Cross country teams bounce back at Lewis and Clark Invitaitional

News Release Date:
Sunday, October 14, 2012

Portland, Ore.- Two weeks after turning in disappointing performances at the Charles Bowles Invitational, both the men's and women's cross country teams issued sterling performances at the Lewis and Clark Invitational.

Taylor Mesojednik, Sr.
Cory Rand, Sr.

On the men's side, senior captain Taylor Mesojednik (Bellevue, WA) led the way with a 10th place finish in a time of 26:39.21 over the 8K course. Not far behind him was fellow senior captain Cory Rand (Mill Valley, CA), who placed 13th with a time of 27:03.52. Coming in just behind the seniors for the Whits were juniors Spencer Corwin (Coto de Caza, CA) and Joe Mayo (Yorba Linda, CA) who placed 18th and 22nd with times of 27:23.15 and 27:38.81, respectively. Rounding out the team scoring for the Missionaries was sophomore Carl Garrett (Mercer Island, WA) who placed 28th with a time of 28:07.40. Coming in just seconds behind Garrett but outside of the team scoring were Alex Porter and Whitney Griggs, who finished 30th and 31st.

The combined score of 81 points was good for 3rd place among five Northwest Conference teams. The result was an immense improvement on their last place finish two weeks ago.

About the men's team, Coach Scott Shields gushed, "I just can't say enough about the quality running and leadership Taylor Mesojednik has given us this season. He really deserved the top 10 finish. I know Cory has better races to come this season, as well as the rest of our top group. We are now focusing on making sure things fall into place for our conference meet and then finish the season strong at regionals."

Katri Gilbert, Sr.
Emilie Gilbert, Sr.

On the women's side, the Whits continue to be paced by senior captain Emilie Gilbert and twin sister Katri (Bellevue, WA). The twins placed fourth and fifth in the field, with Emilie coming in fourth with a time of 23:04.88 and Katri coming in fifth with a time of 23:25.53 on the 6 K course. The next two Missionaries to cross the line were first year Emily Williams (Saratoga, CA) and senior Shannon McCarty (Seattle, WA) who placed just outside the top ten at 11th and 12th, respectively. The two Whits finished within a second of each other, with Williams clocking in at 23:40.42 and McCarty at 23:41.27. Sophomore Erin Campbell (Santa Barbara, CA) finished the team scoring for Whitman, placing 26th with a time of 24:34.22, just seconds ahead of first year Julia Wood (San Jose, CA).

With 51 points, Whitman finished second in the field behind Lewis and Clark at 27 and just ahead of Linfield, which had 55. This result was also a marked improvement for the women's team, which finished 24 points and four places behind Linfield at their last meet.

Shields was also effusive in his praise of the women's team, "The women's team has such a strong group at the top, and, to be honest, it was a wonderful surprise to see our first year Emily Williams finish in our top three. She has been slowly climbing the team ladder, and it's going to be fun to see what else she is capable of doing for us this year. Emily's run combined with the strong performances of our top three seniors (Emilie, Katri, and McCarthy) were what solidified the second place finish."

The race was a great sign for both teams, as they prepare for the NWC Championships in two weeks. Shields summed it up best, saying "to see us bounce back this weekend and finish so strong against conference opponents was tremendous and has set us up to do well going into our conference meet."

Before they race for the conference championship, however, they will be in action in the Blue-Gold Race next weekend in Walla Walla.