Cross country finishes high among conference teams

Megan Ditore

After placing high among conference squads at the Lewis and Clark Invite, the Linfield cross country team is ready to head into the Northwest Conference Championship meet.

Linfield’s men and women cross country runners both placed third among the seven league teams at the invitational Saturday morning at McIver Park.

The race consisted of NCAA Division II and III and NAIA squads. The Wildcat men placed fourth out of 11 teams, and the women came in sixth out of 10 teams.

Only six points separated the top three teams from the Northwest Conference on the men’s side: Puget Sound scored 117 points, Whitman came in second with 119, while Linfield was close behind with 123.

Alex Mangan, ’16, was the Wildcats’ top performer on the men’s side. He placed 13th overall with a time of 25 minutes, 55.7 seconds in the eight-kilometer course. In league he finished fifth.

Linfield’s next runner was Jeff Lee, ’18, who finished 18th in 26:13.4. Adrian Clifford, ’17, finished top-three on the team for the fifth time of the year placing 26th with a time of 26:23.5.

Tyler Griffin, ’18, placed 36th with a time of 26:47.2 while Randy Mena, ’19, was just a few seconds behind with a time of 26:50.3. He finished 38th to round out the scoring for the Wildcats.

Ray Schireman,’18, led Southern Oregon University to a win, running a time of 24:52.3. The team scored 26 points.

For the women, Linfield’s top four was identical to the last meet at George Fox, starting with Kaelia Neal, ’18. She placed fourth overall and third among the conference runners with a time of 22:33.9 in the six-kilometer course.

Emma Knudson, ’18, placed 18th with a time of 23:35.2. Courtney Beard, ’19, was Linfield’s third finisher in 23:59.0 and finished 25th overall.

Vera Heidmann, ’18, finished 59th in a time of 25:02.5 and teammate Sarah Rasmussen-Rehkopf was close behind at 61st place in a time of 25:07.5.

The Lady Wildcats totaled 146 points.

The race was won by Southern Oregon’s Jessa Perkinson, ’18, in a time of 21:55.4, and Whitworth came in first as a team totaling just 30 points.

Next up, the ’Cats head to the Northwest Conference Championships, which will be hosted by Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 31.