Leland, Pirate Women Win NWC Championship

Photo courtesy Northwest Conference.
Photo courtesy Northwest Conference.

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – For the third straight year, the Whitworth women are Northwest Conference cross country champions. 

All five Pirate scorers finished in All-NWC positions to earn the victory. The average time of Whitworth's runners was 22:52, a full 29 seconds above the next best team.

Kayla Leland led the way as the first individual Northwest Conference champion in Whitworth women's cross country history. She finished in 21:56, which was 27 seconds ahead of Linfield's Kaelia Neal, the second place finisher.

Bailey Scott earned all-conference first team honors with a fifth place result in 22:39.1. The result mirrored Scott's fifth place finish last season and earned her first team recognition for the second straight year as well. This season is the senior's third consecutive as an all-NWC choice as well thanks to a second team finish in 2015.

Thais Pedro Trujillo improved one spot from last season's NWC Championships, finishing 11th. Krystal Roberts and Marissa Mount joined Pedro Trujillo on the all-conference second team with 12th and 13th place results. This year will be Pedro Truillo's second straight on the all-conference team, while Roberts and Mount qualified for the first time.

For the Pirate men, this season's NWC Championships mirrored the 2016 campaign. Whitworth took home a fourth place finish this year with one All-NWC honoree.

Come Nzibarega was the Pirates' lone all-conference choice after an eighth place finish. Nzibarega earned the recognition with a time of 26:11.6.

Gabriel Meek followed Nzibarega in 27:01.4 and Jacob Clark was the Pirates' third finisher in 27:05.4. Meek takes home a 22nd place result, and Clark was the 24th runner across the line.

Daniel Harper and Grant Bingham rounded out the scoring runners for the Pirates. Harper finished 26th in 27:08.2, while Bingham ended up in 29th in 27:17.5. 

Up next for the Pirates is a trip to the NCAA Division III West Regional. Pomona College hosts the meet, which begins at 9:00 a.m.