Zag men take first, women second at Inland Empire Classic

LEWISTON, Idaho — Even with its lead runners absent after racing in the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, Gonzaga men's and women's cross country showed their depth at Lewis-Clark State's course Saturday morning, with Brittney Hansen taking sixth overall in the women's race and Jaxon Mackie taking second overall for the men to fuel second- and first-place team finishes, respectively.

Mackie's 24:24 time led a 2-6-7-9-11 finish for GU to score 36 points in beating 16 teams in the field, six points ahead of second-place Idaho (42). Following him were Ben Hogan (24:36), Jackson Lyne (24:37), Ben Brown (24:51) and Cooper Laird (24:54).

"Really proud of all our runners," said GU men's coach Pat Tyson. "They ran tough and gritty on a warm and dusty late morning over the Lewis & Clark Cross Country trails. Mackie and Hogan will likely join our Nuttycombe eight in competing at the West Coast Conference Championships."

On the women's side, Hansen led eight Bulldogs in the top 50 with her 17:39 time, followed by Alyssa Bienfang (13th, 18:04), Paxton DePoe (25th, 18:30), Kate Donaldson (28th, 18:32), Emily Phelps (29th, 18:33), Megan Hill (35th, 18:43) and Grace Fahrney (36th, 18:45). Idaho, which placed six runners in the top ten, took home the team women's title, but the GU women knocked off 12 other teams in taking second.

"A really good morning for the ladies here today," said women's head coach Jake Stewart. " Brittney Hansen ran a great race, significantly faster on this course than she was two years ago. Really happy with the continuing improvement Alyssa Bienfang's making. And then the trio of Kate Donaldson, Paxton DePoe, and Emily Phelps really had solid days."

Up Next

The Zags' attention now turns to the WCC Championships in Concord, Calif. on Oct. 29. Check GoZags.com for up-to-date race day information, results, recaps and more coverage.

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