Ostrander, Mancl, Freeby, Farnan, and Bressler Finish 1-2-3-4-6 in Women's 6k
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University claimed both team titles for the second year in a row, while achieving a 1-2-3-4-6 finish in the women's 6-kilometer race, as the 2014 Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships were held on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Bush's Pasture Park.
Willamette Head Coach Matt McGuirk was named both NWC Women's Coach of the Year and NWC Men's Coach of the Year.
Taylor Ostrander (Jr., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS) claimed the women's title in the 6-kilometer race with a time of 22:25.2, as she just edged out WU teammate Olivia Mancl (So., Seattle, WA/Roosefelt HS) who finished with an identical time of 22:25.2. Defending champion Michaela Freeby (Sr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) finished third at 22:25.3, just 0.1 seconds behind Ostrander and Mancl.
Juliet Farnan (Jr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) placed fourth with a time of 22:32.8, while Kellyn Roiko of Whitworth University became the first non-Bearcat to cross the finish line in fifth place at 22:38.0. Hannah Bressler (Jr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS) rounded out Willamette's scorers, taking sixth at 22:41.3, while Julia Wood from Whitman College was seventh, finishing in 22:42.4.
Ostrander earned her second top-two finish in a row, after placing second at the 2013 NWC Championships. Freeby finished in the top three for the third consecutive year.
Jacob Shafi (Jr., Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley HS) finished second in the men's 8-kilometer race after completing the course in 25:48.7.
Tyler Shipley from Pacific University, who took second place, at the 2013 NWC Championships, finished in first place at 25:44.8. He was the first Pacific athlete to win the NWC men's cross country championship in 38 years. Willamette's Yonny Castillo (Jr., Parkdale, OR/Hood River Valley HS) finished third at 25:51.1
Fourth place was attained by Colin Domonoske of Whitman in 25:56.8. David Santillan from the University of Puget Sound followed in fifth place at 26:04.3. Taylor Steele of Whitworth was sixth with a time of 26:10.7, and Joshua Seekatz of Puget Sound was seventh at 26:11.7.
First Team All-Northwest Conference honors went to the top seven runners in each race. Athletes finishing eighth through 14th received Second Team All-NWC recognition. Willamette's First Team selections were Ostrander, Mancl, Freeby, Farnan, and Bressler from the women's team, along with Shafi and Castillo from the men's team.
For the Bearcat men, Second Team All-NWC honors went to Daniel Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) in 9th at 26:20.6 and Patrick Loftus (Fr., Healdsburg, CA/Sonoma Academy) in 12th at 26:24.3.
All seven Willamette runners placed in the top 20 in the women's race, including Alyssa Reese (Fr., Louisville, CO, Monarch HS), who finished 17th at 23:07.9, and Hannah Swanson (Fr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), who finished 18th at 23:08.8.
Forrest Smith (Fr., Crested Butte, CO/Crested Butte HS) earned a 15th place finish for the Willamette men, completing the course in 26:30.8
The Bearcats earned the women's team title with a score of 16, the lowest NWC Championships score since 1987. Whitworth was second at 59 points and Puget Sound placed third at 79. Whitman was fourth at 86, with Lewis & Clark College in fifth at 145. Linfield College held sixth place at 153, while Pacific Lutheran University was seventh at 229, Pacific was eighth at 231 and George Fox University was ninth at 237.
It was the 10th NWC title for the Willamette women's cross country program.
In the battle for the men's team title, Willamette took first place with a score of 41. Puget Sound finished second with 69 points, Whitman was third at 80, Whitworth placed fourth at 86 and Lewis & Clark was fifth at 120. Linfield followed in sixth place at 161, with George Fox in seventh at 164, Pacific in eighth at 206 and Pacific Lutheran in ninth at 254.
It was the 22nd NWC title for the Bearcat men's cross country team. The Bearcats have won 11 conference titles since 2001.
Willamette will next compete at the NCAA Division III West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 15. Like the NWC Championships, the race will be held at Willamette's home course of Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore. The first race is set to begin at 10 a.m. (PST).