Bearcat men, three women head to national championship meet

The Willamette men’s cross country team and three members of the women’s team will participate in the NCAA Division III national championship meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The meet begins at 9 a.m.

The Bearcat men, ranked No. 2 in the nation, are one of the teams figured to be in the running for a national championship. The Willamette men won the Northwest Conference title on Nov. 2 and the NCAA West Region championship on Nov. 16.

The Bearcats have never won a national title in cross country. The only national championship Willamette has won came in 1993 when the men’s basketball team captured the NAIA Division II title in Nampa, Idaho.

The Bearcats will take to nationals their top seven finishers from the West Region meet (Aaron Young, Jake Stout, Aaron Hollingshead, Scott Overby, Nick Symmonds, Brendan Brown, Mark Welsh), plus Jon Osborne, who did not run at the regional meet.

The No. 21 Willamette women will be represented by Kari Holbert, Natalie Muren and Katie Pierce, who placed 6-7-8 in the West Region meet last Saturday in Chino, Calif.

Complete results of the national championship meet can be found on the web Saturday afternoon at:


Brendan Brown So. So. Glen Cove, N.Y. (Chaminade)
Aaron Hollingshead So. So. Portland, Ore. (David Douglas)
Jon Osborne Jr. So. Klamath Falls, Ore. (Klamath Union)
Scott Overby So. So. Gresham, Ore. (Barlow)
Jake Stout Jr. Jr. Brush Prairie, Wash. (Portland Christian)
Nick Symmonds Fr. Fr. Boise, Idaho (Bishop Kelly)
Mark Welsh So. So. Nehalem, Ore. (Neah-Kah-Nie)
Aaron Young* Jr. Jr. Coos Bay, Ore. (Marshfield)
Kari Holbert* Jr. So. Gresham, Ore. (Gresham)
Natalie Muren Fr. Fr. Keizer, Ore. (McNary, Grinnell)
Katie Pierce So. So. Willits, Calif. (Willits)

* 2002 NWC champion