National Championships are Next for Bearcat Cross Country Teams

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University cross country teams are on their way to the L.S. Ayres Complex in Hanover, Ind., for the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 22. The men's race gets underway at 11 a.m. (EST)/8 a.m. (PST), with the women's race to follow at 12 p.m. (EST)/9 a.m. (PST).

Willamette's men are ranked #29 in this week's USTFCCCA Poll for NCAA Division III. The Bearcat women's team is tied for #30 in the NCAA Division III Poll.

All of Willamette's runners who competed at the West Region Championships are slated to run for the Bearcats at the National Championships as well. A total of 32 teams with seven runners each (the top five finishers will score for the team standings), plus 56 other individuals, will form the field for each race.

The men's event will cover 8 kilometers. Athletes in the women's race will run 6 kilometers.

Four Bearcat women received All-Region honors for their efforts at the West Region Championships, which were hosted by Willamette on Nov. 15 at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore. Maddie Coffman (Sr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) led the way by winning the individual women's title in 21:26.99. Also earning All-Region status were Tina Patel (So., Bend, OR/Summit HS) in 16th place, Molly Lewis (Jr., Fox Island, WA/Gig Harbor HS) in 18th place and Edith Polanco (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) in 31st place.

Three other members of the WU women's team competed at the West Regional and will run for the Bearcats at the National Championships. They are Ali Maki (Sr., Shoreview, MN/Mounds View HS), Hannah Vietmeier (Jr., Shoreline, WA/Shorewood HS) and Jena Winger (Sr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS).

All seven runners on Willamette's regional squad for the men's team earned All-Region recognition. Josh Clough (Sr., Auburn, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) was WU's top finisher at the West Regional, as he placed 14th with a time of 25:36.60. Crossing the finish line less than a second after Clough were Kyle Kotaich (Jr., Florence, OR/Siuslaw HS) in 15th place at 25:36.80 and Nick Rebol (So., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS) in 17th place at 25:37.50.

Additional All-Region honors went to Stefan Redfield (So., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) in 19th place, Leo Castillo (Fr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) in 22nd place, Ryan McLaughlin (So., Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS) in 25th place and Kyle Jackson (Fr., Springfield, OR/Marist HS) in 34th place.

The top 35 runners in each race were named All-Region. Willamette's men were the only squad to place all seven runners on the All-West Region Team.

Maddie Coffman won the West Region title and was one of four athletes on the WU women's team to earn All-Region honors.

Maddie Coffman won the West Region title and was one of four athletes on the WU women's team to earn All-Region honors.

Josh Clough led seven All-West Region runners on the Willamette men's team.

Josh Clough led seven All-West Region runners on the Willamette men's team.