Klimek, Fisher race at nationals

Will Hermens

Review staff writer

The cross country teams finished the season by sending two athletes to the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Juniors Marci Klimek and Shawn Fisher represented the women’s and men’s teams, respectively, at the championships in Hanover, Ind., on Nov. 22.

“We ended on a very positive note,” head coach Garry Killgore said.

After the women’s team placed fifth and the men’s team placed fourth at the conference championships in early November, the program sent six members of the women’s team and seven members of the men’s team to the regional championships in Salem.

Klimek, along with junior Frances Corcorran, led the women’s team to a solid sixth-place team finish. Klimek headed the women’s team, placing 13th with a time of 22 minutes, 36.7 seconds. Corcorran, one of many team members who overcame injuries this season, raced to 15th place in 22:46.02 and all-regional honors. However, Corcorran placed one position short of qualifying for the national championship.

“I like to see people struggle and overcome diversity,” Killgore said.

Killgore credits both teams with overcoming inexperience and injuries all season even before the season began in August.

The men’s team placed eighth at the regional championships, led by Fisher’s sixth place finish at 25:18:48. Killgore said Fisher has come into his own while competing at Linfield. He believes most people would not have predicted Fisher to be a national runner two years ago.

“They gained more confidence from being there,” Killgore said about Fisher and Kilmek attending the national championship.

At the championship, Klimek finished 45th with a time of 21:57.53 out of 279
competitors. She finished 1:14 behind the women’s champion.

Fisher also impressed Killgore by finishing 112th out of 278 competitors with a time of 24:40.15. Fisher finished 1:18 behind the national champion. Killgore said he hopes for Fisher and Klimek to improve even more before next year.

“Both have an excellent chance at All-American next year,” Killgore said.

Killgore already has high expectations for next season with the entire men’s team and the majority of the women’s team returning.

For now, however, Killgore and the program cherish the accomplishments of the season, especially the individual efforts of Klimek and Fisher.

The experience at the national championship for Klimek and Fisher will eventually develop the inner confidence in all the runners in the program, Killgore said.

Although the coach would not give any predictions for the team or individuals placing at conference, he thinks both teams will be forces to be reckoned
with.

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