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Cross Country

Westmont Teams Finish 2nd, 3rd at GSAC Cross Country Finals

Westmont men's cross country team finished second at the GSAC Championships on Saturday at Springview Park in Rocklin and the women's team placed third. Six Warriors brought home All-GSAC honors by finishing in the top 14 – three from the men's team and three from the women's.
In the men's race, The Master's claimed the GSAC Championship by scoring 29 points. Westmont and Biola tied for second with 63 points, but the Warriors won the tie breaker which is determined by the sixth finisher for each team. For the Warriors, that was Michael Conant who finished the 8,000-meter race in 19th place in a time of 25:56 - four places and 12 seconds ahead of Biola's Robbie Gleeson.
"The men ran strong, but we had a couple of lapses that would have given us a clean win over Biola," noted Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. "The team spread was only 37 seconds. We had a couple of people step up and replace a couple of people who didn't run as strongly."
Michael Oldach was the first to cross the finish line for the Warriors, placing seventh in a time of 25:03. Oldach earned All-GSAC honors along with 11th place finisher Blake Fonda (25:16) and Roberto Bazan (25:20).
"Michael challenged for second with a little less than a half mile to go," reported Smelley. "He ran out of gas but he put it all on the line. He's had a struggling two weeks with his legs hurting very badly and we weren't sure he was going to be able to run."
The fourth Warrior runner was Kyle Fredrickson who placed 16th in a time of 25:38. Thomas Hamlin was two seconds behind in 17th place to complete the Warriors' scoring.
"Thomas, who has been struggling up and down, came through," said Smelley. "He held his position and even improved it to help the team earn second."
The women's 5,000-meter race was won by Biola who tallied 26 points. The Master's took second with 45 points and Westmont finished third with 66.
"Everyone had a PR today – both on the season and on the course for those who ran it before," said Smelley of his women's squad. "The women ran a magnificent race – very competitive, very focused - with a 45 second split time."
Emily Williams was the Warriors top runner, taking seventh place with a time of 17:53 to claim All-GSAC honors. Kelly Collins, a 2014 All-American, won her fourth All-GSAC award with am 11th place finish in a time of 18:15. Olivia Wood finished in 14th place to add her name to the All-GSAC team, completing the course in a time of 18:18.
"Kelly was remarkable, from where she was at the top of the year to being the number two runner and with that time was remarkable. She started the year with an injury that she had to do rehab on and was very disappointed that she couldn’t run. Her whole goal this year was just to be able to run with the team and run a race. She ended up having a nice season and helping the team qualify for nationals."
Westmont's Maia Halvorson placed 16th for Westmont in a time of 18:34 while Dominique Delgado finished up the scoring for Westmont with a 19th place finish in a time of 18:38.
Both Warrior teams anticipate receiving an at-large berth to the NAIA National Championship when the field is released on Monday. The championships will be held on Saturday, November 19 at the North Farm Cross Country Park in Elsah, Illinois.

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