By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Michael Montague (Sr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) of Willamette University placed third in the men's 8-kilometer race at the 2019 Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Fort Steilacoom Park. It was the second year in a row that Montague took third place, as he earned First Team All-NWC honors for the fourth consecutive season.
In the women's 6-kilometer race, Kyla Shade (Sr., Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS) and Sam Smith (Fy., Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) from Willamette both earned Second Team All-NWC recognition, as Shade placed 10th and Smith finished 14th.
The top seven runners in each race earned First Team All-NWC honors. Runners placing eighth through 14th in each race were chosen Second Team All-NWC.
Montague's time was 24:54.9 in the men's race, as he missed his personal record of 24:51.4 by just 3.5 seconds. He set his top time at the 44th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Sept. 29, 2018.
Kellen Bulger (Sr., Spokane, WA/Ferris HS) was Willamette's second runner to finish. He was 22nd overall in 26:46.7. Ronan Davies (Fy., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) of Willamette placed 27th at 26:52.0. Also scoring for the Bearcats were Alex Matteson (So., Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale HS) in 37th at 27:28.5 and Gabriel Regimbal (Fy., Bellingham, WA/Squalicum HS) in 39th at 27:32.3.
Shade completed the women's course in 23:10.8, as she missed seventh place by just 1.2 seconds. Smith was timed at 23:32.4. The third Willamette runner to complete the 6-kilometer race was Audrey Piacsek (So., Ellensburg, WA/Ellensburg HS), who placed 18th in 23:38.3. Risa Shutz (Jr., Redmond, WA/Redmond HS) was 26th overall for the Bearcats, as she was timed at 23:57.3. Molly Murphy-Brown (So., Sandy, OR/Sandy HS) took 43rd place in 24:24.3.
Willamette placed fifth in the women's team standings with a score of 111, as the Bearcats ended the race just three points out of third. The Bearcats were sixth in the men's team standings at 128.
Whitman College won the women's team championship with a score of 52 (1-6-11-13-21). Pacific University was second at 81, wile Lewis & Clark College placed third at 108. Whitworth was fourth at 110 just one point in front of Willamette. Sixth place went to Pacific Lutheran University at 113. Linfield College was seventh at 167, with the University of Puget Sound in eighth at 174, and George Fox University in ninth at 181.
George Fox earned the men's team title, as the Bruins registered a score of 52 (4-5-11-12-20). Pacific Lutheran grabbed second place at 71, Lewis & Clark was third at 96 and Whitworth took fourth place at 100. Whitman was fifth at 119, followed by Willamette. Puget Sound was seventh at 150, while Pacific was eighth at 220 and Linfield was ninth at 260.
The women's individual NWC championship was achieved by Whitney Rich of Whitman in 21:35.2. She won by 43.8 seconds over Becky George of Whitworth in second place at 22:19.0. Sarah Paquet of Pacific Lutheran placed third in 22:47.1 and Hannah Berdahl of Pacific was fourth in 22:49.8. Kara Putman, also from Pacific, was fifth in 22:51.2.
Colin Monaghan won the men's individual NWC championship for the second year in a row. On Saturday, he was clocked at 24:35.5. Sean Richardson of L&C finished just 1.9 seconds behind in second place at 24:37.4. Montague was next in third place, as his time of 24:54.9 gave him a sizable lead on Timothy Kaelin from George Fox, who claimed fourth place 44.4 seconds later in 25:35.3. Peter Weiss from GFU was fifth in 25:42.3.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the NCAA Division III West Regional in Claremont, Calif. The Regional will be held at the Pomona-Pitzer Campus Course, starting at 9 a.m. (PST).