Cross country rocks the Linfield Preview

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed first in the Linfield Preview meet in Willamette Mission State Park on Sept. 25.

The Wildcats raced against four teams in the Northwest Conference, including Pacific University, Pacific Lutheran University, Willamette University and George
Fox University.

Senior Nelly Evens led the women’s team, bursting past the finish line second overall with a time of 22:98. Freshman Madison Towbridge followed 22 seconds later, coming in third place and making her fastest time of the season. Three other ‘Cats  placed in the top 10, making Linfield the overall winners of the race.

Junior Emily Zegar contributed the win to a good support system with the team.

“We work well together within our team,” Zegar said. “It helps that we have strong women and men racers, but it’s also a lot about how individual runners push and pull each other during races. That inner pushing and pulling encourages us and drives us to be more competitive and faster.”

The men’s team also took first place in their course, with senior Arian Anderson, sophomore Joe Gladow, senior Scott Gage, placing second, third and fourth, respectively.

Seniors Alex Van Slyke and Eric Weinbender and freshman Calvin Howell also pushed to take top 10 finish places, helping the ‘Cats steal the overall win.

The conference race will also be held at Willamette Mission State Park, which gave the ’Cats experience and confidence for conference, Anderson said.

“Other than just getting to race on the course itself, it was good to race against other teams who will be at conference,” he said. “Both the men and women’s team want to be the best at conference.”

Zagar also said the experience was valuable.

“Racing at the same course that we’ll race at during conference was a mental confidence boost and an experience builder,” she said. “We’re excited for what’s to come.”

The Wildcats will compete at the Willamette Open race on Oct. 1 at 9 a.m at Bush Park in Salem.

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