SALEM, Ore. – Three all-region performances highlighted Linfield’s showing at the 2012 NCAA Division III West Region Cross Country Championships, hosted by Willamette and contested on a crisp Saturday morning at the Oak Knoll Golf Course.
Joe Gladow (Jr., Shoreline, Wash.), Brooke Niemann (Soph., Bellevue, Wash.) and Claire Hann (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii) earned all-region status as one of the top 35 runners to cross the tape in their respective races. Gladow repeated as an all-region performer, while Niemann and Hann earned the honor for the first time in their Wildcat careers.
As a team, the Wildcat men finished 10th in the team standings and as the fourth club from the Northwest Conference. It was a marked improvement from the team’s sixth-place effort at the league championship meet two weeks previously.
Linfield’s women also fared better against NWC opponents than they did at the conference meet, taking third among league squads and seventh overall. The ‘Cats were fourth at the Northwest Conference Championships.
Individually, Gladow placed 21st in the field of 120, clocking a time of 25 minutes, 25.18 seconds over the eight-kilometer course. He improved 10 positions from where he finished a season ago and was about 47 seconds behind the race winner.
Jason Hight (Jr., Orange, Calif.) finished as Linfield’s No. 2 runner on the men’s side, taking 53rd in a time of 26 minutes, 15.17 seconds. Chad Linnerooth (Soph., Carnation, Wash.) and Alex Mangan (Fr., Klamath Falls, Ore) finished in immediate succession as the 64th and 65th runners to cross the finish line (26:25.91 and 26:27.20).
The Wildcats’ fifth and final scoring runner, Calvin Howell (Soph., San Antonio, Texas), was 72nd in 26 minutes, 36.43 seconds.
In the women’s six-kilometer race, Niemann and Hann placed 20th and 23rd, respectively, making it the second straight season the Wildcats have had two ladies in the Top 25. Niemann clocked a time of 22 minutes, 7.18 seconds, with Hann three positions and 5.18 seconds back (22:12.36).
Rounding out the top five for Linfield were Siena Noe (Soph., Yakima, Wash.), Katie Skinner (Jr., Portland, Ore.) and Audrey Lichten (Soph., Sequim, Wash.). Noe finished 42nd (22:43.38), Skinner placed 64th (23:19.01) and Litchten took 78th (23:33.02).
La Verne senior Lenore Monroe topped the 126-competitor field in the women’s race, winning by nearly four seconds.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, won both team championships. The 10th-ranked Stags placed four runners in the top seven – including individual champion Zorg Loustalet, a freshman – to win by 34 points. Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the fourth-ranked Athenas scored three in the top five to claim a team title for the third straight season, this time by a 54-point margin.
Along with CMS, the Pomona-Pitzer men and Lewis & Clark women earned automatic berths in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, held next Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Golf Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
Neither Wildcat squad is in the mix for an at-large invitation to the national meet, as only teams placing third through fifth at the regional meet are eligible. Similarly, chances that invitations will be doled out to individual Linfield runners are slim. The fastest seven finishers not associated with the top two teams receive invitations. According to those standards, Gladow was 12th and Niemann 10th.
Places 23rd as Linfield's No. 2 runner
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