Bruins Chosen as Conference Favorite in Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll

Bruins Chosen as Conference Favorite in Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll

Team

Pts.

'18 NWC finish

George Fox (4)

53

T-1st

Pacific Lutheran (3)

51

T-1st

Whitworth (1)

51

3rd

Willamette (1)

45

5th

Whitman

39

6th

Puget Sound

30

4th

Pacific (Ore.)

28

7th

Lewis & Clark

17

8th

Linfield

10

N/A

(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. – The George Fox Bruins have been voted as the top team in the Northwest Conference for the 2019 season, as voted on by conference coaches. The Bruins earned 53 points and four first-place votes.

The Bruins, having tied with Pacific Lutheran for first-place at the 2018 NWC Championship, enjoyed their first conference title in program history. Top finisher for the Bruins, Dillon Rising ran to a seventh-place finish with a 26:27.5 mark, followed by 11th-place finisher Peter Weiss with a time of 26:40.8. The Bruins advanced to the West Regional, hosted by Whitman in Walla Walla, Wash., where they placed 11thoverall with 242 points to conclude their 2018 season. The Bruins welcome back All-NWC first team selection Rising and second team choice Weiss for the 2019 season as the Bruins seek to take sole possession of the NWC title.

Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth each earned 51 points to tie for second-place in the poll, with three first-place votes for the Lutes and one for the Pirates. The Lutes enjoyed a share of the NWC title in 2018, as well as a fifth-place finish at the West Regional with 182 points. Kyle Rapacz was the top finisher for the Lutes at the NWC Championship with a sixth-place finish and a 26:23.5 finish, with Chris Nussbaum finishing first for the Lutes at the West Regional, placing 22nd. Nussbaum returns for his senior season alongside All-NWC second team selection Jonny Maier as five first-year Lutes join the 2019 roster.

Whitworth placed third at the 2018 NWC Championship with 88 points, placing three in the top-20. Joel Mott, Aidan Smith, and William Glick earned 13th, 14th, and 15thplace, respectively, to head the Pirates’ efforts at the Championship. Placing ninth at the West Regional, the Pirates concluded their 2019 season with Mott leading the squad with a 33rd-place finish. Mott, Smith, and Glick all return to lead the Pirates team as they pursue their first NWC title since 2011. 

Willamette ranks fourth in the poll with 45 points and one first-place vote. The reigning NWC champions for six season from 2012-17, the Bearcats’ streak was broken last season as they placed fifth. Despite their fifth-place finish, Keith Carlson and Michael Montague placed within the top three to earn silver and bronze, respectively. At the West Regional, the Bearcat duo once again had an outstanding showing as Carlson placed fourth and Montague took fifth. At the NCAA Championship in Winnecone, Wis., Carlson led the NWC efforts for the men, placing 47thto conclude his decorated senior season. Montague returns as a senior for the Bearcats squad as the team seeks to return to the top of the NWC leaderboard.

Whitman sits six points behind the Bearcats in fifth with 39. Led by junior Eli Fournier for the majority of the 2018 season, the Blues placed sixth at the NWC Championship, led by Fournier’s fourth-place finish. He once again led the Blues’ efforts at the West Regional, placing 34th. Fournier returns for his senior season with the Blues as they pursue a successful 2019 season.

Puget Sound earned 30 points to rank sixth in the poll. With a fourth-place finish as a team at the 2018 NWC Championship, standout Colin Monaghan celebrated a decorated freshman campaign, earning NWC Freshman and Runner of the Year honors in addition to a sixth-place West Region finish and a 69th-place finish at the NCAA Championship. Monaghan returns for his sophomore season alongside teammate and 2018 All-NWC second team selection Jack Lindauer for the 2019 season.

Pacific (Ore.) sits just two points behind the Loggers with 28 to take seventh-place in the poll. The Boxers remain in seventh after they concluded the 2018 season with a seventh-place mark and 158 points at the NWC Championship. Riley Stewart ran to a 10th-place finish at the Championship, good for an All-NWC second team honor. Stewart, who also led the Boxers’ efforts at the 2018 West Regional with an 18th-place finish, will return to lead a roster of four newcomers in 2019.

Lewis & Clark accumulated 17 points to rank eighth in the poll. The Pios move up one spot from the conclusion of their 2018 season after placing eighth at the NWC Championship. Sean Richardson, who led the Pios with a fifth-place finish and All-NWC first team accolade, returns as a senior in the 2019 season to lead the program’s efforts.

Linfield rounds out the poll with 10 points and a ninth-place prediction. The Wildcats are hopeful for a successful 2019 season as they grow their roster from four in the 2018 season to nine, including lone senior Asa Richerdson.

Having already begun the 2019 season, 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.