Women's Cross Country Finishes 3rd, Men 4th At NWC Championships

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Junior Elisabeth Spencer finished in fifth place to lead the Whitworth women's cross country team to a third place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships, hosted by Pacific (Ore.) at the Sunset Grove golf course on Saturday. The men's cross country team took fourth place.

The men started off the day with an 8k race that started at 11:00 am. The Pirates scored 113 points to finish in fourth place overall. The women's 6k race started at noon and saw the Pirates score 97 points to take third place overall.

"The ladies ran great," Whitworth head coach Toby Schwarz said. "All 10 competed well in a tough race (weather and competition). Men were off their A game and we needed to be on to be competitive. Lots of lessons were learned by the young and inexperienced team."

Sophomore Taylor Steele was the first of the Pirates to cross the finish line, coming in at 26:40 for 11th place. Junior Matt Edwards finished in 27:05 for 20th, while freshman Chris MacMurray took 23rd with a time of 27:11. Senior Tim Hill and sophomore Trent Dudley finished 29th and 30th, respectively.

In addition to Spencer's top five finish, freshman Kellyn Roiko took 16th with a time of 23:51 and sophomore Christina Anderson finished 17th with a time of 23:57. Senior Celeste Northcott ran the 6k in 24:14 for 28th place, while sophomore Jaclyn Geyer took 31st with a 24:21.

Willamette took first place in the men's race with a score of 40 points, while the Bearcats' Parker Bennett took first place individually, crossing the finish line with a time of 25:48. Lewis & Clark won the women's race with 21 points. The Pioneers had three runners in the top five, with Emily Thomas crossing the finish line in first place with a time of 22:37.

Elisabeth Spencer's top five finish earned her First Team All-NWC honors, while Taylor Steele's performance earned him Second Team All-NWC honors.

Next, the Pirates will compete at the NCAA Division III West Regionals, hosted by Willamette, on November 10th in Salem, Ore.