Sep 03, 2015

2015 Cross Country Season Preview

A Winning Tradition

  • Eight NAIA Men's National Meets (5 Top 10 finishes)
  • Five NAIA District Men's Championships (1977, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992)
  • One NCCAA Women's National Championship (1988)
  • Nine NAIA Women's National Meets (6 Top 10 finishes)
  • Six NAIA Women's District Championships (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993)
  • One Cascade Conference Women's Championship (1994)
  • Two NAIA Region Coaches of the Year
  • 10 Conference / District Coaches of the Year
  • 23 All-Americans (6 men, 17 women)
  • 53 Academic All-Americans (18 men, 35 women)

NEWBERG, Ore. -- Since 2012, head cross country coach Randy Dalzell has brought his award-winning coaching experience to George Fox, and in 2015 he is excited about where the program is headed.

"This year's men's cross country team should have very good depth, as it has both a nice group of returning runners who had some good development during track season last spring as well as a talented group of freshman," said Dalzell.

Last weekend, both teams competed in a 3K time trial that would set the pace for the year. On the men's side, Christian Parr (So., Hubbard, Ore.) had winning time of 9 minutes, 12 seconds, followed closely by Colin Atchison in 9:15 (so., Tillamook, Ore.), Ethan Patterson (Fr., Canby , Ore.) in 9:23, Bryant Quinn (Sr., Meridian, Idaho) in 9:36, Spencer Elmore (Fr., Quincy, Wash.) in 9:42 and Josh Meyer (Fr, Wilsonville, Ore.) in 9:46  to round out the top seven. Zach Bibb (Jr., Yamhill, Ore.) sat out with a sore ankle but is projected to run with the lead group, giving Dalzell a solid eight runners with a reasonably small gap. Marcus Mateo (Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii) also sat out with a cold/fever, but could be in this group as he returns to training this coming week.

Other runners who also recorded times and could move into the top 8-10 runners as the season develops were:
Winter Tumbaga (Fr.,  Seattle), 10:02
Alex Lull (Sr., St. Helen's, Ore.), 10:10
Will Lawrence (Sr., St. Helen's, Ore.), 10:12
Jonathan Coleman (Fr., Troutdale, Ore.), 10:16
Chris Polk (Fr., Long Beach, Calif.), 10:32
Riley Bushnell (Jr., Tacoma, Wash.), 10:48
Devon Donahue (Jr., Sherwood, Ore.), 11:17

"I was very encouraged by our team time trial this past week, which showed that our guys did their homework this summer by running some miles and coming back in pretty good shape," mentioned Dalzell. "Our depth is better than last year, and we have both young talent and good team leadership in the returning athletes. I think this could be a big step up year for the men as this group molds into a very competitive unit."

Meanwhile, on the women's side, the team brings a nice balance of returners and some exciting new talent. The headlining for the returners was Taylor Suwa (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii), who was second in the 3k time trial in 11:27; Raychel Clark (So., Grants Pass, Ore.), who was fourth in 11:39; and Jenna Hills (So, Beaverton, Ore.), who was eighth in 12:10. All three ran very well in the team time trial and look like the most competitive runners from the returning group.

The new runners are led my transfer Kayla Moore (So., Tigard, Ore.), who won the 3k time trial in 11:15; Tyra Beckman (Fr., Seattle), third in 11:29; Grace Ferguson (Fr., Lodi, Calif.), fifth in 12:02; McKenzie Young (Fr., Lynden, Wash.), sixth in 12:04; and Ashley Voss (Fr., Phoenix, Ore.), seventh in 12:04. These five would make a pretty good new team on their own, but added to the top returners above, they give nice team depth, which has been a big need the last few years.

Other new and returning runners who posted times in the 3K time trial are:
Caitlin Kereszturi (So., Woodinville, Wash.), ninth in 12:32
Alyssa Malech (So., Grass Valley, Calif.), 10th in 12:47
Allison Dalzell (So., Damascus, Ore.), 11th in 12:55
Emma Bidwell (Fr., Salem, Ore.), 12th in 13:03
Rose Hernandez (So., Wanut Creek, Calif.), 13th in 13:12
Chloe Tomlinson (Fr., Wilsonville, Ore.), 14th in 13:20
Savanah Hamilton (Jr., Newberg, Ore.), 15th in 13:40
Kaylee Copeland (Clovis, Calif.), 16th in 14:03
Allie Harris (So., Boring, Ore.), 17th in 14:37

Rachel Gibbs (Jr., Hillsboro, Ore.), who was one of the top runners the last two years, is currently sitting out while recovering from a knee injury sustained during lacrosse. She will likely redshirt this season. Also, Samantha McKibbon (Fr., Sherwood, Ore.), one of the top new incoming freshman, will also redshirt as she recovers from a broken leg sustained last spring.

"Our women's team is vastly improved over last year, with more talent and more runners who have trained during the summer and look fit for the season," said Dalzell. "This group is going to be pretty good in the future – the only question is how far they can move and how long it will take. I am really pleased with the attitude and competitiveness of this group. It is going to be fun to see them all develop over the next few years."

The team will head to Hawaii this weekend when they compete at the Big Wave Invitational hosted by the University of Hawaii.