Missionary harriers run to an eighth place finish

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SALEM, Ore. — T.C. Heydon and Julia Hart led the way Saturday for the Whitman cross country team as the Missionaries ran in the 39th annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational here in perfect conditions.

Heydon finished 31st in the men’s 8000-meter race, helping the Missionaries to an 8th-place finish overall. Hart crossed the line 54th in the women’s 5000-meter run. Whitman earned 11th in a field of 18 teams. Alaska Anchorage captured both the mens and womens team titles.

Heydon, who clocked a 26:01.35, led a tight pack of Whitman runners as he was followed by freshman Matt Wotipka (47th in 26:23.09) and Alex Waheed (49th in 26:25.29). Colin Domonoske was 57th (26:35.56) and Carl Garrett finished 59th (26:37.98).

Alaska Anchorage’s Dylan Anthony won the race in 24:20.34.

“That was an amazing cluster for us as far as our top one through five, “said Whitman head coach Scott Shields. “Our freshman came through. They were well over a minute of the PR’s. I’m pretty excited with what’s going on with our men’s team. We finished behind Willamette (3rd) and Puget Sound (5th) who are in our conference. With a few more weeks of preparation, hopefully we can close that gap. Our guys are super jazzed about how fast they can go.”

Hart’s time was 19:20.39. Erin Campbell ran the second fastest Whitman time, finishing 71st in 19:32.74. Eliza Vistica came in two slots behind in 73rd with a time of 19:35.40. The final two scoring runners for the Missionaries were Julia Wood and Carolyn Erving who finished neck-and-neck with respective times of 19:39.46 and 19:40.38.

“We had a really solid performance from our women today,” commented Shields. “I am very pleased with our progress at this stage of the season. I was impressed with the performance of Julia Hart. This is the best 5K race she has run in a long time. Both Erin and Eliza really stepped it up and our top five were all within 19 seconds of each other.”

Willamette’s Michaela Freeby won the women’s race with a run of 17:30.13.

The Missionaries run in the Lewis & Clark Invitational in Portland Oct. 19.

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