By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University Head Coach Matt McGuirk has been chosen as the NCAA Division III West Region Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). It is the second year in a row that McGuirk has been selected for the award.
McGuirk has been named West Region Women's Coach of the Year a total of six times. He previously received the honor in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014.
This year, McGuirk guided the Willamette women's cross country team to its second consecutive West Regional Championship. The Bearcats were led by Olivia Mancl (Jr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) in second place and by Taylor Ostrander (Sr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) in third.
The WU women's team placed secod in the Northwest Conference. Mancl won the NWC individual title and Ostrander finished in second place.
By winning the West Region title, the Willamette women's team achieved a berth into the 2015 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 21 in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The championships will be held at the Lake Breeze Golf Course.
The women's 6-kilometer championship race will start at 11 a.m. CST/9 a.m. PST. The men's 8-kilometer championship race is set to begin at 12 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.
Willamette's top five runners at the West Regional were Mancl, Ostrander, Hannah Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), Juliet Farnan (Sr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS) and Ami Boucher (Jr., Concord, CA/Northgate HS). They each received All-West Region honors, along with Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS). Also running for Willamette was Hazel Carr (Fr., Seattle, Wa/The Northwest School).
McGuirk has received many coach of the year awards with the Willamette cross country teams. In addition to his six West Region Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year awards, he has been named West Region Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year four times (2001, 2003, 2005, 2010).
He has been chosen NWC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year five times (2004, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014). He has been selected NWC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year 11 times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).