by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
ESTACADA, Ore. – Four top-20 finishes from Pirate runners propelled Whitworth women's cross country to a second place team finish at the Lewis & Clark Invite.
The Pirate women totaled 64 points to defeat all Northwest Conference competition on Saturday afternoon, and only finished 26 points behind first place Carleton College. Whitworth's men took home a fifth place team finish with 139 points, which was good enough for third among NWC schools.
Kayla Leland led the women with a second place finish in a race which featured 128 runners. She ran the 6-kilometer race in 21.32.3, finishing 21.3 seconds behind Jessa Perkinson of Southern Oregon.
After Leland, Thais Pedro Trujillo was the next Pirate across the line in 11th, followed closely by Bailey Scott in 15th and Krystal Roberts in 17th. Marissa Mount rounded out the scoring Whitworth runners with a 22nd place result. All five of the Pirates' scoring runners finished in under 23 minutes.
The Pirate women dominated Northwest Conference competition, coming in a full 42 points ahead of Linfield, who finished third. The overall finishes of NWC schools was: 2. Whitworth, 3. Linfield, 6. Puget Sound, 7. Pacific (Ore.), 8. Whitman, 9. Lewis & Clark, and 11. Pacific Lutheran.
On the men's side, Daniel Harper and Grant Bingham led the Pirates. Harper's 16th place finish was first among Whitworth runners, and Bingham was hot on his heels in 19th place. Matt Creagan followed the leading pair in 37th place and Gabriel Meek took home 44th. 116 runners from 11 teams competed in the men's race.
The men's fifth place team finish was third best among Northwest Conference schools, finishing behind Lewis & Clark and Pacific Lutheran, but ahead of Whitman, Linfield, Puget Sound, and Pacific (Ore.).
The Lewis & Clark Invite was the final tune-up for both teams before the Northwest Conference Championships on Oct. 28. That meet begins at 11:00 a.m. in Walla Walla, Wash. Both the men and women will race on Veterans Memorial Golf Course.