Senior Tim Testa crossed the finish line in 19 minutes, 21 seconds to lead the Pittsburg State University men's cross country team in its second annual Alumni Race Saturday at Countryside Golf Course.

Senior Tim Testa crossed the finish line in 19 minutes, 21 seconds to lead the Pittsburg State University men's cross country team in its second annual Alumni Race Saturday at Countryside Golf Course.

Testa won the six-kilometer race by 21 seconds over second-place finisher Jon Garrett, a former teammate from 2008 and new member of the alumni group.

In all, eight alums participated in the competition:  Garrett, Daniel Craig, Justin Johnson, David Cox, David Schulteis, Matt Seifert, Eric Sornson and Matt Logue.

For the 2009 Gorillas, Jon Sanell (third, 19:47), Charles Janssen (fourth, 19:51) and Matt Haffner (19:59) rounded out the top five finishers.

PSU head coach Russ Jewett labeled the meet "a fairly solid effort overall."

"I was a little disappointed with the middle part of our race -- quite a few guys let themselves get isolated sooner than they should have," Jewett said. "Testa has a good base of fitness, and he raced well -- led from start to finish.  Jon Sanell had a very good race -- he's way ahead of where he was last year at this time. And I thought Charles Janssen had a strong race as well.

"It was great to see those alumni come back and mix it up with the current team," Jewett added. "Some of them are in great shape.  It’s good for our athletes to see some of the men and women that sort of paved the way for them."

Newcomers lead women
Junior transfer Jennifer Butler crossed the finish line in 15 minutes, 24 seconds in her Pittsburg State University debut, leading the Gorillas women's cross country team in its second annual Alumni Race Saturday at Countryside Golf Course.

Butler won the four-kilometer race by 13 seconds over second-place finisher Erin Beck, who finished the race in 15:37.

In all, four alums participated in the competition:  Kyle Lallemand, Amy VanGundy, Lucinda Fortney and Darbi Stancell.

For the 2009 Gorillas, Melissa Peden (15:45), Caitlin Laskowski (15:47) and Amanda Callaway (15:50) rounded out the top five finishers.

"Our new kids performed pretty well today," Jewett said. "Jennifer Butler ran a very solid race up front from the start. Erin Beck made up a lot of ground the last mile and was a pleasant surprise to me finishing as our No. 2. Melissa Peden competed for us in track last spring, but was not on the cross country team last fall. It was good to see her right up in the thick of things today. She had a very good race as well.

"We would have looked pretty mediocre if we were just counting on returners. That's not necessarily where we want to be right now, so our upperclass athletes need to step things up in the next few weeks if we are going to have much success this year.

"We didn't race Brittney Graff due to an ankle injury she suffered this past week. Hopefully she will be okay in a week or so. We really need her healthy."