Whitman College Cross Country

1999 Season Highlights


Inland Empire Cross Country Classic
Saturday, September 4
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

With three runners placing in the top 10, the Whitman women's cross country team won its division Saturday at the Inland Empire Cross Country Classic, hosted by North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Meanwhile, a short-handed Whitman men's team placed fifth in its race.

Competing in the division for schools not in NCAA Division I, the Whitman women took first place with 37 team points. Whitworth College was second with 49 points, followed by North Idaho College with 58 points and George Fox University with 74 points.

Senior Megan Hunter paced the Missionaries, placing seventh in a time of 15 minutes, 52 seconds over the 4,000-meter course. Her teammate, freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt was right behind in eighth place in a time of 15:57.

"Megan and Karin were our two standouts," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. "They ran very well, but really our entire women's team ran well for our first meet."

Senior Taylor Dale placed 10th for Whitman in 16:06. Rounding out Whitman's top five were Heather Koertje, a senior who was 22nd in 16:28, and Heather Barr, a junior who was 23rd in the same time as Koertje.

Also placing for Whitman in the 61-runner field were Stacy St. John, 27th, 16:36; Ariel Andrews, 28th, 16:39; Alison Gillespie, 34th, 17:11; Kitty Rasmussen, 36th, 17:14; and Piper Foster, 40th, 17:29.

The women's race was won by Jennifer Rea, who was running unattached. Her time was 15:07.

With one runner injured and one missing the race for other reasons, the Whitman men's team entererd just five competitors.

The North Idaho College men won the men's race for non-Division I schools with 35 points. The Community Colleges of Spokane took second with 40 points, followed by George Fox with 52 points and Whitworth with 111 points. Whitman was fifth with 141 points.

"The two runners who missed this race for our men's team would have made a difference in the team scoring," Feezell said. "With those two, I think we could have edged Whitworth for fourth place. I have a lot of faith our men's team will come on strong as the season goes along."

Junior Lars Tysver placed 30th for Whitman in a time of 20:58. Aleksandar Tomas of North Idaho College won the men's 6,000-meter event in 18:50.

Also placing for Whitman were Kelii Kotubetey, 41st, 21:38; Joel Byersdorfer, 47th, 21:44; Ryan Gold, 56th, 22:33; and Jerome Schwartz, 62nd, 24:49.


Lewis & Clark Invitational
Saturday, September 11
McIver Park, Estacada, Oregon

The Whitman women's cross country team, one of the early season favorites for a Northwest Conference title, placed third and had the highest finish among NWC teams at the Lewis & Clark Cross Country Invitational Saturday in McIver Park in Estacada, Ore.

The Whitman men's team finished seventh in its race.

Whitman coach Carol Feezell was especially happy with her women's team, which outran NWC rivals Pacific Lutheran, George Fox and Lewis & Clark. Two more conference schools, Linfield and Pacific, did not count in the team scoring because they were unable to enter the minimum five runners each.

"We had some trouble with our directions getting to the meet and weren't able to get much sleep last night, so coming here and placing at the top of the (conference) pack was great," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which represents a combined athletic program involving three California schools, won the women's scoring with a team score of 35 points for its top five finishers. Eastern Oregon University was second with 60 points, followed by the Whitman women in third with 73 points.

Pacific Lutheran was fourth, second among NWC schools, with 89 points. Next in line were Western Oregon University 151, George Fox 165, Lewis & Clark 200, and St. Martin's 242. Cascade College, along with Pacific and Linfield, also fielded an incomplete team.

Whitman senior Megan Hunter paced the Missionaries with a third-place finish in the individual standings. She ran the 5,000-meter race in 19:17.8, just 7.2 seconds behind the winner, Kaetlin Laferty of Eastern Oregon University, and 4.7 seconds behind second-place Amy Foss of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Senior Elisa Bobnes and freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt also cracked the top 20 for Whitman. Bobnes was 13th in 19:46.3 while Pfeiffer-Hoyt was 19th in 19:54.4

Rounding out the top five for the Whitman women were senior Taylor Dale, who placed 21st and also broke the 20-minute barrier with a time of 19:57.3, and freshman Stacy St. John, who finished in 20:04 to place 25th.

