Better late than never!
This morning as Pat and I contemplated what needed to be done before we leave for the national meet on Wednesday, we realized an update on the team may be in order. After all, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus for the past month.
On November 7th the teams both competed in the Cascade Conference Championships. This meet paired both Yote squads up against the number one teams in the nation for their respective genders. The men had a showdown against Southern Oregon and the women faced a tough Northwest Christian team. Regardless of these opponents, the goal was still for both teams to win a conference title.
The men’s race kicked off first at 11am, just in time for the scheduled rainstorm that day. The course consisted of a rigorous 2k loop that the men followed four times around Corban College’s athletic fields. Early on the men looked great and hit the attack point with a full head of steam. As the race progressed SOU made a late push and edged out the men’s squad by a score of 29-48. Regardless of score, the men’s team raced about as well as they could have from top to bottom. Individually there were three Yotes who received All Conference honors as Max Hampton, Austin Fred, and Billy Godfrey placed 2nd, 5th, and 8th respectively. Austin’s performance also earned him the prestigious, “race of the day” honor from Pat.
The women’s race followed shortly after at noon during the worst part of the rainstorm. The women course featured a small 1k loop to start the race, followed by two loops around the 2k course the men followed. The women race in similar fashion to the men, but were pitted against a dominant NCU squad. The women’s team finished a sound second beating out the third place team by a score of 60-101. Individually the women’s team shared in the success, with three lady Yotes earning All Conference honors. Amy Pfaff, Ruth Lewinski, and Lila Klopfenstein finished the day earning 4th, 8th, and 10th place honors respectively. The coveted, “race of the day” honor was given to Mishal Cotugno for her engagement throughout the course.
The two squads both earned at large bids to the national meet this weekend in Charlotte, NC. Both squads look to be competitive at the top end of the meet as there are a number of teams in the NAIA who could make a push to trophy and place in the top 4 overall.
Following the national meet there will be a large break in action until indoor track & field kicks off for part of the squads on January 15th. Before this large break, the teams will attend a team retreat on The College of Idaho campus on December 5th. The goal of this retreat is to try and get a jump start on team unity before the squads are fully immersed in the season. The retreat will feature seminars, guest speakers, team challenges, meals, and even an alumni panel!
Stay tuned for an update on the National XC meet!