The skies cleared and the sun shone bright as runners competed in the Big Sky Conference Cross-country Championship Friday at the UI Golf Course.
The men’s and women’s teams took fourth overall.
Redshirt freshman Kara Story was the Idaho women’s top finisher in ninth place with a time of 17:59. Her performance earned her the 2016 Big Sky Freshman of the Year Award.
Idaho cross-country coach Travis Floeck said he was pleased with Story’s performance.
“She got here at Idaho with an injury and really last year was about getting her confidence up,” Floeck said. “And to walk through the door and compete the way she did in this race, I was incredibly proud of her. She has an incredibly bright future ahead.”
Story was followed by redshirt sophomore Sierra Speiker in 21st in 18:20. Just seconds behind her was senior Halie Raudenbush in 24th. Rounding out the women’s scorers were freshman Maizy Brewer in 27th and sophomore Andrea Condie in 34th with a time of 18:43.
Redshirt junior Tim Delcourt led the men’s team for the first time in the season, with a 19th place finish and a time of 25:37. Freshman Grayson Ollar took 22nd with a time of 25:41. Senior Nathan Stark grabbed 30th with a time of 26:00. Finishing out for the Vandals scorers were redshirt freshman Dwain Stucker in 41st and senior Christopher Black in 62nd.
The Northern Arizona men’s and women’s teams finished first. The women took the top spot with 48 points. The men grabbed the top spot with a perfect 15 and the first six individual spots
Floeck said there is room for improvement going forward.
“We are a really young team and I thought we ran great,” Floeck said. “Unfortunately, Drew Shultz wasn’t able to finish the race, one of our top runners, that was a big piece for the team to overcome but to get fourth place despite that happening, I was really happy with it and we are going to keep moving forward.”
The Vandals race in the NCAA West Region Championships Nov. 11 in Sacramento, California.
Meredith Spelbring can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org