The Missionary women had plenty of depth waiting in the wings. Also placing well in the field of 91 runners were junior Heather Koertje, 29th, 20:22.7; Amanda Havens, 37th, 20:39.5; Piper Foster, 50th, 21:13.3; Kitty Rasmussen, 51st, 21:13.8; and Ariel Andrews, 59th, 21:40.7.

Whitman junior Lars Tysver led the men's team to a seventh-place finish among nine teams, running the 8,000-meter trek in a time of 27:34, good for 16th among 87 runners.

"I'm very happy with the performance of the men," Feezell said. "They are a very young group and have been training daily, so we're not fresh right now."

Also placing for the men were Joel Byersdorfer, 29:34.2, 55th; Kelii Kotubetey, 29:36.2, 57th; Ryan Gold, 29:59.4, 61st; Andrew Moore, 30:22.8, 67th; Jerome Schwartz, 31:35.2, 75th; and Bracan Williams, 79th, 32:17.4.

Pacific Lutheran's Forrest Griek won the men's race in 25:47.8. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the men's team scoring with 42 points. George Fox was second with 70 points. Other team scores for NWC schools were Lewis & Clark 80, Pacific Lutheran 107, Whitman 203 and Pacific 226.


Big Cross Invitational
Saturday, September 18
Pasco Airport, Pasco, Wash.

With senior Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) leading the way for the third time in three weeks, the Whitman College women's cross country team posted a strong performance and placed fourth Saturday in the small-school division of the seventh annual Big Cross Invitational in Pasco, Wash.

Running in a field of 135 competitors, Hunter ran the 5,000-meter course in 20:21.74 to place 13th. As a team, the Missionary women finished with 112 points to place fourth among 11 teams. Whitman finished ahead of the three other Northwest Conference schools -- Pacific Lutheran, Whitworth and Lewis & Clark -- entered in the race.

Meanwhile, the Whitman men's team finished 12th among the 13 teams entered in the 8,000-meter event. Junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) paced the Missionaries by placing 34th among 136 runners. His time was 28:49.33.

Times in both races were on the slow side because the "course was really hilly, windy and very soft," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. The men's course was also about 400 yards too long, she added, "due to an incorrectly placed cone which made for some even slower times."

The Whitman women finished just 10 points behind the third-place team, the Community Colleges of Spokane. Northwest College won the women's event with 53 points, while Eastern Oregon University was second with 57 points.

Wendy Bruneau, running unattached, won the women's race in 19:25.25.

Placing fifth and sixth behind the Whitman women were Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth with 126 and 161 points, respectively. Lewis & Clark placed ninth with 187 points.

Rounding out the top five places for the Missionary women were freshman Karin Pfeifer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS), 23rd, 20:47.28; senior Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS), 28th, 21:01.7; junior Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS), 32nd, 21:11.34; and senior Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO / Gunnison HS), 36th, 21:15.81.

Freshman Stacy St. John (Monroe WA, Monroe HS) and senior Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Olympia HS) also came close to cracking Whitman's top five. St. John was 39th in 21:23.68. Havens was 40th in 21:23.94.

No fewer than a dozen other Whitman women ran in the event. Also placing for the Missionaries were Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS), 59th, 21:55.39; Kyra Hamilton (Saint Paul MN, St. Paul Academy), 63rd, 21:59.59; Mary Jo Southwick (Heber City, Wasatch HS), 66th, 22:02.08;

Ariel Andrews (Altadena CA, Polytechnic School), 71st, 22:11.95; Piper Foster (Colorado Springs CO, Palmer HS), 78th, 22:36.72; Caroline Christy (Bellevue WA, Sammamish HS), 86th, 22:56.67; Alison Gillespie (Reno NV, Edmonds-Woodway HS), 88th, 23:00.73; Carol Morse (Parker HS, Ponderosa HS), 92nd, 23:12.00; Loren Sackett (Aspen CO, Aspen HS), 103rd, 23:35.02; Amanda Compton (Girdwood AK, Fountain Valley School), 116th, 24:24.62; Sarah Lehto (Santa Clara CA, Cupertino HS), 124th, 25:50.26; and Erin Gettling (Portland OR, Westview HS), 132nd, 27:14.00.

Eastern Oregon University won the men's event with a team score of 59 points. Clackamas Community College was second with 80 points, followed by North Idaho College with 93 points. Running unattached, Ryan Pauling won the men's race in 26:24.52.

Among Northwest Conference schools, Pacific Lutheran placed fifth, Lewis & Clark was sixth and Whitworth 10th. Whitman was 12th and Pacific 13th.

