SALEM, Ore. -- Sophomore Brianna Carstensen blazed a personal-best 17:44, nearly a minute better than her previous personal best and the second-fastest time in Cougar cross country history, to win the Willamette Invitational college division individual title Saturday morning.
Carstenson averaged a 5:42 mile and in the process led the NAIA's No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific to a third-place show with 160 points, finishing behind the No. 2-ranked Northwest College (49 points) and Chico State (84). Carstenson's previous 5K best was an 18:37 that she recorded at last year's NAIA regional meet. She shattered that former standard by 53 seconds.
Junior Christine Krause was nearly as impressive, finishing eighth in the 319-runner field with an 18:09, the sixth best time in Azusa Pacific cross country history. Krause's time was 30 seconds better than her previous best which was recorded last year as well. Senior Tanisha White followed with another personal best of 18:24 to finish 23rd.
The Cougar men, who continued to be ranked No. 16 in the NAIA, finished seventh in a 40-team field with 284 points. Like his female teammates, All-American Brian Wardell etched his name onto the Cougar all-time leader board with a 24:50 for the 8K run, the 13th fastest in Cougar cross country history. Wardell finished 11th out of 319 runners. Sophomore Tim Ramirez was second among the Cougar contingent with a career-best 25:23, placing 28th as an individual.