The Boxer cross country team experienced a tough end to their season, finishing eighth in the Northwest Conference (NWC) Championships in both the men’s and women’s brackets.
While ultimately finishing 17th and 16th at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) West Regional the team looks to younger members to rebuild.
Head coach Matthew Lydum thinks this years group could show great improvement from last year saying, “We are very excited for this year. We have been steadily improving and this year’s group is ready to run.”
The Boxers graduated three male runners and two females, including All-West Region and NCAA Championships qualifier Stephanie Spencer.
Even with these losses coach Lydum thinks this year’s recruiting class can help the team immediately.
“The new recruits will have an immediate impact on both the men’s and women’s team. On the women’s side we have a number of talented athletes joining the team. It will be awesome to see them race. On the men’s side, we picked up two new highly talented runners that will contribute immediately,” Lydum said.
When it comes to this group’s areas of growth coach Lydum thinks that transition to college life and competition could be the focus point.
“The challenge is adjusting to college life and the higher level of competition. While we are young, the teams are quite mature. We expect to see great performances this fall at the individual and team level.”
Luckily the team will welcome back Pacific’s top finishers from the West Regional Championships, including junior Nick Slenning and senior Serena Wallace.
These leaders present the newer team with a strong foundation that can benefit the younger members from race to race.
With a young group, led by returners Slenning and Wallace, the Boxers could lay the foundation of a successful season early on and improve upon last year’s conference and regional finishes.