Cross country finishes season off strong
In Claremont, Calif., the Linfield women earned a seventh place finish at the NCAA Division III West Regional Championships. The men’s side earned a 14th place overall finish as they competed on the campuses of the Pamona and Pitzer Colleges.
In the 6,000 meter race, senior Siena Noe was the first Linfield runner to finish, placing her in the top 35 finishes.
Noe finished 20th place overall with a time of 23 minutes and 8.83 seconds. Senior Hannah Gredier also finished in the top 35 finishing in 27th place with a time of 23:17.22.
The two athletes were recognized with all-region performances. Their head coach, Travis Olson expressed his pride in the two athletes.
“I am very proud they were able to be all-region as seniors,” Olson said.
Together, the women totaled 192 points, finishing seventh overall and fifth among Northwest Conference teams. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which ranked 29 in the nation this past year, earned 62 points, earning them first place in the championships in addition to placing all five of its scoring runners in the top-25.
The individual title went to Willamette’s Michaela Freeby with a time of 21:37.66, helping the Bearcats to take a second place finish.
There were also four career-best efforts which included senior Katie Skinner and Claire Hann, and junior Brooke Niemann Skinner finished in 40th place with a time of 23:37.72, Niemann took 47th with a time of 23:49.25 and Hann took 58th with a time of 24:3.36.
On the men’s side, the Wildcats have been battling injury throughout the season. The men totaled 310 points while Pamona-Pitzer placed all five scoring runners in the top-25, taking the team championship with a total of 71 points. Willamette scored 109 taking first place among the Northwest Conference teams.
Freshman Michael O’Neil earned 39th overall, barely missing out on all-region recognition which is awarded to top-35 finishers. He ran the 8,000 meter course in 26:35.02 seconds. Sophomore, Alex Mangan finished the course with a time of 26:39.62 seconds earning him a 41st place finish. Mangan’s 41st place finish is 25 positions better than his freshman year regional championship finish.
Senior Joe Gladdow finished third for the Wildcats and 66th overall with a time of 27:8.95. Gladdow has been suffering through injury weeks before the conference championships. Yet he still competed and managed to represent Linfield’s cross-country program.
Rounding out the scoring for Linfield was freshman Adrian Clifford and junior Calvin Howell. Cifford finished 77th overall with a time of 27:24.80 while Howell concluded his race in 28:2.16, earning a 98th overall finish.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats have a very slim chance to qualify for the national championship meet.
Only the top two teams plus the top seven individuals not affiliated with those teams qualify for the national championship meet. However Coach Olson has expressed no disappointment over his team’s effort in its final competition.
“I really have nothing negative to say about how everyone competed,” Olson said. “We stuck our noses in it so I was very pleased.”
Camille Weber/Sports Columnist