The Vikings broke expectations during the Big Sky Conference championship meet on Oct. 27 at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, Calif.
Both the men’s and women’s teams exceeded their preseason rankings, and senior runners Sarah Medved and Kaila Gibson both came away with top 10 individual finishes, the first pair to do so in the history of Portland State’s cross country program.
The Vikings returned on Nov. 9 to Haggin Oaks, this time for the NCAA West Regional race, and made it quite clear they weren’t done shattering expectations—or records. On the men’s side, freshman runners Max Norman and Drew Seidel both finished within the Top 100 as individuals, the first time two PSU runners on the men’s team have done so at the NCAA West Regionals since 2003.
On the women’s team, Medved and Gibson turned in a historic performance. The standout senior runners finished 39th and 40th, respectively, with finishing times separated by three-tenths of a second. Their finishing times shattered PSU’s previous record for the 6k by 10 seconds, a record not beaten since 2013. They were also the first pair of runners for the women’s cross country team to finish in the top 50 at Regionals—let alone the top 40—since the beginning of PSU’s Cross Country program.
All in all, the NCAA West Regionals marked an exemplary end for the dynamic duo of Kaila Gibson and Sarah Medved. Both runners will finish their collegiate careers with top three all-time PSU records in the 4k, 5k and 6k races.
This year’s NCAA West Regionals also seemed to harken a promising new era of cross country dominance on the men’s side, as freshman runners Max Norman and Drew Seidel and the rest team will seek to continue improving in the coming years.