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Peters cracks 25-minute mark

cross country -- Pacific sophomore Kellen Peters becomes just the second Boxer runner to ever break the prestigious time barrier
by: Jaime Valdez, Kellen Peters posted a career-best time of 24:58 on Saturday.

Kellen Peters became only the second Pacific University runner ever to break 25 minutes for an 8,000-meter race Saturday, finishing under the prestigious barrier on his way to a top 10 finish at the Sundodger Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington.

Peters, who ran a season-best of 25:14 during his freshman campaign, crossed the finish line in a time of 24:58, setting a 16-second personal best and running an average of 5:02 per mile. He finished seventh overall and was the first Division III runner in the men's 8,000-meter open race of 281 competitors.

The race for the Forest Grove native is the first sub-25 minute race in three decades at Pacific. Roger Hansen, the 1976 Northwest Conference cross country champion, is the only other Boxer to have broken the barrier. According to available records, Hansen broke the 25-minute mark twice during his career and set a school record of 24:36.1 at the 1976 NAIA District II Championships.

Peters led a Pacific team that finished 23rd out of 28 teams in the large invitational. The Pacific women fielded three runners and finished incomplete in the team standings.

Shana Shosky improved her season best by 26 seconds over the 6,000-meter distance, finishing 39th in a time of 23:05. Shosky also improved her time by seven seconds over what she ran at last year's Sundodger.

David Kiplagat of Alaska Anchorage won the men's race in a time of 24:38, while Chico State won the team title with a score of 80 points. Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific captured the women's individual title with a time of 21:35, while Simon Fraser captured the team championship with 59 points.

The Pacific men saw all six of its runners post season bests. Casey Nishimura led the pack behind Peters, chopping almost 40 seconds off his season best with a time of 28:36. Tyler Edmondson shaved 12 seconds off his best time with a finish of 28:59. Shawn Leon-Guerrero knocked 11 seconds off his best with a time of 29:21. David Maile was over 30 seconds better on the season with a finish of 30:03 and Mikala Souza also posted a 30-second improvement with a time of 30:45.

On the women's side, Caitlyn Tateishi opened her season with a 159th-place finish with a time of 25:16. Kelsey Owens opened her Pacific career with a 188th-place finish and a time of 25:46.

The Boxers will rest for a week before gearing up for their second large invitational of the season, racing in the Willamette Invitational in Salem on Sept. 30. The next meet will come on Oct. 7 when Pacific travels to Tacoma, Wash., for the Pacific Lutheran Invitational.