The University of Redlands men's and women's cross country teams braved the frigid conditions of Washington to compete in 2018 NCAA Division III West Regional Championships on Saturday morning in Walla Walla. After the conclusion of the races at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course, three Bulldogs automatically qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships and five finished among the top 35 to capture All-Region honors. In addition, the men's team turned in an excellent fourth-place finish, while the women impressed with a ninth-place result. This is the men's best finish at the NCAA Division III West Regional Championships since 1992.
In the men's 8K, sophomore Tucker Cargile (Denver, CO) paced the Bulldogs by finishing with a seventh-place time of 25:14.5. His effort surpassed his 39th-place showing from last year and resulted in his first All-Region honor for cross country. Furthermore, he punched his ticket to next week's NCAA Championships in Oshkosh, WI.
Senior Joseph Esparza (Arcata, CA) closely followed Cargile and fired off a strong performance to stop the clock at 25:24.4 for 13th place. He also earned an All-Region nod and secured his second trip to the national meet.
Senior Benjamin Casey (Highland Park, IL) completed the race with a 30th-place time of 25:52.5, which is a personal best. He earned his second All-Region honor for cross country as well.
While making their inaugural appearance at the regional meet, sophomore Matthew Casey (Highland Park, IL) and first-year Jason Hernandez (San Juan Capistrano, CA) put together a solid outing for the Bulldogs. M. Casey crossed the line in 26:46.7 for 58th place, as Hernandez stopped the clock in 27:10.4 to round out the Bulldogs' top five.
Leading the pack for the women, junior Maria Ramirez (Orange, CA) battled a fellow Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) runner to the line to complete the 6K race with a time of 22:28.4. Her seventh-place finish also punches her ticket to Oshkosh, WI, and lands her among the All-Region honorees for the third time in as many years.
Senior Ellie Ramsey (Waterbury, VT) displayed a valiant effort that resulted in her highest regional finish with a 31st-place run to collect her first All-Region honor in her final meet as a Bulldogs. In a close race to the line, she uncorked a time of 23:14.0. First-year Isabella Glenn (Seattle, WA) followed close behind Ramsey to complete her first regional meet with a time of 23:40.0 for 44th place.
Ramirez, Cargile, and Esparza are set to compete at the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday, November 17, in Oshkosh, WI. The men's team awaits a possible at-large bid to the national meet, with the announcement coming at 12 noon tomorrow on NCAA.com.