The 2011-12 Pacific University cross country team kicked off the season at the Puget Sound Invitational on Sept. 3. The women’s team placed first and men’s team placed second.
The Invitational previewed what the teams are bringing this season.
Junior, Jilinda Franklin placed third overall in the 6,000 meter course and moved to twelfth on Pacific’s All Time list with a time of 24:55.
Freshman, Rachel Schreiber, came in fifth, giving the women’s team two top-five finishes.
Completing the 8,000 meter course with a time of 27:23 Junior, Joseph Deardorff placed fourth with teammate Jerry Sanchez, junior, who trailed Deardorff by five seconds.
Boyce said he is impressed by two of the top times coming from new runners, Sanchez and Schreiber.
In the off-season, the team did everything but pace themselves.
All runners were required to work on their mileage goals over the summer and report to campus as healthy as possible.
Ten new faces were added to the team, establishing a group of 23 runners; 10 men and 13 women.
“Our goals for the season are to continue improvement and move up in the Northwest Conference standing by the end of October,” said head coach Tim Boyce.
Last year, the men’s finished seventh and women eighth out of nine teams in the conference.
Boyce hopes to move closer to the middle of the pack this season.
Boyce and assistant coach, Bridget Johnson, have been working with the team to improve their skills and build a stronger team bond.
“We’ve been working really hard on getting our team in the best shape possible and readying them for the challenges of the season,” said Boyce.
Boyce advised fans to keep an eye on Franklin, and also sophomores Punneh Abdolhosseini, Kiersten Iwai and Ally Shackelford.
Out of the men Boyce said juniors Joseph Deardorff and Dan Flora, and sophomore John Cushman are showing great improvement from last season.
“As a team we are going to do really well,” said Franklin. “My personal goal is to keep improving my time throughout the season.”
On Oct. 15, the Boxers will host their home invitational at the Sunset Grove Golf Course in Forest Grove.
“We’re really looking forward to our home meet and hope to see a lot of Boxer fans there,” said Deardorff.
The cross country team participated in the Lewis & Clark Invite Sept. 10 to accomplish more goals.
Flora achieved his collegiate career best with a time of 26:48. Flora placed twelfth and is now twenty-third on Pacific’s All Time list.
Deardorff placed seventeenth with Sanchez coming in at eighteenth.
Overall, the men’s team placed third out of six teams.
The women’s team placed fifth out of five teams. Four of the Pacific women moved up on Pacific’s All Time list.
Schreiber placed seventeenth at the Invite and moved to thirteenth on Pacific’s All Time list with a time of 24:22.
Franklin finished twenty-second with a time of 24:30. That moved Franklin to number 14 on Pacific’s All Time list.
Shackelford made sixteenth on Pacific’s All Time list and freshman, Caitlyn Reilley made twenty-second on the All Time list.
The team’s next meet is the Linfield Preview, Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Willamette Mission State Park in Brooks, Ore.