The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Cross country teams to race in Hawaii
By , Staff Reporter
Published: October 24 2012
From beginning the season in Fairbanks, Alaska to training in Seattle, the men’s and women’s cross country teams now find themselves in another distinct climate—Hawaii. The Falcons advanced to the NCAA West Regionals in Honolulu after a strong Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship showing.
“Coach Erika [Daligcon] has us running on indoor treadmills in warm clothes to get used to the climate change in Hawaii,” freshman Katie Morris said.
The GNAC Championships took place on Saturday in Monmouth, Ore. The men’s team finished fifth overall and the women’s team took third.
Seattle Pacific’s teams were lifted by seniors and freshmen alike. Senior Will Harrison ran the best race of his career, finishing seventh overall with a time of 25:20 in the 8K race.
“I was really excited for Will to have such a successful conference meet, especially as a senior,” Daligcon said.
“Over the years, he has been such a dedicated member of the team—always putting in the work and showing up. For him to be rewarded with a top seven finish and all-conference is well deserved. I am confident that he will be entering the race in two weeks ready to go after the leaders once again.”
Despite being ranked for the first time, Harrison believes that the men’s goal this season has never changed.
“Our goal has been the same all season,” Harrison said. “We thought we could place in the top five at GNAC Championships. The team being nationally ranked for the first time in school history gave us confidence.”
The women’s side was led by Morris who ran the 6K race in 21:35 and finished in 12th place overall. After recovering from a broken foot her senior year of high school, this race was particularly special.
“My foot breaking was very sobering; I was worried colleges would stop paying attention to me,” Morris said. “Now I never take racing for granted, and running has become all that more special to me.”
Senior Katie Thralls also had another strong race, placing 17th with a time of 21:55. After battling low iron levels for the past few weeks, she is now looking like her former self, who started the season with four top 10 finishes.
Another boost to the cross country program on Saturday was the return of sophomore Turner Wiley.
In his first race back from nearly 10 months of injury, Wiley placed sixth for Seattle Pacific’s team and 64th overall.
“What has impressed me the most about Turner is his willingness to stick with things and not walk away from the sport,” Daligcon said. “He’s getting back into the swing of things, and we are happy to have him as part of that top-seven group going into the west region meet.”
Despite qualifying for West Regionals, both teams believe that they can improve on Saturday’s outing.
“I think we have enough time before regionals to train hard and improve on our fifth place finish,” Harrison said. “I think all the experience the seniors have will continue to help us.”
Daligcon was excited that both teams qualified for regionals and also has the belief that they can improve on this last performance.
“I am very happy to have both teams qualify,” Daligcon said. “They deserve it and are looking forward to another great race and ideally a qualification for the NCAA Championships in Joplin, Mo.”
West Regionals will be held at Kahuku Golf Course in Honolulu on Nov. 3.
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