Throughout the season, Jonathan Peterson and Sarah Sumpter have proved to be two of the top runners on the men’s and women’s squad, respectively.
On Saturday, the two sophomores continued their strong running at the NCAA West Region Championships.
Peterson led the Aggie men by capturing 17th place in the 10K race, clocking in at 31:11.74.
Sumpter paced the women with a 22nd place finish and a time of 21:32.79 in the 6K run.
“[Peterson and Sumpter] did all that I could have asked of them,” said coach Drew Wartenburg. “I told them, ‘You can’t control what anyone else does in terms of the race.’ Both raced very patiently and finished strong.”
For the men’s race overall, Stanford took the top three spots and the team title. In the women’s race, reigning national champion, Washington, captured first.
While the Aggie men and women will not be going to the NCAA Championships as a team, there is still the possibility that Peterson may qualify individually. The final decision is still pending and will be based on the results of other regional races across the country.
Wartenburg was also pleased with the team running of his women’s squad as he claimed the top three finished as high up as was needed and helped move the Aggie women up a spot in their regional standing.
The men’s finish marks the third consecutive year that the team has come in at 11th, something that Wartenburg sees as somewhat of a curse because their goal was to finish in the top ten.
“Once you get to the level where Davis is at it becomes a fight to gain every inch possible,” Wartenburg said.
Looking back on the past season, Wartenburg emphasizes the fact that the Aggies are always looking for ways to move forward and be competitive as a team.
The Aggies are now reflecting on what they have gained and learned from this year of competition in order to make improvements for the future.
“What we talked about was that the two jobs were to find the good in it and the progress in terms of the team [while] also finding places where we can improve,” Wartenburg said.
As a team, the Aggies close out their 2009 campaign. There is still the hope of sending Peterson to the NCAA Championships, but for the rest of the squad now is the time to reflect on the past season and find improvements that could be made for next year.
MADELINE WEEKS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.