Sports & Outdoors

Cross country heads to sunny California

Junior Carrie Keith (Erie, Colo.) finished first out of the Loggers’ Cross Country team, and 15th overall in last week’s Northwest Conference Championship. The women’s team finished 5th overall in the event with eight women who ran personal bests in the 6 kilometer race.  Keith’s finishing time of 22:59.80 puts her 12th on the Logger’s all-time list along with teammates sophomore Kathryn Flyte (West Linn, Ore.) in 14th, freshman Molly Bradbury (Boise, Id.) in 15th and freshman Laura Leach (Alamo, Calif.) in 23rd.

It is a great honor to make the Logger’s all-time list.

“Moving up the Loggers all-time list for the 6K is definitely an accomplishment, but it is more realizing that we will have higher goals for next season. The way that our girls’ team has been racing is showing us that making it to Nationals next year is a big possibility,” Flyte said.

To some non-runners, 6K may seem like a daunting length. However, the runners have ways of staying focused on their goals. “When I am so close to the end the fact that cross country is a team sport and my place overall matters in how my entire team scores is what keeps me going. When I lose focus or start to slow down, I think of people that have experienced way more uncomfortable things than I have and gone through way tougher experiences and force myself to believe that I can do it. I just keep saying, ‘if so-and-so did this, I can run hard for 3.8 miles.’ Also, I tend to think, ‘This will be over soon,’” Leach said.

There are several factors that contribute to the team’s success at this point in the season.

“I think it’s our ability to work together that has helped us succeed at the end of this season. The more workouts that we complete running in our tight pack, the better we will be able to carry that over to racing together as a strong pack. That’s why our biggest successes have come later in the season,” Flyte said.

The men’s team finished eighth in the Northwest Conference Championships with impressive times by Junior Matt Klein (Portland, Ore.) and freshman Josh Seekatz (Philomath, Ore.) who finished 21st and 28th, respectively. Freshman Justin Higa (Pearl City, HI) and senior Patrick Graham (St. Louis, Mo.) both ran personal bests at the event.

Klein and Seekatz’ times were both fast enough to qualify them for NCAA West Regionals. The entire women’s cross country team is also competing at regionals. The women’s team is ranked ninth in the West Region by U.S. Track & Field and the Cross Country Coaches Association. Regionals are next Saturday, Nov. 12th in Claremont, Calif.

“All the work has been put in, and now Josh and I need to be confident to know we have the ability to beat this talent.  For me the biggest thing is staying relaxed mentally and physically.  I’ve been visualizing the course, my start, staying relaxed, and cruising into the finish.  This will be a great chance to scope out our competition for next year, as we have a young team that is going to develop into a power house.  We hope to be contenders at nationals the next few years,” Klein said.