Bearcats are Ready to Host 45th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational

The 2018 Willamette University Bearcats at last year's Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational
The 2018 Willamette University Bearcats at last year's Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University cross country teams are set to host the 45th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational at Bush's Pasture Park on Saturday, Oct. 5. The event is one of the bigger cross country meets on the West Coast each season.

Former Willamette head coach Charles Bowles died in 2005, but his commitment to cross country continues when the Bearcats host the meet in his honor each year. Willamette is proud to keep the tradition going this season.


This year's Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational will feature runners from throughout the western United States, as well as Florida and Alberta, Canada, who will be competing. There will be 24 four-year colleges and universities represented, along with 14 junior colleges, three club teams and unattached runners. This year's four races will include a total of just over 700 athletes, split almost equally between 352 men's entries and 351 women's entries.

Action will get underway with the Men's Cardinal 8-kilometer race at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). The race will include teams from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III. The Women's Cardinal 5-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 10:20 a.m. with teams from all three NCAA Divisions.

Leading runners on the Willamette men's team include Michael Montague (Sr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy), Gabriel Regimbal (Fy., Bellingham, WA/Squalicum HS), and Ronan Davies (Fy., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS). Montague competed at the NCAA Division III Championships each of the past two seasons. He recently placed 14th out of 220 runners at the Carleton Invitational in Northfield, Minnesota, on Sept. 21

The Bearcat women's team features seniors Kyla Shade (Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS) and Jamie Smith (Seattle, WA/Ballard HS). Other top competitors include returning runners Risa Shutz (Jr., Redmond, WA/Redmond HS) and Audrey Piacsek (So., Ellensburg, WA/Ellensburg HS), along with first-year student-athletes Sam Smith (Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) and April Holland (Warrensburg, MO/Warrensburg HS). At the Carleton Invitational, Sam Smith was 36th out of 187 runners, while Holland was 42nd, Shutz was 45th and Piacsek took 48th.

Following the Women's Cardinal race, the focus will shift to NAIA, junior college and club teams with the Men's Gold 8-kilometer race and the Women's Gold 5-kilometer race. The Men's Gold race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., with the Women's Gold race slated t for 11:50 a.m.

Most of the colleges and universities will compete in a men's race and a women's race. The exceptions are Chemeketa Community College, Oregon State University, Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.), and Warner Pacific University (Ore.), which are entered in women's races only.

Admission to the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational is free. Spectators are asked to be cautious near the course and to avoid interfering with participants. Although most of the course will take runners through Bush's Pasture Park, all of the races will finish inside McCulloch Stadium.

45th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Bush's Pasture Park, Salem, Ore.

Schedule of Events

9:30 a.m. - Men's Cardinal 8K Race
NCAA Divisions I, II, III

10:20 a.m. - Women's Cardinal 5K Race
NCAA Divisions I, II, III

11:00 a.m. - Men's Gold 8K Race
NAIA, Junior Colleges, club teams, unattached

11:50 a.m. - Women's Gold 5K Race
NAIA, Junior Colleges, club teams, unattached

Participating Teams
(Men and Women unless otherwise indicated)

NCAA Division I
Eastern Washington University
Oregon State University - women
University of Portland
Portland State University

NCAA Division II
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Concordia University (Ore.)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.)
Humboldt State University (Calif.)
Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) - women

NCAA Division III
George Fox University
Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
Pacific University
Pacific Lutheran University
University of Puget Sound
Whitman College
Whitworth University
Willamette University

Corban University
Eastern Oregon University
Multnomah University (Ore.)
Northwest Christian University (Ore.)
Northwest University (Wash.)
Warner Pacific University (Ore.) - women

Junior Colleges
Chemeketa Community College (Ore.) - women
Clackamas Community College (Ore.)
Clark College (Wash.)
Everett Community College (Wash.)
Green River College (Wash.)
Lane Community College (Ore.)
Mount Hood Community College (Ore.)
Portland Community College (Ore.)
Red Deer College (Alberta, Can.)
Community Colleges of Spokane (Wash.)
San Diego Mesa College (Calif.)
Southwestern Oregon Community College
Treasure Valley Community College (Ore.)
Umpqua Community College (Ore.)

University of Oregon Running Club
Oregon State University Running Club
Multnomah University - Elite - men