TMC’s John Gilbertson
The Master’s College men’s cross country team and three members from the women’s squad will be competing Saturday at the 2012 NAIA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Washington.
While the complete women’s team was not granted an at-large bid to compete together this year at the national championships, Coach Zach Schroeder is highly optimistic about Hannah Kellerman (Sartell, MN), Katrina Graham (Riverside, CA), and Karis Frankian (Saugus, CA).
“We look at this as an opportunity to go head to head with the best teams in the NAIA,” comments Schroeder. “With that, currently our women’s team has a great opportunity to chase All-American honors, which bodes well for a great recruiting class next year. We’re all looking to have our strongest year which is what you want right now at the end of the season.”
Headlining the men’s event will be Mustang senior John Gilbertson (Saugus, CA), who will be seeking to stay undefeated in 2012 and claim his first NAIA national title. The GSAC champion finished third at last year’s national championship.
Schroeder reports, “We’ve really struggled to compete well with five guys on the same day. We really need the whole squad to be dialed in. These last couple of days in training gives me confidence and we look to produce the highest finish in our program.”
At last year’s national championship meet, the men’s squad placed 10th, the highest finish in program history. Last year’s meet also produced two All-Americans, Gilbertson and Anthony Pizzo (Canyon Country, CA).
“We’re looking forward to compete at the highest level, and to finish our 2012 campaign to the best of our ability.”
Saturday’s forecast predicts much excitement for the finely groomed Mustangs, but one thing for certain on the radar is a 100% chance of rain. Competing in the great equalizer, the Mustangs will have to battle the elements in order to secure the school’s first cross country national title.
Held at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the women’s 5K race will start at 10:30am while the men’s 8K event will go off at 11:45 a.m.