by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth cross country is back in action this weekend, competing with Northwest Conference opponents, among others, at the Charles Bowles Invitational.
The Bowles Invitational is hosted by Willamette and takes place in Bush Park and McCulloch Stadium. The men's 8-kilo race begins at 9:30a.m., and the women's 5-kilo race starts at 10:20 a.m.
More details, including a course map, are available on the meet's information page.
The Bowles invite follows a stellar weekend at the Sundodger Invitational in which only one Northwest Conference opponent outpaced the Whitworth men and the Pirate women eclipsed all Division III teams in their race.
For the 18th-ranked Whitworth women, the race is a chance to see how they measure up against some of their top competitors in the Northwest Conference. This weekend will be the Pirates' first chance to race against the hosting Bearcats, who NWC coaches picked to finish third in the conference's preseason poll.
The Pirate men will get to measure themselves against the Bearcats as well. Conference coaches nominated Willamette as the favorites to win the NWC for the sixth straight time in the men's poll. Whitworth was picked to finish third.
"Willamette is always a great meet with a lot of quality competition, including most of our conference," head coach Toby Schwarz said. "After this meet we should have a better understanding of where we stack up in the NWC."
At last season's Bowles Invite, the Whitworth women were at the top of the stack. Two Pirates, Kayla Leland and Thais Pedro Trujillo, finished in the top-20 to lead the team to a fourth place finish, which was the best of all Division II and Division III teams in the meet.
The Whitworth men finished 11th in last season's Bowles invite, behind just two of the eight competing NWC squads. Grant Bingham and Daniel Harper were the top Pirate finishers in 48th and 50th, respectively. The pair were followed closely by Gabriel Meek, who finished 60th.
After Willamette, the Pirates' next meet will be the Lewis & Clark Invitational in Estacada, Ore. on Saturday, Oct. 14.