Pirate XC Races to Nationals

Pirate XC Races to Nationals

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the third straight year, Whitworth women's cross country heads into its final weekend of the season with a chance to make some noise on the national stage.

The Pirate women fly out to Elsah, Ill. tomorrow where they will compete in the NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m.

Principia College hosts this year's national championships and provided a meet information page with a course map, schedule, and other details. Fans of the team can find more information there. 

The Pirates are looking forward to competing at nationals, where they tied the second best team finish in school history last season with a 17th place result. Kayla Leland finished 12th to lead Whitworth, which was the best individual finish in Pirate history.

"It's our third year in a row, so we'll have some women with experience at nationals," head coach Toby Schwarz said in his weekly video interview.

Four Pirates return from last season's national championships. Leland, Bailey Scott, Thais Pedro Trujillo, and Sara Dawes all competed and scored last season. Whitworth's fifth scorer, Allie Wood, graduated. Marissa Mount and Krystal Roberts are the Pirates' new faces this season. 

The Pirates earned the right to compete at nationals by finishing second in last weekend's West Regional. Leland led the team with a 3rd place finish and all five Pirate scoring runners earned all region honors, which are awarded to the top-35 finishers. Scott (20th), Roberts (25th), Pedro Trujillo (28th), and Mount (33rd) earned all-region selections.

Whitworth enters nationals ranked 19th in the nation by the USTFCCCA. The Pirates have remained between 17th and 20th in the rankings for the majority of the season. Prior to the regional meet last weekend, Whitworth was also ranked 2nd in the West.