by Whitney Carter
The men’s cross country team competed at the Charles Bowles Invitational at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., last weekend.
The invitational was the Pirates’ third consecutive meet in three weekends. After competing at the Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington and the Runner’s Soul last week in Spokane, the Pirates finished their consecutive weekend streak in Salem, Ore. The Pirates finished third at the Runner’s Soul.
“Last week was more of a practice race; last week definitely helped us prepare for this week,” head coach Toby Schwarz said. “Yesterday was very similar to the meet two weeks ago. It’s just guys had a little bit more experience and a little bit more fitness under them so they ran better.”
This week the team finished in eighth place out of 19 teams with a score of 221 in the 8k race.
“I would say it was a success,” senior team captain Tim Hill said. “We didn’t necessarily run the times we wanted, but everyone raced really well, so that was successful.”
Out of the Northwest Conference teams competing, the Bucs finished third, behind host Willamette University and the University of Puget Sound. The University of Portland won overall with a score of 16.
Coming in first for the Pirates was freshman Colton Berry with a time of 26:07.28. Hill finished next for the Bucs with a time of 26:17.79 and junior Matt Edwards came in with a time of 26:19.41. The average time for the Pirates was 26:19.95.
“It gives the guys confidence they can win,” Schwarz said. “It’s not going to be easy; UPS, Willamette and ourselves basically tied in all intents and purposes,” Schwarz said. “So, between those three teams, anyone has a chance of winning and that’s a good thing to be a part of that.”
Hill said he felt this was a good race for the team over all.
“As a team I think we finished well, but I don’t think we finished quite as high up as we would have liked,” Hill said. “Individually kind of the same thing – I feel like I ran a good race, but didn’t finish with the time I was looking for.”
The Bucs have one more race before conference and the team is not taking it lightly.
“Coaches will be taking into consideration who will be top 10, and as runners we’ll be taking it very seriously because we’re competing to see who will be running at conference,” freshman Chris MacMurray said.
The Pirates get some time off before the next meet, which is the Inland Northwest Challenge on Oct. 13.
“All these races that are for conference are kind of a good indicator of where we’re at and where the teams in our conference are at, but it doesn’t really mean a whole lot because it comes down to that conference race, the regionals race, the nationals race,” Hill said. “So it’s really just kind of practice of getting ready for conferences that championship race where how you score and how you place against your competitors really matters.”
Contact Whitney Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org.