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Lopez Leads Beacons in Opening Run
Written by Nick Askew    Sunday, 02 September 2012 00:46   

PORTLAND, Ore.  – Trailing only one other non-NCAA Division I runner, sophomore Nick Lopez made a huge leap forward for the Beacons on Saturday in their season opening race, the Pier Park Invitational, hosted by the University of Portland.

 

Lopez finished the 6,000m event in 19:03, shaving 30 seconds off of his time from the same course one year ago as he claimed 18th place. Junior Crosby Green was the next to cross the finish line, taking nearly a full minute off of his previous course best as he ran a 19:42 for 31st place. Head Coach Heike McNeil said, “It was very good to see our returners step up this much. They really put in their off season work and are progressing nicely.”

 

Right on Crosby’s heels in 33rd place was freshman Andre Walker, making his NCU debut with a time of 19:44. Freshman Alek Angeli followed at 19:56 (38th) and freshman Taylor Kraal came in as the fifth runner with a 20:08 to claim 41st place.

 

Also running were Hunter Tyler (20:15, 44th) and Zach Hammond (20:38, 50th).

 

“The guys did great today,” said McNeil. “It is going to be so much fun to see them all improve. They are going to be the best team we have ever had and I can’t wait to face Cascade Conference competition to see how we stack up.”

 

NCU will be back in action in two weeks for their first look at another CCC foe when they hit the trail in Klamath Falls for a dual-meet with Oregon Tech.

 

Beacons Open Against Top-Flight Talent

 

PORTLAND, Ore.  – The Northwest Christian University women’s cross country team wasted little time in finding strong competition for the 2012 season, facing off with three NCAA Division I programs at the Pier Point Invitational.

 

In a race dominated by runners from the University of Oregon, sophomore Ally Manley emerged with an incredible race, taking 12th place to stay ahead of all competitors from Oregon State, among other foes. She ran a 17:55, giving her a large gap ahead of her teammates.

 

Second across was Sierra Schorer-Noll in 33rd, coming in slightly ahead of Ashley Kinney as both runners posted a final time of 19:25. On their heels was sophomore Allison Duvenez with a 19:26 in 35th.

 

Head Coach Heike McNeil said, “Sierra and Allison had amazing races. I feel like we really have a strong chance to be a great team again with both of them being up higher in the pack. They worked extremely hard over the summer and it is paying off.”

 

Finishing fourth for the Beacons was Heidi Gori, running a 19:48 to take 41st place, equaling her time from one year ago.  “The course changed some from last year and was running much slower so for Heidi to equal her time from 2011 was a big deal.”

 

Not to be outdone, junior Katie Peterson took over a minute off of her time from last season, taking 51st place with a 20:48.

 

Northwest Christian returns to action in two weeks, traveling to Steen Sports Park in Klamath Falls for a dual meet with Oregon Tech.

 

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