Already considered favorites to be crowned Cascade Conference champions, the Southern Oregon menâ€™s cross country team duly delivered as they were crowned 2010 Cascade Conference champions this past weekend.
The Southern Oregon women also capped an impressive season with yet another impressive finish as they came in second place at the championships.
For the men, it is the third straight year they have claimed the title as they easily outdistanced their opponents finishing with 24 points.Â Eastern Oregon came in second with 57 points followed by College of Idaho with 58.
â€œThe guys really battled today,â€ SOU head coach Brent Ericksen said. â€œThey were hurting. This is the toughest course we will see all year and running at 4,500 feet elevation makes it really difficult.â€
Sophomore Zach Elliott was the leading runner for the Raiders as he finished second overall with a time of 25:33.Â Elliott was followed by teammate David Laney who finished third while battling an illness.
James Johnstone, Ryan Sorenson, Ryan Ghelfi and Dennis McCaffrey all finished in the top 15 for the Raiders and, along with Elliott and Laney, earned All-Conference honors.
For the women, three runners placed on the All-Conference team and Anya Martinez was the top finisher coming in at seventh overall with a time of 19:40.Â Kristen Juveland came just behind in eighth with Summer Cano coming in at 10th to make the team.
Laurie Stoutenburg and Senna Frantz also managed top 15 finishes for the Raiders.
â€œThe girls really came together well and again ran a really tough course,â€ Ericksen said. â€œFinishing second should be enough to get us in the National Championships.â€
The menâ€™s cross country has automatically booked themselves a spot in the NAIA National Championships while the women will be hoping their performance at the Cascade Conference championships will be enough to book them a place as well.
The NAIA National Championships will be held on November 20.