The Whitworth University cross country teams return to action this weekend at the NCAA Division III West Regionals meet, hosted by Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, Calif. on Saturday, November 16.
The women's 6k race will begin the day at 9:00 a.m. and the men's 8k race will follow at 10:15 a.m. More information on the NCAA Division III West Region Championships can be found here.
Pomona-Pitzer's cross country information page, which includes directions, can be found here.
A total of 21 teams will compete at Pomona-Pitzer, with the top two team finishers automatically qualifying for the NCAA Division III Nationals in Hanover, Indiana on Nov. 23. The top seven individuals who are not part of the top two teams will also automatically earn qualifications. At-large team selections will be made on Sunday, November 17 to complete the field for nationals.
Whitworth looks to earn its first top five finish at the West Regionals since 2010, when the Pirates placed second overall in the women's team standings and third overall in the men's team standings.
Whit Women: The Whitworth women, fresh off a second place team finish at the Northwest Conference Championships, are currently ranked third in the West Region. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps holds the top spot in the West, and is ranked 8th nationally. Fellow NWC team Willamette, ranked 28th nationally, is ranked second in the West Region after claiming the NWC Championship title two weeks ago.
A trio of Pirates enter the regional meet with top 10 finishes at the conference championship under their belts. Sophomore Amanda Blankenship led the Pirates at the NWC Championships with a fourth place finish. Junior Christina Williams, who won the Lewis & Clark Invitational in late October, finished fifth at the NWC meet. Sophomore Kellyn Roiko joined Blankenship and Williams in the top ten with an eighth place finish at the NWC meet.
Whit Men: The Whitworth men enter regionals after finishing sixth at the NWC Championship meet. The Pirates slipped out of the top 10 in the West Region after the conference meet, but the men have been right on the edge all season. Willamette's NWC title propelled the Bearcats to the top ranking in the West Region and the 23rd ranking nationally. Puget Sound joins Willamette as an NWC team ranked in the top five in the region as the Loggers hold the fourth spot.
Junior Taylor Steele enters the meet as the top Pirate finisher at the NWC Championships after a 15th place finish. Junior Trent Dudley and sophomore Colton Berry have come on late in the season for the Pirates, and sophomore Chris MacMurray has been consistently at the top for the Pirates all season.
Last Time at the Regionals: At the 2012 NCAA West Regionals, the Whitworth men finished ninth in the team standings and the Whitworth women finished 10th. Chris MacMurray and Taylor Steele finished 35th and 39th, respectively, as the top finishers for the Pirate men. Christina Williams and Kellyn Roiko earned the top honors for the Pirate women.