Others placing for the Whitman men were senior Kelii Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS), 78th, 30:09.06; freshman Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 106th, 31:35.73; freshman Andrew Moore (Portland OR, Lincoln HS), 108th, 32:01.39; freshman Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS), 119th, 33:25.00; and sophomore Jesse Burgess (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS), 127th, 34:22.88.


Whitman Invitational
Friday, September 24
Ft. Walla Walla Park

The home team had more than one reason to celebrate following Friday's annual Whitman College Invitational cross country meet at Ft. Walla Walla Park.

After the Whitman women's team placed five runners in the top nine to win its 5,000-meter event, Whitman junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) won the men's 8,000 meters by a full eight seconds.

Whitman placed first in the women's team scoring with 30 points. Whitworth College was second with 43 points, followed by Lewis-Clark State College in third place with 77 points and Eastern Oregon University in fourth with 112 points.

A second Whitman women's team took fifth with 128 points, while Whitworth's second team was sixth with 153 points.

As she has for the first month of the season, senior Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) paced the Whitman women. Hunter, who missed much of her junior season because of injury, placed second in 18:52.69. Annie Scott of Whitworth College won the race in 18:36.66, and April Richards of Eastern Oregon was third in 18:55.41.

"We have a fast course, but that's still a very good time for Megan," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. "She worked very hard over the summer. She may not make a huge improvement from this point on, but she's going to get stronger and run faster."

The Whitman women, who placed second last year in the NCAA Division III west regionals, are currently ranked fifth in the region.

"I couldn't be more pleased with our women's team," Feezell said. "As they normally do, they ran a smart race today, and they ran as a team."

Whitman freshmen Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS) placed fourth in 18:56.06. "I knew Karin was a strong high school runner, but I had no idea she was going to be this much of standout runner for us so soon," Feezell said.

Three seniors rounded out Whitman's top five. Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS) was seventh in 19:10.91, followed by Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO, Gunnison HS) in eighth in 19:16.87 and Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS) in ninth in 19:20.55.

Tysver, who led the men's race from start to finish, finished in 26:11.37. Calvin Sphuler of Lewis-Clark State was second in 26:19.89, and James Tomlin of Eastern Oregon was third in 26:43.76.

The men's course was inadvertently measured about 200 meters too short, Feezell said, which contributed to times that were faster than expected.

"Lars still ran a great race," she said. "He's such a good competitor. It was nice to see him lead the whole way."

The Whitworth and Lewis-Clark State men's teams finished in a tie for the top spot with 44 points each. Whitworth took first, however, because its sixth-place runner placed higher than his Lewis-Clark State counterpart.

The Eastern Oregon men were third with 58 points. Whitman was fourth with 79 points. Also scoring for the Missionaries were Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS), 16th, 27:52.68; Kelii Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS/Honolulu), 17th, 27:57.37; Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 21st, 28:28.55; and Jesse Burgess (Walla Walla WA), 29th, 30:50.11.

A total of 20 Whitman women ran Friday. Also placing in the top 20 for the Missionaries were senior Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Capital HS), 14th, 19:48.45; freshman Kyra Hamilton (St. Paul MN, St. Paul Academy), 15th, 19:53.08; freshman Stacy St. John (Monroe WA, Monroe HS), 17th, 20:00.35; and senior Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS/Burien), 20th, 20:08.06.

Next in line for the Missionary women were Alison Gillespie (Reno NV, Edmonds- Woodway HS/Edmonds WA), 23rd, 20:23.78; Mary Jo Southwick (Heber City UT, Wasatch HS), 25th, 20:25.03; Piper Foster (Colorado Springs CO, Palmer HS), 31st, 20:57.02; and Heather Barr (Orinda CA, Athenian School/Danville), 34th, 21:16.74.

Seven more women also ran for Whitman: Ariel Andrews (Altadena CA, Plytechnic School/Pasadena), 37th, 21:38.05; Caroline Christy (Bellevue WA, Sammamish HS), 38th, 21:40.35; Carol Morse (Parker CO, Ponderosa HS), 44th, 22:04.11; Amanda Compton (Girdwood AK, Fountain Valley School/Colorado Springs CO), 45th, 22:06.54; Loren Sackett (Aspen CO, Aspen HS), 47th, 22:10.30; Sarah Lehto (Santa Clara CA, Cupertino HS), 53rd, 23:55.38; and Erin Gettling (Portland OR, Westview HS), 54th, 24:36.93.


