FOREST GROVE, Ore. - It was a red-letter day for the Whitman College cross country teams as they ran to a pair of first-place performances at Saturday's Boxer Rebellion here at the Sunset Grove Golf Course.
The Missionary women's team won the 6,000 meters with 40 place points for its top five runners, beating runner-up Lewis & Clark by seven points and Puget Sound by 14.
Pacific, the host school, was fourth in the women's race with 106 points. George Fox followed with 108.
In the men's 8,000 meters, Whitman and Lewis & Clark tied for the top spot with 46 points. Trailing were Pacific 55, Puget Sound 83, and George Fox 117.
"We've had some good teams in recent years, but this might be the first time since 1995 that we've had both teams finish first at the same event," Whitman coach Scott Shields said. "This was an awesome day for Whitman."
After setting the pace for most of the men's race, Whitman freshman Colin Domonoske was unable to hold off Lewis & Clark junior Sam Smith at the end. Smith took the checkered flag in 26:42.60 while Domonoske was second in 26:46.10.
"Domonoske ran the best race of his young career," Shields said. "Colin started fast, ran hard the whole way and was able to maintain it.
"Two veteran runners from Lewis & Clark and Pacific stayed on his heels for most of the race and used that to their advantage," Shields continued. "They both made their move at the end, and Colin was able to hold off one of them to finish second."
Whitman Junior Emilie Gilbert was second in the women's race in 23:25.10. Lewis & Clark's Emily Thomas was first in 22:59.50.
"The Lewis & Clark women's team has some fast runners, so this was a good chance for Emilie to test herself," Shields said. "She ran well and can use this as a measuring stick as she gets ready for the conference championships."
Both Whitman teams remain on track to have their best races at the NWC Championships (Oct. 29) and NCAA Division III West Regional (Nov. 12), Shields said.
"We're going to get stronger but it was great fun watching both of our teams today," Shields said. "Our runners do a great job of competing as a team and pushing each other when they are on the course."
In the women's race, Caitlin Iglehart ran second for Whitman, placing fifth overall in 23:40.20. Junior Katri Gilbert was a step behind in sixth place with a time of 23:43.70.
Sophomore Skye Pauly (11th, 24:07.50) and teammate Erin Campbell (16th, 24:24.50) completed Whitman's team score.
Lewis & Clark, ranked No. 18 nationally in the latest coaches poll, was missing three of its top runners, one because of an academic conflict and two because of injury.
"Lewis & Clark is a very good team, and I'm sure voters in next week's poll will take into consideration that they were missing three of their top runners," Shields said. "The fact that we beat Lewis & Clark today is going to help us more in the national poll than it's going to hurt Lewis & Clark."
Lewis & Clark was second and Whitman third in the most recent West Region poll.
In men's results, running second and third for the Whitman men were junior Oliver Wood, who was sixth in 27:02.80, and sophomore Michael Jorgensen, who was ninth in 27:26.40.
Completing the team score were junior Cory Rand, who was 12th in 27:32.70, and sophomore Taylor Mesojednik, who finished 17th in 27:53.20.
"A few of the strongest men's team in the conference were not at this meet, but this is still a great result for our men's team," Shields said. "They've been working very hard."
The NWC championships at Brooks, Ore., on October 29th, are up next for both the men and women Missionary Harriers.