sky conference.