Wildcats quest to viking territory

Central cross country working on their paces a week before the WWU invitational meet.

Central cross country working on their paces a week before the WWU invitational meet.

John Whittlesey/Observer

John Whittlesey/Observer

Central cross country working on their paces a week before the WWU invitational meet.

Jon Olsen-Koziol and Zac Hereth

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Central’s cross-country team is preparing for the Western Washington University Invitational; an important GNAC meet on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Every GNAC team will be competing at the meet, with the exceptions of Montana State University Billings and Concordia University.

Head coach Kevin Adkisson said this will be a chance to gauge the team before they compete in the conference championship, which will be held at the same location two weeks later.

The team had the benefit of a bye week heading into the event.

According to Adkisson, the off-week has allowed the runners to heal up and head into the next race rested and focused.

Jonathan Lafferty, freshman on the men’s team, is preparing to run the first ten-kilometer race of his collegiate career.

“It’s a see-where-you’re-at type of year. I am just trying to get a 10k under my belt,” Lafferty said. “I don’t really know what to expect”.

Lafferty finished first amongst the Wildcat men with a time of 25:57.1 at the Stanford Invitational. The time earned him 110th overall at the meet.

Kaitlyn McKinney had the top time on the women’s side at the St. Martin’s Invitational on Sept. 26. Her time of 20:25.41 placed her in 16th place.

“I’m pushing the workouts more,” McKinney said. “Ideally, I want to end tenth on our team and make it to conference.”

Kaitlyn finished 129th overall in the 2014 Western Washington University Invitational.

In last year’s meet, women took sixth and men took ninth.

Senior Dani Eggleston finished a team best, 11th place, last year. Senior Ryan Thompson had Central’s best returning finish on the men’s side, finishing 83rd.

The women’s team will return three of their top four runners from the event last year, while the men will only return one of their top four.

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Wildcats quest to viking territory