Vail Valley’s Grant sets Fort Lews XC record
Vail, CO Colorado
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Fort Lewis College cross country team’s bus broke down in Flagstaff, Ariz., but the Skyhawks’ legs worked just fine once they got to their meet in Riverside, Calif.
Kenzie Grant, a sophomore from Battle Mountain Class of 2007, ran an Fort Lewis record time of 17 minutes, 54.5 seconds, becoming the first female Skyhawk ever to break 18 minutes in the 5 kilometers.
Grant’s time was good enough for 40th in a field of 200-plus runners, one of two heats with 200-plus runners.
“She really showed her character,” Fort Lewis coach Ken Flint said.
And the record setting performance all came within the context of the road trip from hell.
When the team bus broke down in Flagstaff, Flint said the Fort Lewis athletic department rallied a charter for the Skyhawks’ harriers. They didn’t reach their West Coast destination until 3 a.m., and Flint said he felt a little guilty rousing the troops just a few hours later.
“It was worth the trek out,” Fort Lewis College cross country coach Ken Flint said Saturday from Riverside, Calif., home of the UC-Riverside Invitational.
“The kids responded well. They really wanted to compete at this race.”
The men set a record, too.
One through five, the Skyhawks’ average time of 26:07 was the fastest for an 8-kilometer in school history.
“It was a fast course – dirt course, through orange groves, sea level,” Flint said.
Shreeve isn’t the only local competitor for the SkyHawks. Battle Mountain alumna (2006) Whitney Allard and Eagle Valey Class of 2006’s Ben Rogers are also run for the Skyhawks.
The Division II Fort Lewis women finished 11th out of 30 teams, beating a pair of Division I programs in UC-Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.
The Skyhawks men took 18th out of 27 schools, also beating a pair of DIs in San Jose State and UNLV.
Fort Lewis will have three weeks of training sans meets until its lone home meet of the season, the Tom Strandt Memorial Run on Oct. 10.