Reynolds, Walker Finish In Top 10 to Earn NCAA Invite

Reynolds, Walker Finish In Top 10 to Earn NCAA Invite

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Taking on the best NCAA Division III runners on the West Coast, sophomore Hayley Walker (Cambria, Calif./Coast Union) and senior Francis Reynolds (Palo Alto, Calif.) represented the Puget Sound Loggers well, each placing within the top ten at the 2009 NCAA DIII West Region Championship to earn a spot at next week’s national championship meet.

In the women’s race, Walker found herself in first place coming up the hill following the start and she kept running with the top pack for much of the race. She eventually fell pack slightly but she still managed to finish 10th overall in the competitive field with a time of 22:56.10. By virtue of finishing 7th among runners not on the top two teams in the region, she earned an at-large selection to the 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship next Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio. Pomona-Pitzer senior Alicia Freese won the meet on her home course, finishing in a time of 22:07.60. Whitworth won the time title with 49 points, placing their top three runners in the top 10..

In the men’s race, Reynolds came in as one of the favorites and didn’t disappoint. After sitting in fifth entering the first turn, Reynolds climbed his way into third place at the end of the first lap and remained in the top three the rest of the way. Towards the end of the race, the top two runners pulled away but Reynolds still took third in convincing fashion with a time of 25:46.49 to earn his third straight trip to the national championship. Colorado College sophomore Jackson Brainerd took the individual title, overcoming Occidental sophomore Eric Kleinsasser in the final foot of the race to win with a time of 25:26.65. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the men’s team title, finishing with 50 points.

The 2009 NCAA DIII Championships are set for next Saturday at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland, Ohio, where they will be hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College. The women are set to run at 11:00 am EST while the men are scheduled to compete at Noon EST.