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Woodard Finishes Runner-Up at Puget Sound Invitational; Strong Start for PLU Women's Cross Country

Woodard Finishes Runner-Up at Puget Sound Invitational; Strong Start for PLU Women's Cross Country

TACOMA, Wash. - Shailee Woodard finished runner-up, helping the Pacific Lutheran University women's cross country team to a third place finish at the season-opening Puget Sound Invitational on Saturday at Fort Steilacoom.

Woodard toured the 6,000-meter layout in 23 minutes, 33.32 seconds to lead the Lutes, taking second billing to individual champion Shannon Porter of Division II Saint Martin's University. 

Mekenzie Voellger was the second Lute across the line, placing 13th in 26:04.62 while Maddie Smith was 18th in 26:48. Ececia Tobin netted a 21st place showing in 27:02 while Sararose Gallo (27:22) and Samantha Sponenburg (27:33) placed 23rd and 25th respectively to round out the scoring five.

"It was fun to get the season started today at the Puget Sound Invitational," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "It was an ideal morning for cross country and we were fortunate to receive lots of support from family and friends. The race was a great opportunity to get a sense of where our fitness is early in the season. I was excited to see teammates working with each other and encouraging each other over the course. The positive energy within the group is palpable and I know we'll continue to get stronger in the weeks ahead."

The Lutes accumulated 77 points in the team standings, placing third overall. Saint Martin's took the team championship, securing 29 points.

PLU returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17, competing at the University of Washington's Sundodger Invitational.