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Men’s cross country opens ranked 7th in west region
Written by Blake Timm    Tuesday, 21 August 2012 16:44   

• Harriers expected to perform well with return of a pair of all-region runners and four seniors

FOREST GROVE – Thanks in part to their strong showing at last November’s West Region Championships, the Pacific men’s cross country team will open the season as a ranked squad according to the preseason NCAA Division III regional rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

 

The Boxers open the year ranked No. 7 in the west region and are just one of three Northwest Conference programs to be mentioned in the ranking.  Willamette opens the year ranked No. 2, while Whitman opens the year ranked No. 5.  Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who finished third in the last year’s regional meet, tops the preseason ranking board.

 

Head Coach Tim Boyce said that the preseason ranking is nice early recognition for the most experienced men’s team he has coached in his five seasons leading the Boxers.  “The ranking is a testament to the strong finish we had last year,” Boyce said.  “With the returners we have back and the good summer training our entire team had, I am looking forward to a good season.”

 

The Pacific men posted a breakthrough season in 2011, led by a pair of All-West Region performances by incoming seniors Dan Flora (North Bend, Ore.) and Joe Deardorff (Independence, Ore.).  The Boxers posted a fifth place team finish at the MWC Championships and 10th at the NCAA West Region Championships.  Both finishes were the best for the Boxers since 2002.

 

Flora raced his way to Second Team All-NWC honors thanks to a 10th place finish and a personal best of 25:51.59 over 8,000 meters at the NWC Championships.  He followed that up by earning All-West Region honors with a 22nd place finish at the regional meet.  Deardorff, meanwhile, earned Second Team All-NWC honors with his 12th place finish and a personalbest of 25:58.78 at the NWC Championships.  He also matched Flora with All-West Region honors with a 30th place finish at the west regional meet.

 

Pacific will feature six returners this season.  Joining Flora and Deardorff will be seniors Jerry Sanchez (Mecca, Calif.) and Wes Porter (Elk Grove, Calif.), junior Rudy Sanchez (Albany, Ore.) and sophomore Ryan Baxter (Craig, Alaska).

 

The Boxers open the 2012 season with a dual against George Fox on Sat., Sept. 1.  Pacific will host the 2012 Northwest Conference Championships on Sat., Oct. 27, at the Sunset Grove Golf Course near Forest Grove.

 

The complete USTFCCCA Division III regional rankings can be viewed at http://bit.ly/PtL88Q.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blake Timm '98
| Sports Information Director | Athletics
Pacific University | 2043 College Way | Forest Grove, OR 97116
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