LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were among the top three at the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday, a huge move for both teams after last-place finishes in 2018.
Sean Richardson took the lead in the men's race with about a mile left against defending NWC champion Colin Monaghan of Puget Sound. He finished a few seconds back to place second overall.
Madeline Swanberg was the top women's finisher for Lewis & Clark and raced to seventh overall. Both Richardson and Swanberg were named All-NWC First Team.
Miguel Haro Ruiz was also named to the All-NWC team after his ninth-place finish.
Lewis & Clark was aggressive in the men's race and placed three in the top 20. Richardson finished in 24:37.4, a new personal record, and finished right behind Monaghan (24:35.5). Haro Ruiz's time of 25:59.0 was his fastest all-time and placed him ninth. Matthew White was the other Pios' top-20 finisher in 17th at 26:32.8.
Swanberg crossed in 23:09.6, about 12 seconds off her PR time, and placed seventh. She moved past three other runners who had times in the 23:10 range. Etta Moen followed a big PR from two weeks prior with another on Saturday and placed 19th overall with a mark of 23:39.9. Samanatha Bowen was the Pios' next-best finisher in 22nd at 23:54.2, while Gillian Pifer set a PR in 28th (23:59.4). Genevieve Serna finished in 32nd at 24:07.9.
"For our men, we had race plans in place to take a big swing at the team win," head coach Matthew Barreau said. "It was ambitious, and it may have cost us getting second today, but sometimes it's important to take a shot at where you wanna be so you can get a taste and help you move forward.
"The women exhibited amazing strength of mind today and great confidence," Barreau said. "Over the second 2K, when we expected them to move, they did it even better than we had imagined. After a portion of the course where we couldn't see them, they reappeared and had moved up so significantly it was clear we were on the path for something great."
The women's team put five competitors in the top 35 after having just one a year ago. The Pioneers were two points ahead of Whitworth and three over Willamette. The men's team was four points clear of Whitworth.
- Alexandra Coons set a PR at 24:30.71, while Hanna Callinan also moved her personal best with her first sub-26-minute time (25:59.3)
- With her best career time, Kara Wood ran in 79th place at 26:01.7
- Adalynn Griesser placed in the top 50 with a time of 24:35.9
- Competing in their first NWC Championships, freshmen Owen Deffner (26:47.7) finished 23rd and Kalevi Paavola (27:54.4) set a personal best
- Jack Hyde raced for the first time this season and placed 71st (31:30.9)
- Connor Robertson nearly broke his PR, finishing .2 seconds shy at 28:30.7
The Pioneers will get set to compete at the NCAA Div. III West Regional on Nov. 16.