The Idaho cross-country team finished the fall season at the NCAA West Regional meet at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento.
The women’s team finished 13th of 35 teams with 405 points.
Gonzaga took 16th, Washington State made 18th, Eastern Washington grabbed 20th and Sacramento State finished 27th.
Tim Cawley, director of track and field and cross-country, said the team made a nice improvement.
“The women were ranked 15th coming in and we always preach to them to try to beat your ranking,” he said in a news release. “They went out and did that and finished 13th. The women finished 17th last year and 21st the year before that.”
Redshirt freshman Kara Story was the women’s top finisher at 51st in 20:43.5. Junior Sierra Speiker took 62nd with a time of 21:00.4.
Senior Halie Raudenbush finished 81st at 21:19.9. Sophomore Andrea Condie grabbed 101st with a time of 21:38.4 and freshman Emily Wesseling took 117th in 21:49.17
“Kara went out and led the team, looked fantastic,” Cawley said. “She ran like she had all year long, with a lot of confidence and poise. Sierra was right there, they led the team the right way. The whole women’s team ran solid races. They ran relaxed and confident, that’s a big reason they had the success they had.”
The men’s team finished 21st overall with 606 points and as the top Big Sky finishers.
“The men ran well,” Cawley said. “We were a little beat up coming into this one, but they went out and ran tough. They finished strong, I’m very proud of all of them. We didn’t bring the full men’s team last year and they came back this year and performed well.”
Freshman Grayson Ollar took 86th with a time of 31:39.5.
“Grayson had an amazing season,” Cawley said. “He was the 10th best freshman today, as a true freshman, that’s incredible. This was his first 10k. He’s really talented and he’s going in the right direction.”
Senior Nathan Stark took 99th in 31:54.8. Senior Tim Delcourt grabbed 107th at 32:05.7. Redshirt freshman Drew Schultz finished 153rd in 32:50.3. Sophomore Austin Fred took 167th at 33:30.1.
The indoor track and field season begins with the Vandal Indoor Invitational Jan. 12-13 in the Kibbie Dome.
Tess Fox can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tesstakesphotos