by Peter Houston-Hencken
The cross country teams ended their conference meets with the victories at the NWC Championships and the NCAA Div. III West Regional meet in Claremont, California, last Saturday.
The NWC Championship meet took place over Fall Break at Pacific Lutheran University. The meet consisted of nine teams from the Northwest Conference.
The women’s team ended the NWC Championships in first place with 31 points. Willamette could not keep up with the Pirates and took second place, 15 points behind with 46.
Whitworth’s top three runners ended the six-kilometer run in quick succession behind two Willamette athletes. Senior Kellyn Roiko took third, 22:43, senior Katie McKay took fourth, 22:52, and Junior Allison Wood finished in fifth, 23:02.
“I think we’ve just been really focusing on looking at our team as a national ranking team,” Roiko said. “Just having confidence in each other so that we can race at a higher level.”
The men’s team took fourth at the meet by scoring 118 points. Out of a total of 79 runners in the eight-kilometer run, senior Christopher MacMurray and sophomore Daniel Harper held Whitworth’s top two times. MacMurray took 15th place with a time of 27:17. Harper barely took 17th place by running a time of 27:30.
Both teams then traveled to compete at the NCAA Div. III Regional Championships on Nov. 14.
The men’s team ended the meet in eighth place with 262 points. The men’s team competed against 18 other schools and a total of 127 runners.
The men’s top runner, MacMurry, ended the eight-kilometer run in eleventh place with a time of 26:05.
The men’s team ended with an average time of 27:31. e men did not fall far behind Lineld’s seventh place; only three points separated the two teams.
The women’s team faced 12 other teams and a total of 133 runners. The Pirates took third place with 87 points.
Roiko and Wood finished with the top two times for Whitworth. Roiko took fourth place with a time of 21:52. Wood finished seconds later, 22:08, in seventh place.
The women’s team was selected to attend the NCAA Div. III Championships. is will mark the first time since 2010 for the women to attend the meet.
MacMurray will represent Whitworth’s men’s team by traveling as an individual athlete. This will be each athlete’s first time attending the meet.
“Personally, I’m just really excited to go to nationals,” MacMurray said. “It’s been a huge dream of mine. It’s still kind of surreal to me that I’m going.”
The women’s team is nationally ranked in ninth place among Div. III teams. The Championships will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at phouston-hencken17@ my.whitworth.edu