Whitworth Men Dethrone Willamette in XC

News Release Date:
Saturday, November 1

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With four runners finishing in the top 10, Whitworth University ended the seven-year rule of Willamette University at the Northwest Conference Men's Cross Country Championships Saturday at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla.

The University of Puget Sound's Francis Reynolds ran away from the field, scampering over the 8,000 meters in 24:35.24, to claim top individual honors by more than 50 seconds.

But Whitworth flashed impressive depth, led by Nick Gallagher (2nd) and Dusty Caseria (4th), to grab its first NWC men's cross country title since 1972. Aaron Jenkins (6th) and Emmanuel Bofa (10th) also cracked the top 10 for the Pirates.

Whitworth was first in the team scoring with 43 points. Willamette, the runner-up with 51 points, was led by Josh Clough (5th), Kyle Kotaich (8th), Ryan McLaughlin (9th) and Leo Castillo (13th).

Yancey Lawrence finished seventh to pace Lewis & Clark College to third place in the team scoring with 71 points. Jeff Carman (12th) and Richie LeDonne (14th) also ran well for the Pioneers.

Gallagher claimed Saturday's second spot with a time of 25:26.74, beating Shawn Fisher of Linfield College by almost four seconds. Fisher and teammate Tyler Davis led Linfield to fourth place in the nine-school field with 104 points.

Reynolds, whose time was almost 25 seconds faster than last year's winning effort, helped Puget Sound edge host Whitman College for fifth place, 149 to 153. Matt Kelly had Whitman's best performance, placing 24th.

The top seven finishers earn spots on the All-NWC First Team. Runners in spots eight through 14 receive All-NWC Second-Team honors.

Next up for the NWC runners is the NCAA Div. III West Regional, slated for Saturday, Nov. 15, at Bush Pasture Park in Salem, Ore. Willamette will be the host.

Men's Results


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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu