Chapman women’s cross country placed 13th at the NCAA West Regionals in Salem, Oregon Saturday, placing higher than any other Chapman cross country team in the university’s history.
The combined efforts from the women put Chapman in 13th place in the 6-kilometer race with 343 points, an average time of 24:31. The Panthers were just 2:06.7 off first place Willamette.
“We placed 13th, which was a big improvement from last year for us,” said sophomore Cori Stemper. “The mental aspect of preparing for a huge race like this was difficult but we were successful.”
Sophomore Cathryne Ramirez finished 35th, bringing 34 points home for the team in a time of 23:26.29. Stemper finished 69th, giving the Panthers 68 points in a time of 24:25.91. Right behind Stemper was sophomore Jessica Selby in 24:25.93, who added 69 points to the Panthers’ total.
Ernst finished 100th in a time of 25:32.98 with 99 points. Following Ernst was sophomore Sara Wanous in 113th place in 26:36.19, adding 112 points. Collectively, these five women made Chapman cross country history.
In the men’s 8-kilometer race, junior Chris Reid, who was the only runner on the men’s side, finished in 35th place with a time of 26:33.77.
“Cathryne Ramirez and Chris Reid, in particular, had phenomenal races, earning all region honors,” Ernst said.
Reid said receiving an all-regional award was incredibly rewarding.
“It feels great to see all of the hard work I’ve put in over the summer and fall pay off,” Reid said.
The efforts put forth by Ramirez and Reid have not gone unnoticed by their teammates. Ernst said the team is nominating them for athlete of the week.
The Weather Channel forecasted 44-degree temperatures in Salem, which could be shocking for any Southern California runner unaccustomed to low temperatures. However, the Panthers were not going to let a chill prevent them from doing their best.
“We performed well with the cold element factor,” Stemper said.
Saturday’s meet puts the women’s cross country team in sixth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with three dual points and three SCIAC Championship points. For the men, Chapman sits in last place with zero dual points and one SCIAC Championship point. For both male and female divisions, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps holds first place with 16 points in each division.