MISSOULA, Mont. – Kayla Leland was the fourth runner across the finish line overall and the first non-Division I placer, leading the Whitworth University women past Lewis-Clark State at the season-opening Clash of the Inland Northwest cross country meet on Friday evening.
The Pirate women defeated the Warriors 21-40, while the LCSC men defeated the Bucs 18-43.
Leland finished the four-kilometer women's race in 14:29.23, over 30 seconds ahead of Ariel Jensen of LCSC, the runner-up in the non-Division I competition. Kristal Roberts followed for Whitworth in 15:20.74 in her first collegiate race. Thais Pedro-Trujillo was next in 15:23.57 and Bailey Scott finished sixth among non-DI runners in 15:34.45. Marissa Mount rounded out the Pirate scoring with a seventh place finish (16:16.10).
The only women's runners in the entire field to cross ahead of Leland were Andrea Condie of Idaho (14:11.60), Emily Pitts of Montana (14:20.26) and Maryn Lowry of Montana (14:20.31). Leland defeated all of the competitors from Gonzaga and Eastern Washington.
Come Nzibarega was the top finisher for the Whitworth men, crossing third in the non-DI race with a time of 19:28.47 over six kilometers. LCSC's Nolan Ryan was the top non-DI runner in 18:45.05.
Grant Bingham finished seventh for the Pirates in 19:55.99. Matthew Christianson (20:18.66) was 10th, Daniel Harper (21:00.29) took 11th and Jacob Clark (21:03.07) finished 12th to round out the Pirate scorers.
The Pirates will return to action on September 16th at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, Washington.