Salem, Ore. – The women and men’s cross country teams finished first and second respectively in the Corban Invitational, which took place for the first time on Corban’s campus Sept. 6 against conference rival Warner Pacific.
The women’s 3K belonged to the Warriors as they placed four runners in the top five. Freshman Lauren Cross and sophomores Courtney Welling and Becca Zanon all finished with top five times. Cross finished fifth overall with a time of 13:11.89, Welling captured fourth by running the 3K in 13:01.72 and Zanon grabbed third with a time of 12:55.96.
But sophomore teammate Amy Renfro finished even quicker.
Renfro gained first place by claiming the course’s fastest time with a 12:35.95. She beat out unattached runner and former teammate Ali Ghavami by just over three seconds.
“I felt like it was a good race,” Renfro said. “I had Ali Ghavami pushing me the whole time.”
Head Coach Norm Berney was pleased with the team’s effort.
“For a first race out under these kind of conditions, I think we did real well since we are really young,” Berney said. “We don’t have a junior or senior but they still did very well and stayed under control and that was our goal, to keep a controlled race, even more so than winning.”
Being just a couple of seconds too slow kept the men’s team from making it a Corban sweep at the home meet. The Warner Pacific Knights’ top seven runners scored a 1:31:51.37 time, while the seven fastest Warriors finished overall with a 1:32:17.94 time.
However, sophomore Caleb Goins highlighted the day with a mad dash for first place in the 5K.
Sprinting elbow-to-elbow with Warner Pacific’s Eric Lagerstrom and unattached runner Tahir Chakisso, Goins managed to clinch the lead right before crossing the finish line.
“It was like one of those last ditch efforts,” Goins said. “It’s like ‘why not’ and just throw back your head and run hard.”
Goins didn’t lead the race until a lead pack of Warner Pacific runners mistakenly went off the course and began running into the wrong direction. Seeing their error, Goins took advantage and became the race’s new frontrunner.
“I can’t say I was overly upset when they did that,” he said.
However, his lead was short lived, for the Warner Pacific runners quickly caught back up and even stayed ahead of him until the final stretch.
Goins finished with a time of 17:43.65, just 1.05 seconds ahead of Lagerstrom.
Also contributing to the team were freshmen Jacob Bowdoin, Adrian Taylor and junior Ben Search. Bowdoin, Taylor and Search all finished in the meet’s top ten with times of 18:15.82 (Bowdoin), 18:32.60 (Taylor) and 18:41.09 (Search).
The Corban Invite succeeded in Berney’s eyes.
“The inaugural event [on-campus race] was just incredible and all the support we got from the school, the faculty, and the administration just made us feel real good about it,” Berney said.
Kicking off the event before the official races was a 3K race/walk that was open to all students, faculty and staff. Corban student Joe Summers finished first with Nathan Moller and Vince Rediger coming in second and third.
On Sept. 12 the cross country teams will be at the Lewis and Clark Invitational in Estacada beginning at 11 a.m.