SPU moves toward postseason

thefalconnewspaper

GNAC Championships await the Falcons

The Seattle Pacific University cross-country team marched their way through the Western Washington Classic and, looking forward, has high hopes for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship, head coach Chris Reed said.

The women’s cross-country team traveled to Bellingham on Oct. 20 and finished with a top three spot out of 12 total teams. The men, however, did not fare as well in the final rankings, but still ended up higher than half the competitors, placing seventh out of 15 teams.

The men’s cross-country team faced a longer course during the Western Washington Classic, a 10-kilometer race.

Despite the long haul, the Falcons finished ahead of just slightly more than half the competitors. Sophomore Colin Boutin was the man in front for Seattle Pacific University.

Boutin completed 10 kilometers in 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

Boutin clocked in at three minutes and 33 seconds on average every kilometer of the race. Boutin’s efforts earned him a spot towards the front of the pack, and he finished 38th in the race.

Boutin is no stranger to 10K races. Last spring, Boutin won the 10K Ralph Vernacchia Invitational, qualifying for the conference championships.

Boutin was not the only Falcon flying near the front. Brayden Schultz was a close four seconds behind Boutin to the finish line, 33 minutes and 42 seconds.

Leading the way in for SPU womens’ six-kilometer race was Kaylee Mitchell. But, this came as no surprise for most, because she has led the team in every race thus far.

“I honestly was not very pleased with that race. I felt I ran the first half of it very well, but the second half I needed to be more mentally strong then I was,” Mitchell said.
According to Mitchell, she finished in front of who she planned on, but had hoped she would place better.

As a first-year student, Mitchell is one of the youngest on the team.

“I know that a lot of the older girls that I’m going against have a bigger running resume than me and more experience, but none of that matters once you step on the line to race,” she said.

Mitchell has been the leading force for the Falcons and has yet to let up, but the effort will really count in the next meet of the season.

The GNAC hosts an annual race for the teams and runners in the conference to compete for a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association West Region Championship.

However, it is not easy to advance into the NCAA West Region Championship, with every runner competing for the No. 1 spot all in one race.

The GNAC Championship occurs on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Western Oregon’s Ash Creek Preserve. The men’s 8-kilometer race begins at 10 a.m. while and women’s 6-kilometer race starts at 11 a.m.

“Honestly, I really want us to win the conference title on Saturday. I think that it’s going to be difficult, but it’s definitely doable. I also want us to make it to the national meet on December 1,” Mitchell said.