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Women’s cross country wins conference

November 02, 2010

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    Illana Livstrom '13

Pamplin Sports Center

The Women’s Cross country team took first place in the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday. The men had a great day, as well, finishing in third place. Five Pioneer women and three men earned All-Conference honors while Coach Keith Woodard was named NWC Coach of The Year. This is the first Lewis & Clark women’s cross country team to win a conference championship.

The Pioneer women stole the day Saturday at the NWC Championships which were hosted by Puget Sound in Tacoma Wash. The women won their race with a total of 43 points, 30 points ahead of second place Whitworth University. This is the first ever conference championship win by a Lewis & Clark women’s cross country team. “It is quite an accomplishment for the women,” said Woodard “They had an awesome day and just dominated their race”. The women were led by sophomore Illana Livstrom who finished fourth overall in a time of 22:40.57. Finishing just behind Livstrom in fifth was Emily Thomas with a time of 22:41.87. Ninth place went to Corinne Innes with a time of 23:05.70 and Heather Spurling finished 12th in 23:16.31. The fifth Pioneer to finish was freshman Emily Fagan who took 14th place with a time of 23:22.46.

Seven women finished for the Pioneers before any other team’s fourth runner had finished and five women earned All-Conference honors. Livstrom and Thomas earned First-Team All-Conference honors while Innes, Spurling and Fagan earned Second-Team All-Conference. “The women competed their hearts out today” said Woodard. “They are just a fantastic group of young runners.”

The men’s race was a two team competition for first place as Willamette University and Whitworth University battled for the top spot with Whitworth winning the team championship by only three points, 33-36. That did not stop the Lewis & Clark men from finishing third with 66 points, 50 points ahead of the next team.  The men were led by Richie LeDonne who finished fifth in a time of 25:28.57. Finishing just behind his older brother was freshman Andrew LeDonne in ninth place with a time of 25:57.52. John Roberts finished in 12th finishing in 26:05.28. Finishing fourth for the Pioneers was Lars Steier crossing the tape in 26:11 for a 16th place finish. Caleb Sturgill was the fifth scorer for Lewis & Clark. In only his second meet of the year Sturgill battled through injuries to finish 25th with a time of 26:54.11. Woodard was impressed with the men and specifically with A. LeDonne’s performance saying, “The men ran very well” … “Drew [LeDonne] put it all together today and ran a great race for the team.” The great race helped R. LeDonne earn First-Team All-Conference while A. LeDonne and Roberts earned Second-Team All-Conference.

To top off the day, Coach Woodard received the NWC Conference Coach of The Year. It is his first Coach of The Year award since becoming a head coach at Lewis & Clark in 2007.

The teams return to action two weeks from Saturday on November 13th in Salem, Ore. for the Regional Championships.

Story reported by Jim Bray ‘10

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