2019 Preview: Cross Country

2019 Preview: Cross Country

PALATINE HILL -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers start the 2019 season this week with a roster heavy in upperclassmen experience and that includes a top-five finisher from last year's Northwest Conference Championships.

Matthew Barreau will lead the program in his first year as head coach. Nearly a lifelong Oregon resident, Barreau returns to the Pacific Northwest after eight seasons as the head coach of two other NCAA Division III institutions.

Men

Sean Richardson was selected All-NWC First Team after placing fifth at last season's NWC Championships, an event the Pioneers hosted. Originally from Portland, Richardson was also selected All-West Region after a 28th-place finish at the NCAA Div. III West Regional to end the 2018 season. A model of consistency, he'll be the team's example of focus with an eye on nationals this season. Off a track season that saw him earn two top-three finishes at the conference meet, Miguel Haro Ruiz will look to continue his success into the cross country season. After missing the NWC Championships last year, the senior will seek to help the Pios move up in each race this year and compete again in the conference final where he ran his first career time under 27 minutes in 2017.

Matthew White had a great summer of training and has returned for his junior year poised for large-scale improvements. Kept out of competition by illness during his sophomore season, White is expected to capitalize on his training ability and race near the front in 2019. His personal best remains 25:56.6 from his freshman season.

Jack Hyde battled injuries that limited him to just two 8K races during his first collegiate season, but his passion for the sport has not waned. Now a sophomore, Hyde is a key contributor to the team's morale and has shown excitement and dedication to the sport and his improvements. Connor Robertson has started fall workouts more healthily than he did during his debut season a year ago. With renewed optimism, he'll look to test his limits and stay consistent during his sophomore season. Justin Seidel is with the cross country team for the first time after debuting with track and field last spring. Throughout fall workouts, the Santa Clara, Calif. sophomore has shown his desire to be a top performer near the front of the pack.

Lewis & Clark added two freshmen for the 2019 season. Owen Deffner joins the team from Thetford, Vt. where he won state championships in both cross country and track and field. Flush with eagerness, Deffner is focused on his contributions to the long-term competitiveness of the Pioneers program. Out of Edmonds, Wash., Kalevi Paavola brings high capabilities and an increasing confidence to the collegiate level. Choosing Lewis & Clark in part because of its professors, size and location, Paavola's high school team was among the top four in the state.

Women

Samantha Bowen returns as the team's lone senior on the women's team. Focused on finishing her senior season as strongly as she began her collegiate career, Bowen ran her career best time at the 2016 NWC Championships. A high-achiever throughout campus, Bowen was the Pioneers top finisher at last year's NCAA Div. III West Regional.

The women's junior class is the deepest on either side of the Pioneers roster. Marcella Chavez had her best career performances in 2018 with times of 22:11.8 and 26:55.1 at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational (5K) and PLU Invitational (6K), respectively. Her time in the former was nearly 40 seconds faster than her first 5K of 2018. Alexandra Coons brings excitement and an improvement mentality into her junior season. Coons possesses strong energy and placed among the top 60 at last year's NWC Championships to cap off a season where she had her best career times. Etta Moen continues to show indications of all-region and all-conference talent. As a sophomore, Moen's placements at both the NWC Championships and NCAA Div. III West Regional improved by double digits, something she is capable of doing again this season. Similarly, Genevieve Serna is poised for another year of exceptional improvement. After finishing with one of the top 20 performances of all-time for a Lewis & Clark freshman, Serna went on to lead the Pios at the NWC Championships with a 26th-place finish during her sophomore season. Kara Wood continues to contribute throughout the Lewis & Clark community including as a lead resident advisor. An example of balanced, overall success for the team, Wood bounced back from early-season injuries and raced in the final three events last year.

Adalynn Griesser and Isabel Jamieson make up the sophomore class. Griesser is a returner to the team and brings a strong desire to improve into her second collegiate season. She finished just outside the top 60 at last year's NWC Championships and set her personal record in the 5,000 meters during her final of three freshman track and field races. Like Seidel on the men's side, Jamieson debuted for the Pios in track and field last spring. Jamieson is excited to compete with a team at the start of an academic year and racing beyond the track. She chose Lewis & Clark because of "the location and academics."

There are three first-year student-athletes joining the Pioneers this season. Hanna Callinan will join the team following a new student trip. Gillian Pifer is from Marshfield, Mass. and picked Lewis & Clark because of Portland, the campus and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. She's quickly bonded with the returning team members and is eager to compete collegiately. Madeline Swanberg comes to Lewis & Clark from Ovando, Mont. where she was part of a state championship team. Expected to make an immediate contribution, Swanberg picked Lewis & Clark in part because of the Environmental Studies and Overseas Study programs.

Schedule

Lewis & Clark has two competitions within the first three weeks of starting practice. First, the Pios will head to McMinnville, Ore. and race in the Linfield Harrier Classic on Aug. 30. The following week, they'll be hosted by Western Oregon at the Ash Creek Invitational on Sept. 6. The PLU Invitational closes out the first month of racing on Sept. 21.

October begins with the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Oct. 5. Lewis & Clark hosts the L&C Invite on Oct. 19 at McIver State Park, the final warm-up for the NWC Championships in Lakewood, Wash. on Nov. 2.

The NCAA Div. III West Regional is in southern California on Nov. 16. Qualifiers will compete at the NCAA Div. III Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. the following weekend.