NNU Heads To Sacramento, Earns Team Of The Week Nod
Three Nighthawks earned All-West Region honors after running in a pack and finishing within a 16-second span.
Three Nighthawks earned All-West Region honors after running in a pack and finishing within a 16-second span.

Monday, November 11, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Northwest Nazarene women’s cross country team finished fifth at the GNAC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26 in Billings, Montana. That would be no indication, however, of how the Nighthawks would perform at their next meet.

The Nighthawks placed second with 134 points at the NCAA Division II West Region Championships on Saturday at Western Oregon’s Ash Creek Preserve and earned the program’s first NCAA Division II Championships berth. The Nighthawks earned selection as the GNAC Team of the Week.

“We weren’t firing on all cylinders two weeks ago,” head coach Danny Bowman said about the GNAC Championships. “We had a lot of confidence today. It was cool to see the girls come together as a unit and run the best that they can.”

Northwest Nazarene placed three runners in the top-25 and all five scoring runners in the top-60 to earn one of the three automatic qualifying spots at the national meet. The Nighthawks’ No. 1 and No. 5 runners were separated by just over 58 seconds.

Three Nighthawks earned All-West Region honors at the meet. Freshman Julia LaMar paced the Nighthawks, finishing in 11th place in a time of 21:06.4. Senior Bethany Danner finished in 21st in 21:17.9 and junior Annalisa Hamilton placed 23rd in 21:22.2.

“They’ve been our top-three runners all year,” Bowman said. “Grouping up was a big deal and they did a really good job with that. We work well as a coaching staff and we love our kids. We invest a lot in them, not just as athletes, and want the best for them.”

Rounding out the Nighthawks’ scoring runners were senior Sierra Manzer (27th place in 21:29.5) and Kalen Johnson (55th place in 22:04.5).

With the second-place finish, Northwest Nazarene earned one of the region’s three automatic qualifying spots in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23 at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California. The entire qualifying field, including at-large selections, will be announced Monday afternoon.