Whitworth Leads 2019 Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll

Whitworth Leads 2019 Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll

 Team

Pts.

'18 NWC finish

Whitworth (4)

58

2nd

Willamette (2)

56

1st

Whitman (2)

50

3rd

Pacific (Ore.)

37

4th

Pacific Lutheran (1)

32

6th

Puget Sound

30

5th

George Fox

27

7th

Lewis & Clark

17

9th

Linfield

17

8th

(Points awarded on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches could not vote for their own teams; numbers in parentheses indicate first place votes) 

HILLSBORO, Ore. – In a close outcome, the Whitworth Pirates are predicted to take the NWC title in the 2019 season, as voted on by conference coaches. The Pirates earned 58 points and four first-place votes.

The Pirates, having won their last NWC Championship two seasons ago, placed second at the 2018 NWC Championship behind the Willamette Bearcats. Marissa Mount was the individual medalist, finishing with a mark of 22:17.7 to earn All-NWC Runner of the Year and first team honors. Also named to the first team was fourth-place finisher Kristal Roberts, who finished with a 23:16.6 time. All-NWC Freshman of the Year Ellie Shoop ran to second team honors with an eighth-place finish of 23:49.3. 

Mount represented the Pirates the NCAA Regional in Walla Walla, Wash., taking second and qualifying for the NCAA Championship, where she later finished 38thoverall. Roberts and Shoop return for the Pirates as they pursue another NWC Championship title in the 2019 season.

Reigning NWC Champion Willamette places second in the poll with 56 points and one first place vote. The Bearcats earned the 2018 title with top finisher Emily Evans placing fifth with a time of 23:29.3. Sixth-place finisher Kyla Shade returns after earning All-NWC first team honors in 2018 alongside teammate and second team honoree Mag Chapin as the Bearcats pursue to repeat as conference champions in 2019.

Whitman earns third in the poll with 50 points and two first place votes. The Blues placed third at the 2018 NWC Championship with 62 points, with sophomore Maya Virshup leading the Blues women with a 7thplace finish and a 23:38.5 mark. The Blues, having also placed third at the NCAA Regional in Walla Walla, returns Virshup for her junior season in addition to four first-year student-athletes as they pursue their first team NWC Championship title since 1999.

Pacific (Ore.) earns 38 points to place fourth in the poll. Led by third place finisher Serena Wallace, the Boxers placed fourth at the 2018 NWC Championship with 99 points. The Boxers placed tenth at the NCAA Regional, advancing Wallace to the NCAA Championship, where she placed 150th. The 12th-place individual finish last season, Hannah Berdahl returns for her sophomore season to lead the Boxers in 2019.

Pacific Lutheran places fifth in the poll with 32 points and one first-place vote. The Lutes move up one spot from their 2018 NWC finish after placing sixth with 152 points. Lutes frontrunner Tayler Cearley led the pack, finishing 20thwith a 24:42.5 mark, followed by Alicia Krivanek’s 23rdplace finish and 24:44.7 time. The Lutes, who placed 12that the NCAA Regional, return Krivanek to the 2019 roster to lead the Lutes as they seek to build on their 2018 finish.

Puget Sound earns sixth place in the poll, just two points behind the Lutes with 30. The Loggers were led by Sam Schaffer and Emery Bradlina for the majority of the 2018 postseason, with Schaffer finishing 10thwith a 23:53.10 mark at the NWC Championship and Bradlina taking 10that the NCAA Regional with a 22:45.7 time. A 2018 All-NWC first team selection, Schaffer will return alongside Bradlina in the Loggers’ 2019 season.

George Fox earns 27 points to place seventh in the poll. The Bruins took seventh at the NWC Championship, led by Ashlee Van Den Top’s 21stplace finish with a time of 24:43.7. Van Den top returns for her sophomore season with the Bruins alongside juniors Maci Jokumsen and Rianna Comery to lead the Bruins’ efforts in 2019.

Linfield and Lewis & Clark tie for eighth in the poll with 17 points each. Having graduated conference frontrunner Courtney Beard, who enjoyed a second-place individual finish at the 2018 NWC Championship as the Wildcats finished eighth. The Wildcats welcome seven first-year student-athletes to their roster and will be led by senior Kelly Roth in the 2019 season. The Pios placed ninth at the 2018 NWC Championship, led by Genevieve Serna’s 26thplace finish. Serna, with senior Samantha Bowen, will head the Pios in 2019 in Matthew Barreau’s first year at the helm of the program.

With the 2019 season already underway, four conference teams will compete this upcoming weekend at the Ash Creek Invitational in Monmouth, Ore. and the PSU Viking Rust-Buster in Fairview, Ore.

To view the complete 2019 men’s and women’s cross country schedule, click here.