Willamette Invitational
Saturday, October 2
Bush's Pasture Park, Salem, Oregon

The Whitman College women's cross country team continued to outrun its Northwest Conference (NWC) competition in placing seventh among 25 small college and club teams at the 25th annual Willamette University Invitational cross country meet last Saturday in Salem, Ore.

With Whitman senior Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) placing 55th in a huge field of 286 runners, the Missionaries took seventh place with 221 points for their top five finishers. Pacific Lutheran University had the next best placing for a NWC school, finishing in 10th place with 272 points. The Willamette women were well back in 14th place with 355 points, while teams from Lewis & Clark College, George Fox University and Pacific University placed 17th, 18th and 23rd, respectively.

Meanwhile in the men's competition, Whitman's relatively young squad placed 26th among 28 teams, even though several Missionaries recorded personal-best times.

Lisa Karnopp-Nye, who ran unattached, won the women's 5,000 meters in 17:06.46. The University of California-San Diego, the top-ranked women's team in the west region of NCAA Division III, won the team scoring with 72 points. The Whitman women's team is currently ranked No. 4 in the west region.

In other women's team scoring Saturday, Northwest College placed second with 101 points and College of Southern Idaho third with 121 points. Eastern Oregon University was a close fourth with 125 points. Humboldt State was fifth with 181 points, while the Red Lizards club team finished just ahead of Whitman in sixth place with 202 points.

Whitman's Hunter was timed in 19:08.52. Pacific's Kim Ball, who placed 42nd in 18:58.18, had the best individual time among NWC runners. The only other conference runner to finish ahead of Hunter was Pacific Lutheran's Lia Ossiander, who placed 51st in 19:04.33.

The Missionaries also got strong performances from freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS), who was fifth among NWC runners and 64th overall in 19:19.08, and senior Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS), who had the NWC's sixth-best time while placing 69th in 19:26.84.

Rounding out Whitman's top five were junior Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS) and senior Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO, Gunnison HS), each of whom ran under 20 minutes despite the huge field of competitors. Koertje placed 88th in 19:41.15. Dale finished in 104th place in 19:55.50.

Freshman Kyra Hamilton (St. Paul MN, St. Paul Academy & Summit School) also had a strong race, placing 124th in 20:08.85, and senior Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Capital HS) was close behind in 136th place in 20:15.99.

Others running for the Whitman women were freshman Stacy St. John (Monroe WA, Monroe HS), 174th, 20:39.92; senior Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS), 179th, 20:41.68; sophomore Piper Foster (Colorado Springs CO, Palmer HS), 209th, 21:20.37; and junior Alison Gillespie (Reno NV, Edmonds-Woodway HS), 241st, 22:00.25.

In the men's 8,000 meters, the Brooks club team from Spokane took first in the team scoring with 61 points. Humboldt State was distant second with 155 points.

George Fox made the best NWC showing in the men's team scoring by placing 13th with 335 points. Pacific Lutheran was right behind in 14th place with 347 points, while Willamette was 16th with 399 points.

Lewis & Clark College placed 18th with 466 points. Whitman was 26th with 745 points, and Pacific 27th with 818 points.

Running unattached in a field of 335 runners, Karl Keska won the men's race in 24:08.48. Junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) had Whitman's best finish, placing 155th in 27:02.96.

Also placing for Whitman were senior Kelii Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS), 248th, 28:30.93; sophomore Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS), 250th, 28:34.72; freshman Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 251st, 28:36.41; senior Bracan Williams (Lynnwood WA, Mountlake Terrace HS), 294th, 30:00.05; and freshman Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS), 298th, 30:10.75.


Pacific Lutheran Invitational
Saturday, October 9
Ft. Steilacoom Park, Tacoma, Wash.

The Whitman women's cross country team continued to assert itself Saturday as the best squad in the Northwest Conference (NWC) by outrunning all other conference schools in the Pacific Lutheran Invitational in Tacoma, Wash.

The Missionaries placed third overall in the 19-school field, losing only to a pair of NAIA schools. Central Washington was first with 68 points and Eastern Oregon University second with 87 points. Whitman was a close third with 93 points.

"All of the competitive conference schools were at the meet, and our women beat them all," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. "That keeps us undefeated in conference."

