Young and fast, the women’s XC team is looking to compete for conference title
The women’s cross-country team has been making a name for themselves all season long: The team finished third at the Mike Johnson Classic in Western Oregon and second at the Pacific Lutheran Invite. The women have been breaking PRs consistently and, in doing so, climbing up the ranks fast. Senior Liz Bradley and Junior Annie Berry are two standout runners for the team. The dynamic duo both PR’d at the Mike Johnson Classic in the 6k race. Berry finished 6th with a time of 22:20.1, and Bradley finished 7th with a time of 22:29.4. In fact, though, the top five runners are bunched together, with only a minute between their finishes.
The group standouts because of how close they are to each other’s time. The constant competition to rearrange the top five on the team has motivated the women to keep breaking their personal best. Team practices consist of suitable matches and comparable times, so the team keeps on improving together.
Senior long-distance runner Liz Bradley is going on year four on the Boxer Women’s Cross Country team. Bradley has been an essential part of the team and will likely be a part of the conference team. She is having the best season of her career so far and smashed her Junior year 6k PR by an entire minute.
“It’s been looking really good; this might be the strongest women’s cross country team that Pacific has ever had,” said Bradley proudly. “We have the smallest spread we’ve had for our top 5.”
The team’s freshmen have not been silent, and have impacted the team tremendously in the rankings. The young team has six new first-year students eagerly climbing up the ranks. Freshman, Alena Krull, placed 22nd at the Mike Johnson Classic with a PR of 23:33.8 in the 6k. That finish placed Krull number 18 on the Pacific University Top-25 record list. The underdog group is knocking at the door for conference champions and is not letting up.
“It’s just really exciting because we have an incredibly young team compared to the other schools with more resources,” smiled Bradley. “I think we have a really good shot at winning the conference this year.”
Annie Berry, junior, is currently ranked as the top runner on the women’s team and will likely lead the pack into the Conference Championship.
“In the past, our team has had a couple of really fast runners, but this year is the closest together our top five runners have ever been,” explained Berry. “George Fox always has a very large team and is our biggest competition. They have a few fast runners, but so do we, and we have a chance to beat them this year. This conference race will be very exciting because there is no one person or team who has this race in the bag, and it’s going to come down to who shows up and gives it their all on race day.”
The Boxer Women’s Cross Country team started fast this season and is not slowing down. Pacific University is hosting conference championships for the first time in 9 years.
The Conference Championships will be hosted on October 29 at the Killarney West Golf Course in Hillsboro. The women race at 10 am, and the men run at 11 am. The Student Advisory Associate Committee (SAAC) will offer van transportation to all students who want to attend the race. Registration for the event is required, and students can meet at The Stoller Center for a departure time of 9 am. — Christian Guerra