Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

XC breaks school records in NW Conference

Whitman men and women placed third and fourth respectively in the NWC cross country championships in Salem, Ore. on Saturday, Nov. 1. Two men and two women finished in the top ten in the eight- and six-kilometer races.

Photo contributed by Alex Porter.
Photo contributed by Alex Porter.

Although the team’s focus is primarily on the NCAA West Regional Championship on Nov. 15, this race was an important tune-up before regionals. Senior Captain Colin Domonoske finished fourth with a time of 25:56.8, 12 seconds behind the leader, Pacific University’s Tyler Shipley. Junior T.C. Heydon also landed in the top ten with a time of 26:21.6. Domonoske’s finish was the best for Whitman in the NWC championships in the past 18 years.

“Colin has really been coming on strong at the end of his senior year, and it looks like he is setting himself up for a better performance at Regionals,” said Head Cross Country Running Coach Scott Shields.

On the women’s side, Missionaries Julia Wood ’16 and Skye Pauly ’15 placed seventh and 10th. Wood has led Whitman women for most of the season.

Julia Wood '16 placed 7th overall. Photo contributed by Doug Pauly.
Julia Wood ’16 placed 7th overall. Photo contributed by Doug Pauly.

“Julia had just a super gutsy race. She had been sick the entire week going into the race and was not able to practice. Because of this, she was not as sharp as we’d like, but I feel she totally stepped up and showed her toughness,” said Shields in an email.

The result came as a minor disappointment, since both teams placed third in the same meet last year, and they felt they were stronger this season. Pauly, a captain, emphasized the positive from the meet.

“While we did not score as highly as we’d hoped as a team, there are still a number of reasons to be proud of ourselves. We had three all-conference runners (top-14) and many people got season’s bests. Considering that not all of our top runners were there on Saturday, we really couldn’t ask for more,” said Pauly in an email.

Willamette University, the heavy favorite, dominated the meet as expected, winning the men’s side by 28 points and the women’s by 43. Bearcat women took the top four spots in the 6K, led by junior Taylor Ostrander and sophomore Olivia Mancl.

Whitman had hoped to place second at least, although opinions differed over whether beating Willamette was a realistic goal.

“We’ll definitely end up in the top half of the conference and ideally in second place,” said Shields before the meet.

Domonoske, on the other hand, suggested that anything was possible if the team ran up to its potential.

“I think we do [have a chance],” said Domonoske before the race. “We need to run our best races all at once. We’ve had a lot of strong performances out of some of the guys, but a couple guys might have a bad day, a couple guys feeling sick, feeling injured. I think if we all run our best together, we can take down Willamette.”

Next for the team is the Regional Championships, where they hope to be even stronger. Junior Julia Hart, who was in the middle of a strong season, has been injured for the last few weeks with a broken foot. Shields calls it a “long shot” that she would be back in time for regionals, but he says she would make them much stronger as a team.

Even without Hart, Shields says the team is prepared for regionals, also in Salem.

“We are set up to do well at Regionals for sure. We had a bunch of either personal bests and season bests this weekend  We will be even stronger for Regionals and most likely beat a few conference teams that beat us this weekend,” he wrote.

Pauly agrees, emphasizing that the team is making progress.

“I am still optimistic for regionals. It is the same course as conference was this weekend, so we are familiar with how to run it. We will continue to taper our training in order to run our season’s best. With any luck, everyone will be healthy, in top shape and ready to fly,” said Pauly.

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