VANCOUVER, Wash. – Brian Rakestraw (SR, Woodinville HS) overcame a challenging start to secure his best finish yet at the NAIA Cross Country Championships today at Fort Vancouver.
Rakestraw placed 81st in a time of 26:24 on the muddy 8k course and was the 12th Cascade Conference finisher in the race. 250 competitors finished the race.
The course funneled the large field of runners into a tight, right turn about 300 meters into the race. At that point Rakestraw found himself farther back in the pack than he had hoped to be.
“It wasn’t a good start for me” reflected Rakestraw. “It was nearly two miles before I could move through the field”.
“Brian must have passed close to 80 runners in the last three miles” noted his coach Craig Dickson.
“The course was muddy and has a lot of tight turns, making it tough for him to work through the crowd. Brian is a gutsy runner. He was moving up through the field when a lot of guys were slowing”.
Rakestraw completed his final season as a Geoduck Harrier with three-time All-Conference honors, first place on the All-Time Geoduck 8k list and was the teams number one runner all four years at ESC.
This spring will be Rakestraw’s final Track and Field season before he graduates. He’s focused on qualifying for, and competing in the the NAIA Track and Field Championships in both the 10k and marathon events.
Rakestraw competed in the 10k event at the nationals in 2008 but missed the ’09 season to study abroad. He’s met the qualifying standard twice in the marathon.
Additionally, Geoducks Alex Combs-Bachmann (JR, Dayton, OH) and Jamie Willis (JR, Skamania, WA) were honored at Friday Night’s Scholar Athlete Awards held at the Tiger Wood’s Center on the NIKE headquarters campus. Combs-Bachmann and Willis have excelled in the classroom at ESC and were honored along with 400 plus other student-athletes from NAIA schools.