Willamette senior Keith Carlson and junior Michael Montague will be going to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships this week due to their impressive finishes in their meet on Saturday, Nov. 10. The cross country team had a race in Walla Walla, Washington for the NCAA Div. III West Regional. It was held at Veterans Memorial Golf Course. On the men’s team, Carlson placed fourth while Montague took fifth in the eight-kilometer race. There were 110 racers competing in the men’s division. The women’s team placed fifth with 166 points, while the men’s team finished in 10th with 231 points. Junior Kyla Shade earned 20th while senior Hazel Carr was right behind Shade, taking 21st. Unfortunately for the rest of the WU cross country runners, their journey ended at this race. There was hope that the women’s team could earn a bid to Nationals but that wasn’t the case.
Pomona-Pitzer University and Claremont-Mudd Scripps both scored 54 points, but Pomona-Pitzer took first place in the men’s event because they had a better scoring order. The University of California Santa Cruz achieved third place with 76 points. The top two teams in any race automatically qualify for the NCAA Div. III Championships. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the women’s title with a team score of 36, while Pomona-Pitzer finished in second place with a team score of 93. Whitman College took third with 153.
The individual winner of the men’s race, Andy Reichling of Pomona-Pitzer, had a time of 24:49.2. Reichling was followed by Benjamin White of Whittier College, who achieved second place at 25:01.2. Mile Christanson from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was third at 25:04.1. Aside from Carlson and Montague, also contributing to the men’s score for WU, was sophomore Cayce Reese who placed 75th with a time of 27:13.5. First-year Alex Mastteson placed 86th with 27:35.9 and senior Robbie Melhorn placed 91st with a time of 27:45.4.
Shade and Carr, who finished in 20th and 21st, both earned All-West Regional honors. Additional runners who provided scoring for the WU women’s cross country team included senior Emily Evans who registered a time of 23:29.6 to place 37th. She was followed quickly by 38th place, first-year Audrey Piacsek, who had a time of 29:30.8. Junior Maggie Chapin trailed Piacsek and Evans by a minute, managing to earn a time of 24:08.5 and placing 64th.
The women’s individual champion was Helen Guo from Pomona-Pitzer in 21:48.5. She won by an astounding 26.4-second gap. Marissa Mount from Whitworth University got second place with a time of 22:14.4. Lila Cardillo of Pomona-Pitzer placed in third with a time of 22:18.6, and Courtney Beard from Linfield College was fourth at 22:23.4. Following her was Natalie Marsh from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who achieved a fifth-place at a time of 22:24.5.
The NCAA Div. III Cross Country Championships will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 17. The race is set to start at 9:00 a.m. (PST).