Three of Whitman's NWC rivals placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Whitworth finished with 142 points, followed by Pacific Lutheran with 164 points and Willamette with 178 points. George Fox and Lewis & Clark, two more NWC schools, tied for the ninth with 263 points. The University of Puget University, the only conference Whitman had not faced and beaten earlier in the season, placed 14th with 380 points.

Meanwhile, in the men's race at Pacific Lutheran Saturday, the young Whitman men's team finished 15th among 19 schools.

Whitman coach Carol Feezell was pleased with both of her teams, noting that each continues to improve from week to week. "The improvement isn't as easy to see with the men's team, but all of our men ran excellent times," Feezell said. "A couple of the men had season-best times, and nearly all of them were close to their best times."

Senior Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) again set the pace for the women's team, placing 16th overall and fourth among NWC runners with a time of 19:05.5 for the 5,000- meter course. Dana Boyle, running unattached, won the women's race in 18:13.3.

Whitman's next two finishers were freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS), who was 19th in 19:10.3, and senior Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS), who was 21st in 19:11.7.

Rounding out the Whitman top five were junior Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS), who took 30th in 19:28, and senior Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Capital HS), who was 32nd in 19:31.3.

A total of 217 runners competed in the women's race.

Others running for the Whitman women were Mary Jo Southwick (Heber City UT, Wasatch HS), 73rd, 20:16.3; Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS), 78th, 20:18.3; Stacy St. John (Monroe WA, Monroe HS), 91st, 20:27.9; Heather Barr (Orinda CA, Athenian School/Danville CA), 111th, 20:42.7; Alison Gillespie (Reno NV, Edmonds- Woodway HS/Edmonds WA), 121st, 20:49.6; and Piper Foster (Colorado Springs CO, Palmer HS), 150th, 21:23.8.

In the men's 8,000 meters Saturday, junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) posted Whitman's best performance, placing 48th in a field of 223 runners. His time was 27:17.2.

Others placing for the Whitman men were Kelii Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS/Honolulu), 122nd, 28:34.3; Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS), 131st, 28:44.4; Andrew Moore (Portland OR, Lincoln HS), 165th, 29:38.6; Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 171st, 30:02.6; Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS), 196th, 31:38.4; and Calon Russell (McCall ID, McCall Donnelly HS), 200th, 31:49.5.

Dave Davis of the University of Puget Sound won the men's race in 24:16.7. Puget Sound won the men's team scoring with 73 points, beating second-place Eastern Oregon by 16 points.


Warrior Island Invitational
Saturday, October 16
Chief Timothy State Park, Clarkston, WA

Senior Megan Hunter and junior Lars Tysver placed second in their respective races, leading the Whitman College cross country teams to strong showings Saturday at the Lewis- Clark State College Island Invitational at Chief Timothy State Park near Clarkston, Wash.

In their final competition before the Northwest Conference championships, the Missionary women took first place as a team, while the men's squad finished third.

"Both races went well for us," Whitman assistant coach Eli Brown said. "Our women beat an NCAA Division I school, even though we were missing two of our top runners. That's impressive, and it shows what great depth we have on the women's side. It also shows that both teams are getting charged up for the big races ahead."

The women placed first with 23 team points. Division I Gonzaga was a distant second with 54 points. LCSC was third with 60 points, and Flathead Valley Community College of Kalispell, Mont., was fourth with 86 points. The University of Idaho fielded an incomplete team.

Gonzaga won the men's scoring with 45 points. Spokane Community College was next with 64 points, followed by Whitman with 73 points. LCSC was fourth with 79 points and Flathead CC fifth with 83. The University of Idaho again failed to field a complete team.

Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) finished second in the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 19:20.36. Gonzaga's Tana Caskey won the race in 18:50.59.

The Missionary women, who are the favorites to win a NWC title later this month, placed five runners in the top nine. Freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS) placed a close third to Hunter, finishing in 19:23.7. Junior Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS) was fifth in 19:48.43.

Also running strong races for Whitman were senior Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO, Gunnison HS), who was seventh in 20:10.45, and freshman Stacy St. John (Anchorage AK, Monroe (WA) HS), who placed ninth in 20:28.64.

Two of Whitman's top runners, seniors Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS) and Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Capital HS), missed the race. Bobnes was on an academic field trip, and Havens was resting a sore back.

