By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
MONMOUTH, Ore. -- The Willamette University women's cross country team earned a third place finish at the Ash Creek Invitational, hosted by Western Oregon University on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Ash Creek Preserve. Michael Montague (Sr., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) placed 11th in the men's individual standings to lead the Bearcat men's team.
University of Oregon won the women's team title with a nearly perfect score of 16 (1-2-3-4-6). Western Oregon University was second with a score of 90, and Willamette was third at 117. University of Alaska-Fairbanks was fourth at 131, with Lane Community College (Ore.) in fifth place at 139.
A total of 12 teams competed in the women's race, which covered 4 kilometers. Willamette was joined by three Northwest Conference teams. Linfield College placed sixth, while Lewis & Clark College took eighth and George Fox University placed ninth.
Oregon grabbed seven of the top eight individual finishes in the women's race. Susan Ejore took first place in 14:27.4, with Taylor Chiotti in second at 14:31.7, and Moira O'Shea in third at 14:33.3. Philippa Bowden of Oregon was fourth at 14:41.7. Only Anika Rasubala of Northwest Christian University broke-up the Ducks' string of runners, as she placed fifth in 15:13.6.
Willamette's top finisher for the women's team was first-year runner Emelia Sherman (Fy., Springfield, OR/Springfield HS), who placed 21st out of 110 entrants in her first collegiate race. Sherman earned a time of 16:21.0.
Another first-year competitor for the Bearcats, April Holland (Warrensburg, MO/Warrensburg HS) was 23rd in 16:24.2. Sam Smith (Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) also a first-year runner for the Bearcats took 24th in 16:24.4. Audrey Piacsek (So., Ellensburg, WA/Ellensburg HS) was 26th at 16:25.8 and Eva Higgins placed 28th at 16:29.6.
U of O registered a perfect score of 15 (1-2-3-4-5) to win the men's team championship. The Ducks also placed sixth and ninth in the individual standings, as they hauled in seven of the top nine spots. Two unattached runners placed seventh and eighth in the 6-kilometer race.
Lucky Schreiner of Oregon won the men's race in 17:52.3, as he finished just in front of teammate Jackson Mestler, who took second at 17:52.9. Noah Affolder from Oregon was third at 17:55.6. Completing U of O's top five sweep were Carter Christman in fourth at 18:01.2 and Charlie Hunter in fifth at 18:10.3.
The top runner not from U of O or competing unattached was Robert Swoboda of Corban University, who took 10th in 18:37.8. Montague of Willamette was next in 11th place at 18:42.6.
Also for WU, Gabriel Regimbal (Fy., Bellingham, WA/Squalicum HS) was 37th in 19:53.0, and Ronan Davies (Fy., Juneau, AK/Juneau-Douglas HS) was 42nd in 20:07.6. A total of 107 runners competed in the men's race.
In the team standings, Oregon was followed by Lane CC in second place with a score of 98, while George Fox took third at 129. Lewis & Clark was fourth at 159, and Corban placed fifth at 173. Willamette was sixth with a score of 192. Also competing from the NWC was Linfield, which placed 14th. A total of 15 teams participated in the men's race.
The Bearcats will return to the Ash Creek Preserve on Friday, Sept. 20 to enter the Sundowner Invitational. Action is set to begin at 5 p.m. (PDT).