TACOMA, Washington – For the first time since 1996, the Puget Sound men's and women's cross country teams enter the season with a head coach not named Mike Orechia. Following Orechia's retirement, first-year head coach Lisa Kushiyama has a strong core of returning Loggers, including a Northwest Conference champion, for the 2019 season.
Men's sophomore Colin Monaghan had a sensation freshman season. The Puyallup, Washington, native won the 2018 NWC Men's Cross Country title, and he was named both the NWC Men's Runner of the Year and NWC Men's Freshman of the Year.
Women's junior Samantha Schaffer has already put together a fine collegiate career. Hailing from Greenwood Village, Colorado, Schaffer is a two-time All-NWC selection. She was named the NWC Women's Freshman of the Year in 2017. Fellow classmate Rachael Metzler is another key returner for the Logger women. She, too, earned an All-NWC honor as a freshman.
The 2019 season begins with the Puget Sound Invitational, Aug. 31, at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington.
Kushiyama added the Viking Rust Buster to this year's schedule, as Puget Sound heads to Portland State, Sept. 7. Puget Sound hosts the NWC Championships at Fort Steilacoom Park, Nov. 2.