A total of eight other Missionary women, however, ran in the race, Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS) placed 14th and Heather Barr (Arinda CA, Athenian School) was 16th. Liz Briggs (Boise ID, Boise HS) finished in 21:26.36 to finish 20th and lead a pack of three other Missionaries to the finish line. Piper Foster (Colorado Springs CO, Palmer HS) ran a personal best 21:33.47 in placing 21st while Mary Jo Southwick (Heber City UT, Wasatch HS) was 22nd in 21:33.87. Allison Gillespie (Reno NV, Edmonds- Woodway HS) placed 23rd in 21:39.75.

Also running for Whitman were Loren Sackett (Aspen CO, Aspen HS), who finished 26th, and Carol Morse (Parker CO, Ponderosa HS), who was 27th.

While the depth of the women's team is impressive, it will soon create some tough decisions for Brown and head coach Carol Feezell. Whitman can take only 10 women to the conference championships and seven to regionals in November. "We will have to leave some good runners behind," Brown said.

Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) took second in the men's 8,000 meters with a time of 27:11.37. Flathead's Ben Rush was a clear-cut winner in 26:36.18, but Tysver had to outrun a pack of five competitors to finish as the runner-up. Those five runners all finished with 10 seconds of Tysver's time. "Lars really battled hard to stay in front of that pack," Brown said.

Teammate Kelii Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS) also ran a good race, running a personal-best 28:19.23 to place 12th. "This also was a hilly course," Brown noted. "The course at conference and regionals is more flat, so Kelii should be able to lower his PR even more.

Also placing for the Whitman men were Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS), 20th 28:56.78; Andrew Moore (Portland OR, Lincoln HS), 25th, 29:33.24; Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 27th, 29:39.02; and Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS), 36th, 31:51.89.

The Whitman men's and women's teams are now off until Saturday, Oct. 30, when they compete in the Northwest Conference championships at McIver Park in Estacada, Oregon. The NCAA Div. III west regionals will follow on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the same location.


Northwest Conference Championships
Saturday, October 30
McIver Park, Estacada, OR

Walla Walla's Heather Koertje and three of her teammates earned all-conference cross country honors Saturday morning, powering the Whitman College women's team to its first Northwest Conference title since 1995.

Running at McIver Park near Estacada, Ore., Koertje placed fourth in the women's 5,000 meters to lead the Missionaries to a decisive victory in the team scoring. Whitman took first with a team score of 49 points, well ahead of Whitworth College and Willamette University, two teams that tied for second with 67 points. Pacific Lutheran totaled 75 points for fourth place in the nine-school field.

"I'm extremely pleased and proud of the way the women ran," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. "Before the race, I was expecting to have one runner make the all-conference team, not four. To have that many is amazing."

In the men's 8,000 meters Saturday, Whitman placed seventh. Junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell) posted Whitman' best individual effort, placing 28th.

Koertje, a junior, finished fourth with a career-best time of 18:52, just one second behind third-place Kim Ball of Pacific University. Beth Fitzgerald of Willamette won the race in 18:30, while Lia Lissiander of Pacific Lutheran was second in 18:43.

"No one had a bad race for our women, but that was an outstanding race for Heather," Feezell said. "She really broke out today."

Koertje, who placed 22nd a year ago in the conference championships, was one of three Missionary women who earned first-team all-conference honors by placing in the top seven in Saturday's race. Freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS) was sixth in 18:59, and senior Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS) finished seventh for a second straight year in a time of 19:02.

"Karin also had a great race," Feezell said. "She wanted to run aggressively today, and she wanted to run a personal-best time. She's only a freshman, but she accomplished both of those goals."

Senior Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS) claimed second-team all-conference honors for Whitman by placing 11th in 19:18. It was the first time this season that Hunter did not place first among Missionary runners.

Three more seniors had Whitman's next best times. Amanda Havens (Olympia WA, Capital HS) was 21st in 19:46, Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO, Gunnison HS) took 25th in 19:53, and Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS) was 27th in 20:02.

Also placing for the Whitman women were junior Heather Barr (Orinda CA, Athenian School/Danville), 49th, 20:33; freshman Mary Jo Southwick (Heber City UT, Wasatch HS), 52nd, 20:40; and Stacy St. John (Anchorage AK; Monroe, Wash., HS), 64th, 21:13.

