By Carrie Fox
A group of Bearcats traveled this weekend to compete at the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The tournament featuring primarily NCAA Division III athletes, included 26 teams and 351 runners in the men’s 8-kilometer race, and a women’s 6-kilometer race involving 24 teams and 353 runners. Willamette did not field a complete women’s team.
The men’s cross country team took fourth place, led by junior Keith Carlson in fifth place and sophomore Michael Montague in eighth place, and senior Hannah Swanson took second place in the women’s race. Swanson, who finished the course in 22:10.29, trailed only the first place finisher in the women’s race who completed the course in 22:10.29.
Swanson was one of four Willamette runners who competed in the women’s race and placed in the top 40. Sophomore Kyla Shade was 28th overall with a time of 24:02.39. Junior Hazel Carr placed 32nd with a time of 24:09.16, and junior Emily Evans reached the finish line in 37th place at 24:17.89.
In the men’s 8-kilometer race, fourth place and fifth place were separated by less than one second. Carlson was fifth at 25:39.9 coming in just .7 seconds about the fourth place finisher. Montague finished in eighth place with a time of 25:54.2.
In addition to Carlson and Montague, other runners for the men’s team included sophomore Ross Enlow, junior Ricardo Castillo-Flores, sophomore Kellen Bulger and freshman Max Frankel. Enlow placed 28th in 26:38.5, while Castillo-Flores was 48th at 26:58.2, and Bulger was 65th at 27:11.09. Frankel placed 109th in 28:24.1. Willamette achieved a score of 134 to come in fourth place overall.
“I thought there was some really good competition at the meet,” Montague said.
“In practice we’ve been talking about running smart races and planning when we were going to make moves. Individually and as a team, we executed that well.”
Four Willamette University cross country runners competed at the Lewis & Clark Invitational this weekend at McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon. The Bearcats did not enter a complete men’s or women’s team.
Sophomore Maggie Chapin placed 60th out of 128 runners in the women’s 6-kilometer race with a time of 24:23.1, and freshman Risa Shutz who also participated in the race earned a time of 25:34.9. In the men’s race, junior Robbie Melhorn finished 52nd out of 116 runners. His time on the 8-kilometer course was 27:33.7. Senior Jack Kobylka took 64th place with a time of 27:43.7.
Carleton College (Minn.) won the women’s team title with a score of 38 (3-4-6-10-15). Whitworth University placed second at 64 and Linfield College was third at 106. The men’s team championship went to Southern Oregon University with a score of 30 (3-4-5-8-10). Carleton grabbed second place at 38, while Lewis & Clark College finished third at 115, edging out Pacific Lutheran University, which placed fourth at 117.
“We have a lot of talent on the team but we also work hard and I think it shows. We have a target on our back as we have won the conference meet a few years in a row. It’s just motivation for us to work even harder. I’m looking forward to traveling with the team to the rest of our meets and competing against some really good teams,” Montague said.
The Bearcats will compete at the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla, Washington. The meet is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. (PDT).