By David Mair, Staff Writer

The Pacific Lutheran University men’s and women’s cross-country teams put their last foot forward of the season at the Division III National Collegiate Athletic Association’s West Regional Cross Country Championships.

The championships were held at Bush Park at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Saturday, Nov. 15.

Though there was not a cloud in the sky it was a chilling 36 degrees, tough conditions for anyone to run in.

While the sun was shining bright on the runners, it couldn’t compete with the beaming spirits and rays of hope coming from PLU’s runners.

Both PLU teams put their best foot forward, yet the women placed higher at the end of the day.

The men didn’t place in the top 17 in the men’s 8-kilometer race, but sophomore and team captain Charlie Mogen did place 88th with a time of 27:52.

“He ran a solid race with twenty seconds off his PR [personal record],” PLU head coach Heather Kreier said. “Since the race conditions were very muddy and slick at 34-degrees, this was a very respectable race for the conditions.”

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won first with 46 points while Pomona-Pitzer ran its way to second place with 52 points. Occidental took third with 97 points.

In the women’s 6-kilometer race, PLU scored 444 points, and a time of 2:05:49 was good for 16th.

“The women’s team had one of the closest spreads the entire season at one minute for the top five,” Kreier said. “Most athletes were within thirty to forty seconds of their season PR’s, and since the race conditions were bitterly cold and muddy, the women ran great.”

Sophomore Genevieve Brandt placed 67th overall with 66 points, setting a time of 24:24:1.

In first was Willamette with 31 points and a time of 1:52:36.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps clinched second with 54 points and a time of 1:53:54 and Whitworth ran to finish third behind the rest with 147 points and a time of 1:56:45.

With the 2014 NWC season finished, Kreier noted some positives.

“Our teams have grown in the grit department,” Kreier said. “Being able to hold firm with PR’s at a championship is a great example of their determination and hard work.”

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