Willamette Men's Cross Country Wins NWC Championship

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

ESTACADA, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team won the 2009 Northwest Conference championship during action at the NWC Meet on Saturday, Oct. 31 at McIver Park. It was the eighth NWC title in the last nine years for the Bearcat men's team. The Bearcat women finishes fifth in the team standings.

Willamette achieved the men's title with a score of 32 on the strength of a 2-3-4-8-15 finish. The Bearcats won by 39 points, with Whitworth University claiming second place with a score of 71. Linfield College was third at 89 and Whitman College was fourth at 111.

Lewis & Clark College, which hosted the event, placed fifth with a score of 141. The University of Puget Sound was sixth at 158, Pacific Lutheran University was seventh at 174, Pacific University was eighth at 209, and George Fox University was ninth at 224.

The men's individual champion was Francis Reynolds of Puget Sound, who finished the 8-kilometer race in 25:00.71. It was Reynolds' second consecutive NWC title.

Leo Castillo (So., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) of Willamette placed second with a time of 25:21.38, Matt Parker (Jr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) of Willamette was third at 25:24.27 and Stefan Redfield (Jr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) of Willamette was fourth at 25:35.76. All three earned First Team All-NWC honors for the Bearcats.

Fifth place went to Karl Dickman of Lewis & Clark, as he registered a time of 25:39.35. Sixth place was earned by Shawn Fisher of Linfield at 25:47.41, while seventh place was recorded by Chris McIsaac of Linfield at 25:53.22.
Dickman, Fisher and McIsaac joined Reynolds and WU's top three finishers as First Team All-NWC selections.

Nick Rebol (Jr., Cottonwood, CA/Red Bluff Union HS) of Willamette was the Bearcats' fourth finisher. He clocked in at 25:55.10 for eighth place and Second Team All-NWC honors. Chris Platano (Sr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) completed WU's team score by taking 15th place in 26:15.49.

Willamette runners also took 16th and 17th place. Ryan McLaughlin was 16th with a time of 26:22.06 and Kevin Aubol was 17th in 26:23.94. Willamette's depth showed, with seven runners in the top 17 and all 10 Bearcats in the Top 24.

In the women's 6-kilometer race, the individual champion was Marci Klimek of Linfield, who ran the course in 21:50.8 for a 21.5-second margin of victory. Dana Misterek of Whitworth was second at 22:12.3 and Joy Schufeldt of Whitworth was third at 22:15.1. Kristen Ballinger of Whitman took fourth in 22:26.3 and Hayley Walker from Puget Sound was fifth one second later at 22:27.3.

Kimber Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) led the Bearcats, as she took sixth place with a time of 22:33.5. Yasmeen Colis of Lewis & Clark placed seventh at 22:34.9. The top seven finishers received First Team All-NWC recognition with the next seven earning Second Team All-NWC honors.

Theresa Edwards (Fr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) of Willamette was 18th after completing the race in 23:25.2. Kaitlin Greene (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) of WU was 28th at 23:45.9 and teammate Amanda Tamanaha (Fr., Honolulu, HI/St. Andrews Priory) was 29th at 23:49.7 Megan Horning (Page, AZ/Page HS) rounded out the Bearcats' score with a 34th place finish in a time of 24:08.80

The women's team title was won by Whitworth with 37 points. Whitman concluded the race six points behind the Pirates and took second place with a score of 43. Linfield took third at 83, Lewis & Clark was fourth at 105, Willamette placed fifth at 112, Pacific Lutheran was sixth at 161, Puget Sound claimed seventh at 169 and Pacific was eighth at 215. George Fox did not have enough entries to achieve a team score.

There were 76 runners in the women's race. A total of 79 runners participated in the men's race.

Willamette's next competition is set for Saturday, Nov. 14 at the NCAA Division III West Regional at Prado Park in Chino, Calif. Last year, both of Willamette's teams placed third at the Regional Meet and received at-large bids to the NCAA Division III National Championships.

NWC Championships
McIver Park, Estacada, Ore.
Oct. 31, 2009
Leo Castillo took second place, earned First Team All-NWC honors and helped Willamette win the men's team title.

Leo Castillo took second place, earned First Team All-NWC honors and helped Willamette win the men's team title.

Kimber Mattox of Willamette finished sixth in the women's race for First Team All-NWC honors.

Kimber Mattox of Willamette finished sixth in the women's race for First Team All-NWC honors.