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Cross Country: Westmont Squads Take Fifth in GSAC Championships

Nathan Kemp leads the men while Lisa Griego's 14th-place finish should qualify her for NAIA championship.

Westmont men’s and women’s cross-country teams both finished in fifth place Saturday in Fresno at the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship.

“Both our teams ran like freshman-sophomore teams,” said head coach Russell Smelley, acknowledging the youthfulness of the squads. “Sean Adams and Kirby Ifland came through well, the veterans that they are. Lisa Griego ran tough at the fastest conference meet we have ever had. She finished in 18:13 in 14th place. Her time would have been a winner in years past. Our women ran better than they did last year and finished a place lower.”

Nathan Kemp was the Warriors’ top finisher in the men’s 8,000-meter race, taking 17th place with a time of 26:14. Jacob Goodin placed 19th with a time of 26:31. Adams (26th place, 27:07) and Ifland (31st place, 27:23) claimed the third and fourth best Westmont finishes. The final point-scorer for the men was Charles Detmer (37th place, 27:49).

Azusa Pacific won the men’s championship with a point total of 45. Fresno Pacific placed second with 71 points and Concordia took third with 82 points.

Griego’s 14th place finish in the women’s 5,000 meters should qualify her to participate in the NAIA National Championships in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 22. The final field of automatic and at-large teams, as well as qualifying individuals will be released by the NAIA on Monday.

Chrissa Trudelle was Westmont’s second finisher, completing the race in 18:51 and in 22nd place. Kate Stuart placed 27th in a time of 19:05 while Caitlyn Corrao finished one place later in a time of 19:09. Westmont’s fifth-place finisher was Christa Juell with a time of 19:36, good enough for 34th place.

Azusa Pacific also claimed the women’s championship with just 23 points. Concordia finished second with 56 points and Biola took third with 66 points. Westmont, ranked No. 20 in the nation, was edged by Point Loma Nazarene for fourth place. Point Loma scored 112 points to Westmont’s 125.

Ron Smith is Westmont’s sports information director.

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