by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After earning strong results from both the men's and women's teams last time they were in Oregon, Whitworth cross country is headed back to the Beaver State for the Lewis & Clark Invitational.
The L&C Invite takes place in McIver State Park in Estacada, Ore., which is also the site of the 2018 Northwest Conference Championships. The women's 6-kilometer race opens the day at 11:00 a.m. and the men's 8-kilometer race closes it at 12:00 p.m. More information, including directions to McIver State Park, is available on the invitational's information page.
Last Time Out: Both the Whitworth men and women finished in the top tier of Northwest Conference teams at the Charles Bowles Invitational two weeks ago. The Pirate women dropped a tiebreaker to Willamette for 12th place at the meet, which the Bearcats hosted. Marissa Mount led the Whitworth women. The senior finished 33rd and was just 0:00.1 seconds away from being the top NWC finisher in the race. Krystal Roberts was the next Buc across the finish line in 82nd place, followed by a trio of freshman: Isabelle Snyder, Emma Bates, and Ellie Shoop.
William Glick and Aidan Smith topped the Pirate men's team, finishing in 41st and 43rd respectively. The duo led the Whitworth men to a third place finish among Northwest Conference teams at the Bowles Invite. The Pirates came in behind Willamette (8th overall) and Pacific Lutheran (11th), but ahead of Puget Sound (13th), Whitman (16th), Lewis & Clark (17th), and Pacific (Ore.) (18th).
Regional Rankings: The most recent in-season USTFCCCA regional rankings were released Tuesday and both Pirate teams own spots in the top-ten. The Whitworth women are ranked seventh in the West, and the men were picked tenth.
Woman of the Year: Former Pirate cross country runner Kayla Leland was selected as one of the nine finalists for the NCAA's Woman of the Year Award. Leland is the first Pirate to be chosen as a finalist for the award and the second Buc in three years to be the Northwest Conference's Woman of the Year.
National Championships: The 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships are hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on November 17 in Oshkosh, Wis.
Recent Championship History: Whitworth has a proud history of competing at the cross country national championships, including two All-America performances and top-20 finishes for the women's team in each of the last three seasons.
2017 – Kayla Leland took home All-American honors by finishing 19th and led the Whitworth women to an 11th place finish, the team's second-best in school history.
2016 – Leland placed 11th in Whitworth's best ever individual performance at the Division III National Championships. Leland's All-American performance helped the Bucs place 17th, the third-best result in school history.
2015 – Allison Wood and Kellyn Roiko finished in 85th and 86th place respectively to lead the Pirates to a 20th place team finish. Christopher MacMurray earned an individual bid to the meet and finished 217th.
Looking Ahead: Whitworth travels back to McIver State Park for the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The Coach: The fall of 2018 marks Dr. Toby Schwarz's 21st season as head coach of the Whitworth Cross Country program. During his time at Whitworth Schwarz has been named West Region Coach of the Year four times and Northwest Conference Coach of the Year on seven occasions. Schwarz was selected as the NWC Women's Coach of the Year in 2017 after leading Whitworth to its third straight conference title.