Platano Finishes Seventh, Velez is 20th, for WU Cross Country Teams at Bear Fete Invitational

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

WILLAMETTE MISSION STATE PARK, ORE. -- Chris Platano led the Willamette University men's cross country team with a seventh place finish (6th among scorers) at the Bear Fete Invitational, hosted by George Fox University on Saturday, Sept. 22. Platano completed the 8-kilometer course in 26:05.10. The Willamette men's team took third place in the team standings.

Maya Velez (So., Oakland, CA/Skyline HS) was Willamette's top finisher in the women's 6-kilometer race. Velez recorded a time of 24:01.80 and placed 20th overall, 16th among scorers. WU was sixth in the women's team standings.

Joining Platano in the top twenty finishers for Willamette were Alex Jimenez (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS), Nathan Smith (Fr., Colorado Springs, CO/UAir Academy High School) and Austin Knutson (So., Portland, OR/Grant HS). Jimenez earned ninth place (8th among scorers) with a time of 26:20.20. Smith finished 13th (12th among scorers) after clocking in at 26:38.20, while Knutson placed 18th (16th among scorers) with a time of 26:54.40.

The men's individual champion was Allen Wagner, who ran unattached and concluded the race in 25:26.10. Harrison Wilson of Linfield College was the collegiate leader with a time of 25:46.20. Linfield won the men's team title with a score of 35. George Fox took second with a score of 65 and Willamette was third at 73.

Velez was one of three Bearcats in the top 30 in the women's race. Mara Engle (Jr., Bellingham, WA/Bellingham HS) placed 23rd (19th among scorers) and achieved a time of 24:09.10. Tina Patel (Fr., Bend, OR/Summit HS) finished in 28th place (23rd among scorers). Patel's time was 24:19.30.

Whitman College won the women's team title with a score of 41. The individual champion in the women's race was Amanda Phillips from Lewis & Clark College, who ran the course in 21:46.50.

Willamette competed with partial squads for both the men's and women's teams at the Bear Fete Invitational. The Bearcats will host the Charles Bowles Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Bear Fete Invitational - Results

Sophomore Chris Platano leads the Bearcats at the NWC Preview

Sophomore Chris Platano leads the Bearcats at the NWC Preview