TACOMA, Washington – Underclassmen set the tone early for the 2017 Puget Sound cross country season, and the young runners were rewarded by season's end.
The Puget Sound women began the season by winning the Logger Invitational (Sept. 2), as freshman Rachael Metzler led all NCAA D-III runners by crossing the finish line in 24:18.00. Eight weeks later, both Metzler and classmate Samantha Schaffer were named to the All-Northwest Conference Second Team, while Schaffer was tabbed the NWC Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year.
Scaffer placed sixth in the NWC Championships by timing in at 22:54.7, while Metzler finished 10th with a time of 23:04.5. As a team, the Logger women placed third overall, and the Puget Sound men placed ninth. Junior Liam Monaghan was the first finisher for the Loggers. He timed in at 27:38.8 in the 8k, good for 34th overall.
Schaffer and Metzler set the pace for the Loggers through most of the season. They were the Loggers' top finishers in the Sundodger Invitational (Sept. 26), while cracking Puget Sound's Top-25 List. Schaffer's time of 22:41.97 ranks No. 13 in Logger history, and Metzler's 22:45.36 is No. 16.
Sophomore Isaac Fourner led the Logger men in Sundodger Invitational, timing in at 26:56.12.
The Schaffer-Metzler duo led the Loggers once again in both the Charles Bowles Invitational (Sept. 30) and Pioneer Invitational. Monaghan was the top Puget Sound men's runner in both of those races.
The Logger women spent most of the 2017 season ranked in the Top 10 of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Regional ranks. Puget Sound broke into the rankings in the second week, coming in at No. 7. The Loggers peaked at the No. 5 spot for several weeks.