The Pacific University Boxers’ Cross Country teams hosted this year’s Northwest Conference Championships on October 27 at the Sunset Grove golf course in Forest Grove.
Going into the event, some of the Boxers’ top runners were well rested as they had not run in the previous event at the Warner Pacific Invitational on October 13.
Hosting this year’s NWC Championship gave the Boxers a slight advantage over the competition. Being able to sleep in their own beds and not having to travel a long commute were among the positives of having the event in their college’s hometown. The Boxers were also able to prepare by getting familiar with the race course prior to the event. The Boxers were able to run a few times on the golf course to get a feel for where they would be running and also met some of the golf course staff members.
“That helped us relax and know that there would be no surprises come race day like on some courses,” said Sophomore Rachel Schreiber.
Although the Boxers did not have to take a long commute on the day of the event, the teams still went through their usual routine of waking up bright and early in the morning to have breakfast and fuel up at the course.
Since it was Pacific’s home event, head coach Tim Boyce had to help with setting up the event among other things which caused a distraction for the team and worked against the team.
Another big advantage the Boxers had was the benefit of running in front of a home crowd. Many of the Boxers’ track team members came out to the event to help out and cheer on their fellow Boxers.
“I am from Colorado and my parents flew up,” said Schreiber. “It was really nice to know that they were watching me.”
The men’s team finished eight out of the nine schools with 181 points while the women’s team finished seventh out of nine with 196 points.
Freshman Tyler Shipley was the Pacific’s top men’s finisher in 9th place with a time of 26:38. Seniors Joseph Deardorff and Daniel Flora finished in 34th and 38th place, respectively, with times of 27:33 and 27:49. Shipley claimed second team All-NWC honors.
Schreiber was the Pacific’s top women’s finisher in 15th place with a time of 23:47.
Senior Jilinda Franklin finished not too far behind in 27th place with a time of 24:12. Schreiber just missed All-NWC honors.
The Pacific Cross Country teams will take the next week off from competition to prepare for the NCAA Division III West Regional Championships. The meet will take place on November 10, at the Oak Knoll Golf Course in Independence, Oregon.