Cross country wraps season up with highs, lows

Natalie Kelley, Staff Writer

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The Wildcat cross country team competed in their last meet of the season at the NCAA DIII West Regionals Saturday, Nov. 12 at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.

The women’s team finished in 12th place out of 19 competing teams with an average time of 24 minutes and 48 seconds for the 6k race. Whitworth came in first place with an average time of 23 minutes.

“I am really proud of our team this year,” said Coach Olson. “Courtney Beard made some great improvements this year and was able to be all region. Kaelia Neal was able to be all-region for the third consecutive time while having setbacks early on.”

Courtney Beard led the women’s team, placing 25th out of 133 runners, with a time of 23 minutes and 34.3 seconds. Kaelia Neal came in a close 30th place with a time of 23 minutes and 40 seconds. The next placing Wildcat runner was Katie Higinbotham, coming in 62nd place with a time of 24 minutes and 55.1 seconds. Kerri Paasche came in 79th with a time of 25 minutes and 24.4 seconds. Ana Ramirez came in 103rd with a time of 26 minutes 26.4 seconds. Vera Heidmann came in a close 105th place with a time of 26 minutes and 31.6 seconds.

“Considering the weather and course conditions we ran well as a team. Unfortunately we had some people not finish, which affected our team scores negatively. Overall I’m proud of how we raced this season and I’m excited to see what we can do in track and field,” Neal said.

“I was happy with how we finished, despite some challenges we faced on the course and I was proud to see my teammates give it their best effort,” Higinbotham said.

The men’s team finished in 13th place out of 17 competing teams with an average time of 28 minutes and 30 seconds for the 8k race. Claremont-Mudd-Scripts got first place with an average time of 26 minutes and 14 seconds.

“The men finished higher against NWC schools this week compared to Conference so we definitely finished the season on a high note,” said Olson.

Adrian Clifford once again led the men’s team, placing 44th out of 122 runners, with an average time of 27 minutes and 45.5 seconds. The next placing Wildcat was Chris Roth, coming in 54th place with a time of 28 minutes and 2.3 seconds. Jeff Lee came in 70th with a time of 28 minutes and 20.8 seconds. Calvin Ong came in 92nd place with a time of 28 minutes and 44.5 seconds. Liam Pickhardt came in 107th place with a time of 29 minutes and 34.6 seconds. Efrain Martinez-Santos came in 121st place with a time of 30 minutes and 49.8 seconds.

“I can’t say enough about our head coach Mike Blackmore,” said Olson. “He did an outstanding job preparing our team this year and I am looking forward to helping him develop our program to one of the top teams in the conference, region and ultimately the nation.”

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Cross country wraps season up with highs, lows