NACOGDOCHES – Payten Vidourek led the Northwestern State cross country team with a third-place finish Friday at the Stephen F. Austin Opener, NSU’s first competition since 2019.
Vidourek’s 16:58.90 in the men’s 5K bested all but two Lumberjacks in the dual meet.
SFA’s Titus Kiplagat and Maxwell Murphy finished just a tenth of a second apart as Kiplagat won with a 16:34.30. The Lumberjacks won the team competition with 19 points compared to NSU’s 40.
Freshman Blake Glorioso was the only other Demon to beat any SFA runners as his sixth-place effort (18:03.20) topped three Lumberjacks.
First-year freshman Beau Melancon (ninth, 18:21.30), second-year freshman Xavier Wilson (10th, 18:39.70) and sophomore Ebenezer Aggrey (12th, 24:25.60) also competed in the opening meet.
On the women’s side, sophomore Olivia Sipes posted a team-best 12:11.50 to place 10th as SFA took the top nine positions in the two-mile race. Sipes is the only Lady Demon who has competed in a cross country race at NSU before Friday, running as a freshman in 2019.
Diana Granados (12:56.80) and Erin Wilson (13:41.60) were the next two finishers in their first collegiate cross country meets.
Jazz Rasouliyan (13th, 13:55.60), Leah Thompson (14th, 14:17.10) and Janiel Moore (15th, 16:55.80) all competed in their first NSU cross country meets.
NSU heads to Louisiana Tech for the Mook 4 Invitational on Sept. 18.