This 2012 season is set to be a good one for the Pacific University cross country team.
The Pacific cross country men’s squad will be anchored by four seniors: in Joe Deardorff, Dan Flora, Wes Porter and Jerry Sanchez.
Deardorff and Flora were all-conference and all-region selections for the Boxers last season.
Porter and junior Rudy Sanchez had their 2011 campaigns cut short due to injury, but are back in full swing this year.
Last year, Flora had Pacific’s highest NWC Championships placing since 2007; finishing 10th with a personal best time of 25:51.59.
Deardorff took twelfth at the NWC Championships with his own personal record of 25:58.78.
The women’s team has an equal amount of talent, and just as much leadership behind veteran runners.
Seniors Jilinda Franklin and Chloe Hallyburton and juniors Punneh Abdolhosseini, Kiersten Iwai and Ally Shackelford anchor a stacked women’s squad.
Hayley Brusewitz is back on the cross country team after being away for the 2011 season.
Franklin had a breakout junior season, running the 6,000 meter race in 23:59 at the West Regional Championships.
Shackelford also had a strong performance at the NWC Championships, the number 4 finisher with a personal best time of 24:16.59. In 2009, Brusewitz ran the 6,000 meters in 25:08.09.
Rachel Schreiber is also looking to capitalize on a stellar freshman season, where she finished twen
ty-sixth at the NWC Championships with a season best time of 23:23.77, fifth best all time in school history in the 6,000 meter race.
On September 1, Pacific travelled to Brooks, Ore. to face George Fox.
Both teams fell to the Bruins (men lost 25-32; women lost 27-28), but coach Tim Boyce was “pleased with the teams’ initial efforts last weekend.”
Schreiber finished the 5,000 meter race in 19:20.2 with a first-place finish.
Franklin finished third for the women, with a time of 19:25.9.
Iwai took seventh and newcomers to the sport Sidney Davis and senior Sara Tomscha took eighth and ninth, respectively.
In Brooks, Deardorff took third place with a time of 16:09.1. Flora finished sixth, and Jerry Sanchez was ninth.
Newcomer Tyler Shipley is a name to remember. In his first collegiate race, Shipley finished in second place with a time of 15:57.8.
This year, the NWC Championships will be held in Forest Grove at the Sunset Grove Golf Course.
It’s not often that you are able to play at home for the championships, so good things are expected for the Boxers.
“Everyone is working hard and looking forward to the opportunity to run at home for the NWC Championships in late October,” said Boyce.
“At this point, the most important thing wwwhealthy for the big races in late October and the month of November.
Every returner is poised for a much improved season.”