WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After falling just short of an at-large national championship berth the past two years, the Whitman College women's cross country team left no doubt on Saturday.

They grabbed an automatic berth at nationals by placing second at the NCAA West Regional meet in Claremont, Calif. 

Five Whitman runners earned all-region honors, but coach Malcolm Dunn said his team has yet to reach its full potential.

“We didn’t run as well as we hoped or as well as we can, but we were good enough to beat (most of) the other schools,” said Dunn.

The Whitworth women finished first and Whitman second two weeks after the same two teams went one-two at the Northwest Conference meet and finished within six points of each ohter.

This time, however, Whitworth claimed a more decisive victory with 49 place points for its top five runners. Whitman was second with 108 points.

Claremont Mudd-Scripps finished third with 128 points, just ahead of host Pomona-Pitzer and its 130 point total. Occidental rounded out the top five with 132 points.

On the men’s side, a young Whitman team finished a somewhat disappointing 10th.

“The guys were a little bit flat,” Dunn said. “It’s an improvement over last year’s regional results, but we really didn’t have good races on the men’s side.”

The 10th-place finish completes the men’s season. The women, on the other hand, travel to Cleveland, Ohio, next Saturday for the ational championships.

Please check back later for more details about today's races.

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