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Lutes Host PLU Invitational This Saturday

Kolter Grigsby (front) and graduate Barrett Bollen (2011 file photo)

LUTES AT HOME THIS SATURDAY: Pacific Lutheran will host a Canadian college team and two Washington community colleges this Saturday at the PLU Cross Country Invitational. The men's 8000-meter race starts at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the women's 6000.

COURSE LOCATION THE SAME, COURSE DIFFERENT: The PLU Invitational will be held on what once was University Golf Course on the PLU campus. The golf course was closed last October and now a mowed running paths through tall grass serves as the trail over which the runners will compete.

PLEASE WELCOME: Joining the PLU men's and women's teams will be University of British Columbia-Okanagan, a four-year school, and also Green River CC and Olympic CC. A total of 66 runners in the men's and women's division are registered for Saturday's event.

WHY NOT THE CHARLES BOWLES (WILLAMETTE) INVITATIONAL?: The Lutes would normally be competing, along with other Northwest Conference schools, at the Charles Bowles Invitational this Saturday because of scheduling issues. The PLU Invitational is generally held on Pacific Lutheran's Homecoming Weekend, and that activity has been scheduled earlier than normal this fall. Thus, the Lutes will not compete at the 38th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational hosted by Willamette University.

SUNDODGER RESULTS: PLU placed 16th in the women's division and 17th in the men's standings at the Sundodger Invitational cross country meet held Sept. 15 at Lincoln Park in Seattle. Lewis & Clark, led by race winner Emily Thomas, won the women's division with a total of 62 points, and the Lutes were well back with 426 points in the 19-team event. Amanda Wilson ran at the front for the first time this season for the Lutes, placing 67th overall with a time of 24:02.48 over the 6000-meter course. Amanda Seely was 69th in 24:05.93, followed by Lauren Knebel, 80th in 24:12.46. Rounding out the PLU performers were Madison Guscott, 176th overall in 26:11.92, Jennifer Arbaugh, 181st in 26:24.10, Alyssa Rowland, 183rd in 26:27.78, Chiara Rose-Witt, 189th in 26:43.91, Karissa Jackson, 194th in 27:07.25, and Tara Glynn, 213th in 32:24.77. British Columbia was the men's team champion with 48 points, while PLU ended up with 419 in the 22-team competition. Alan DenAdel led the PLU men and was among the top race finishers, ending up 15th overall in a time of 25:30.13 over 8000 meters. Kolter Grigsby finished 54th overall in 26:17.26, but there was a big dropoff after that for the Lutes. Jordan Steves was 145th in 27:39.12, followed by Kyle Smith, 177th in 28:28.62, and Eric Herde, 198th in 29:02.59. Other PLU runners were Joseph Mungai, 214th in 30:15.77, Matt Beal, 216th in 30:24.93, and Andrew Jensen, 222nd in 31:39.00.

SUNDODGER NOTES: Head coach Heather Kreier noted that every PLU runner, both female and male, ran 2012 season PRs at the Sundodger meet. The Sundodger results were compared to one meet - the season-opening Whitman Invitational, run in hot conditions on Sept. 1 in Walla Walla. A total of six Pacific Lutheran competitors who ran at this year's Sundodger also competed for the Lutes at the 2011 Sundodger, and two of those improved on the time they ran last year. Kolter Grigsby ran nearly 20 seconds faster and Eric Herde ran a whopping 40 seconds faster. "We have a huge hole after our first two athletes," Coach Kreier said of the men's team. "We need more from Jordan, Kyle and Eric. I have explained we have (several) weeks of hard work to get it done." Regarding the women's team, Kreier said, "We have lots of hard work the next (several) weeks to get the number four through six runners closer to top three, but we have a good start." Kreier added that Lauren Knebel had an exceptional race, moving past many runners who passed her when she stopped to tie a loose shoelace. "After mile one she had regained her position. I am so proud that she stayed accountable to her teammates and focused on the task before her," Kreier said. "She didn't sweat the small stuff and took care of business."

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