After placing fifth at last year's conference championships, the Whitman women ended that season on a high note by placing a surprising second at the NCAA regional meet. "I knew we had a strong team coming back, but it wasnąt until midway through this season that I started thinking we had a shot at the conference title. Our women kept getting stronger and stronger all season."

Koertje, who received Walla Walla's annual Murr Scholarship to attend Whitman, said superior depth has been the key to her team's success this year. "There are several of us who run in a big pack," she said. "We can have different people finish in different spots from week to week, but our team always does well."

Koertje was still high school when the Whitman women's team won three consecutive cross country titles from 1993 to 1995. "Those were the days when Jessica Bissonnette and Kathleen Gibson were running, and the Whitman women were always going to nationals," Koertje said.

Whitman's cross country teams will return to McIver Park in two weeks for this year's NCAA III regional meet. The top two teams in both the women's and men's events will advance to the national championships. The top six runners not on each event's two qualifying teams will also advance to nationals.

The Whitman women have been ranked No. 4 in the west region poll for the last five weeks.

In the men's race Saturday, Whitman's Tysver ran a 27:28 in finishing 28th, six places better than at last year's conference championships. Senior Keli'i Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS/Honolulu) placed 54th in 28:53, freshman Andrew Moore (Portland OR, Lincoln HS) was 59th in 29:16, and Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS) placed 60th in 29:22.

Also placing for the Whitman men were freshman Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS), 66th, 29:58; freshman Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS), 70th, 30:32; and senior Calon Russell (McCall ID, McCall-Donnelly HS), 72nd, 31:29.


NCAA Div. III West Region Meet
Saturday, November 13
McIver Park, Estacada, OR

The Whitman women's cross country team peaked at just right the time two weeks ago in winning a Northwest Conference title. That same sense of timing was missing today, however, when the Missionaries slipped to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Div. III regional meet at McIver Park near Estacada, Ore.

The Whitman women finished with 138 points, just seven points fourth-place Colorado College, the three-time defending regional champion. The University of California-San Diego won the 5,000-meter event with 57 points. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was second with 74 points. Only the top two teams advance to the NCAA national championships.

"The women were a little disappointed because they wanted to make nationals," Whitman coach Carol Feezell said. "It's hard to say why we didn't run as well as we had hoped. All I can say is that maybe we peaked at the conference meet, and then we weren't able to bring it back for regionals."

"We still had a great season," Feezell added. "We can look at regionals as just the icing on the cake."

The Whitman men also ran on Saturday, placing 13th in the 8,000-meter event with 362 points, just two points behind Whitworth College. The University of Puget Sound won the men's race with 75, edging both Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and UC-San Diego, two teams that tied for second with 83 points.

Three members of the Whitman women's team earned all-region honors by placing in the top 35. Freshman Karin Pfeiffer-Hoyt (Deming WA, Mount Baker HS) had the best Missionary finish, placing 17th in 19:22. Senior Elisa Bobnes (McMinnville OR, McMinnville HS) was a step or two behind in 18th place in 19:27.7. Junior Heather Koertje (Walla Walla WA, Walla Walla HS) was 21st in 19:33.2.

Four other seniors also placed for the Whitman women: Amanda Havens, 38th, 19:55.8; Megan Hunter (Boulder CO, Boulder HS), 47th, 20:12.8; Taylor Dale (Crested Butte CO, Gunnison HS), 54th, 20:23.6; and Kitty Rasmussen (Seattle WA, Highline HS), 68th, 20:49.7.

Carolyn Jones of UC-San Diego won the women's race in 18:02.7, outrunning her nearest competitor by more than 30 seconds.

Junior Lars Tysver (Bothell WA, Bothell HS) posted Whitman's best finish in the men's race, playing 55th in 28:18.9. Senior Keli'i Kotubetey (Kailua HI, Kamehameha HS/Honolulu) was 62nd in 28:31.8.

Whitman's next four runners finished in a pack, filling the spots between 87th through 90th. Freshman Andrew Moore (Portland OR, Lincoln HS) paced that group with a time of 30:04.3. He was followed by freshman Ryan Gold (Talent OR, Phoenix HS) in 30:08.1, freshman Jerome Schwartz (Bellingham WA, Sehome HS) in 30:11.2, and sophomore Joel Byersdorfer (Issaquah WA, Issaquah HS) in 30:22.6. Senior Calon Russell (McCall ID, McCall-Donnelly HS) was 101st in 31:44.5.