Cross Country Finishes Strong

Jordan O'Roy, Sports Editor

In October, Whitman’s cross country team journeyed over to the Northwest Conference Championship at McIver State Park, hosted by Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. The women’s team as a whole placed third in the conference, which landed them with three all-conference spots.

Maya Virshup, a sophomore on the women’s team, placed  seventh in the 6k race, landing her a place on the first all-conference team.

“As a whole, the women’s team placed third in the conference; we were just two points away from second, which is a goal of ours. We had three women in the top 15 as well,” Virshup said.

First-year Chloe Michaels placed 16th in the Conference.

“Last week’s meet was super fun, it was an exciting race because it was the conference championships, and we had three athletes from the women’s side make the all-conference team, and one athlete from the men’s side. Everyone did a great job, and it was a really fun experience,” Michaels said.

Lucy O’Sullivan, a senior on the team, placed ninth, landing her on the second team.

“We were a bit disappointed because we were very close (two points) from second place, but are aiming to improve on that in our next race,” O’Sullivan said.

Their speedy performance at Northwest Conference Championship lead the cross country team to NCAA West Regional Championships.

“Our next, and most likely last, meet of the season is next Saturday, and it is the regionals meet. It is our only home meet of the season, so I am really excited to be able to race in Walla Walla. Everyone on the team is super excited for the race, so I can’t wait to see for the amazing things the team will accomplish,” Michaels said.

To prepare for the upcoming meet, the runners each take different measures.

Sophomore Maamoon Saleh discusses his preparation tactics heading into next weekends meet.

“A lot of visualization, training through mileage, strength and the occasional weekly workouts,” Saleh said.

Although practice is key to getting better, some downtime is also necessary for athletes especially right before an upcoming competition.

“We have practice six days a week, with one optional rest day. Two days a week are either hill or speed workout days, which vary a lot. Our coaches give us paces and distances to run and generally we split off into groups based on racing times. Workouts are spaced between normal running days, where the team heads out for generally a range of five to seven miles, depending on each individual’s weekly mileage. And then one day a week we have long run days where everyone runs a distance that would be 20-25% of their weekly mileage, which for the women’s team is a range of eight to 12, again depending on the individual,” Virshup said.

The Regional Championship meet will be held in Walla Walla, at Veterans Memorial Golf Course this Saturday.

“It’s our last race of the season and the first time this race has been hosted in Walla Walla,” O’Sullivan said. “It will be exciting to host such a big race on our home course, and we’re hoping a lot of Whitman students and community members come out to watch and cheer us on.”