The nationally ranked Simon Fraser University men’s cross country team opened the season by winning the Central Washington Invitational last week, while the women’s team placed third at Apple Ridge Run.
Senior Carlos Vargas finished second overall while junior Aaron Ahl was third as both top runners for SFU challenged for the early season win. Nick Colyn of Trinity Western won the six-kilometre race in 18:39.41 while Vargas was timed in 19:06.74 and Ahl ran 19:14.05. Last year Vargas placed 17th at the West Regional while Ahl was 21st.
Rounding out SFU’s five scoring runners were Ephram Mekennon in 19:30.09 (7), Jordan Wilson in 19:30.91 (8) and Teagan Harris in 19:32.27 (9).
In the USTFCCCA Division II Preseason Coaches Poll Simon Fraser opened the season ranked No. 13.
On the women’s side, junior Olivia Willett took fifth place, running the four-kilometre race in 15:25.63, leading the USTFCCCA No. 8 ranked SFU women’s team to third place in the team standings. Joanne Williams of TWU won the event in 14:51.63. Last year Willett placed fourth at the West Regional before earning All-American honors with a 36th-place NCAA Championships finish.
Rounding out SFU’s five scoring runners were Mairin Shields-Brown in 15:32.45 (10), Emily Chilton in 15:34.30 (11), Calli Charlton running 15:36.73 (12) and Grace Chalk in 15:44.25 (16).