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Three Warriors Earn All-CCC Honors as Both LC State Cross Country Teams Place Third at Conference Meet

11/3/2023 | Callie Stevens | Sports Information Intern
CALDWELL, Idaho – Warrior Cross Country did what it had to do to better its chances of competing at nationals with strong races on Friday. Both the No. 18 men and No. 19 women placed third in their respective meets at the 2023 Cascade Conference Cross Country Championships, presented by U.S. Bank. LC State had three runners earn All-Cascade Conference honors by finishing in the top 15.

 

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“We had a great day today,” Head Coach Mike Collins said. “We are in probably one of the two premier conferences in the country when it comes to cross country and to finish in the top three for both men and women is an outstanding effort and a great demonstration of teamwork and commitment to achieving our goal which is to qualify for the national championships, and the teams definitely took care of business today.”

 

Sophomore Kobe Wessels put together the best race of his career to turn in the highest finish of any Warrior at seventh on the men’s side. Brooklyn Shell and Geraldin Correa placed in the top 11 in the women’s race.

 

With the team finishes, LC State bettered its odds of earning a berth into the 2023 NAIA Cross Country National Championships. The final rankings will be released on Nov. 6.

THE WOMEN

The LC women had two top-15 finishes with Shell and Correa highlighting the Warriors. The women placed third overall, helping solidify a potential berth to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Vancouver. Shell led the team in ninth (22:27.6) and Correa ran a personal-best time of 22:27.7 to place 11th.

 

“Outstanding day for two of our seniors as they go out being all-conference in both Geraldin and Brooklyn, so excited for them as well,” Collins added.

 

The group started off strong in the first two kilometers, led by Chloe Overberg, with Shell and Correa not far behind. The trio maintained good pace to remain in the top 20 throughout the race. Overberg and Grace Tiegs narrowly missed all-conference honors (top 15), with Overberg in 16th (22:41.7) and Tiegs with a big PR of 23:09.4 to place 17th.

 

Aubree Williams rounded the top five for the Warriors with a personal-best time of 23:36.0 to place 22nd. Abigail Gorton also ran a career-best (23:45.2) to finish 25th overall, and Grace Dixon was 32nd (24:06.6). Abigail Peightal ran a PR in her last conference meet (24:17.0) to take 36th, Grace McCormick was 57th (27:43.3) and Kristen Thomas rounded out the group in 64th (30:01.4).

 

“In the women’s race I felt our first three just really tied together in the lead group and just would not let go,” Collins explained. “An amazing day from Grace Tiegs, as well as Aubrey Williams. We continue to get stronger and stronger to help close that door.”

 

No. 1 College of Idaho won the race with five runners in the top 10. No. 7 Southern Oregon was second with the Warrior women behind in third.

 

“At one point in the race we were tied with Southern Oregon so I’m really encouraged by that as we head into the national championships,” Collins said. “If we can continue to improve, we are going to surprise a few people and maybe even ourselves.”

THE MEN

The Warrior men ran one of their best races of the season to finish in a tie for third in the field of ranked opponents. Wessels led the pack in seventh with a personal-best time of 24:56.3, besting his previous personal-best by almost a minute.

 

“On the men’s side it was a definite dog fight. I thought the men really stepped up today as a team, and as with all teams we are made up of individuals so we had some individuals that really stood out today to do what they had to do to help the team succeed,” Collins explained. “The biggest of these was definitely Kobe with an outstanding day today. He ran a PR three weeks ago in our home meet by about 40 seconds, and then took a whole minute off today to lead the team for the first time in his career.”

 

Carter Gordon was just off all-conference honors with a 17th-place mark (25:21.8) and Brycen Brown was 19th overall (25:24.2). Rounding out the top five for LC State were Brycen Kempton in 30th (25:58.0) and Griffen Parsells in 31st (26:01.9).

 

Conner May placed 33rd (26:09.6) and Clay Shumaker finished 35th (26:12.9). Cooper Carlson rounded out the top 40 with a time of 26:18.0, Connor Alexander placed 45th (26:32.0) and freshman Keith Uitdewilligen was 51st overall with a time of 26:59.4.

 

No. 6 Eastern Oregon took the men’s title in an upset over No. 3 College of Idaho who finished second. LC State tied with No. 14 Corban for third.

 

“I could not be happier because the team definitely needed that and we saw some other guys really step up as well,” Collins said. “ We kept our gaps down and it was nice to know that even with the same score as Corban we actually beat them because of the tiebreaker system that we use which matches our first runner to their first runner, second to second, down through five, and it just shows our team depth when the fact that our third runner was better than their third, fourth, and fifth, so we broke that tie. It really speaks a lot for this team that it’s not just your top runners, it’s the entire team that shows your success.”

 

UP NEXT

The 2023 NAIA Cross Country National Championships are slated for Nov. 17 in Vancouver, Wash., with both Warrior teams in contention to be in the field. Final rankings will be announced on Nov. 7 with announcement of qualifying teams shortly after.

 

Stay up to date with all things Warrior Athletics at lcwarriors.com and on social media @LCWarriors.

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