Puget Sound cross country shows it's in good hands with Kushiyama

Puget Sound cross country shows it's in good hands with Kushiyama

TACOMA, Washington – Colin Monaghan continued his reign in the Northwest Conference and first-year head coach Lisa Kushiyama put forward three All-NWC runners during the 2019 Puget Sound men's and women's cross country season.

Monaghan, a native of Puyallup, Washington, successfully defended his NWC title and repeated as the NWC Men's Runner of the Year. Puget Sound hosted the NWC Championships in Fort Steilacoom Park (Nov. 2). Monaghan was neck-and-neck with two other runners, but the Logger sophomore pulled away in the final 200 meters and crossed the finish like 24:35.5, just two seconds ahead of the second-place runner in the 8k.

Cody DeWitt claimed his first-career All-NWC nod by finishing the championship race in 26:09.2. DeWitt claimed the final All-NWC spot in dramatic fashion, beating out the following runner by 1.2 seconds.

In the women's championship race, Rachael Metzler earned her second-career All-NWC honor by placing eighth with a time of 23:10.1.

The Logger trio continued to race in the NCAA D-III West Regionals hosted by Pomona-Pitzer (Nov. 16). There, Monaghan earned an All-West Region nod and a bid to compete in the NCAA D-III Championships in Louisville, Kentucky (Nov. 23).

The 2019 season began where the NWC ended: at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington. Monaghan won the men's race the Puget Sound Invitational (Aug. 31), while Samantha Schaffer placed second and Metzler seventh in the women's race.

The Loggers had just one week to prepare for their next race. Kushiyama added to the schedule an event that included a field of many NCAA D-I runners in the Viking Rust Buster hosted by Portland State (Sept. 7). Monaghan paced the Logger men by finishing fourth out of 57 runners, and Metzler was 46th out of 83 women's runners.

The following three races were all hosted by NWC programs: Pacific Lutheran Invitational (Sept. 21), Willamette's Charles Bowles Invitational (Oct. 5), and the Lewis & Clark Pioneer Invitational (Oct. 15). Monaghan won all three races.