Pacific's Tyler Shipley and Rachel Schreiber will run at nationals

Pacific’s trip in September to the Division III Pre-Nationals Meet in Indiana proved to be well worth the expense.

For the first time since 2008, Pacific will be represented at the national meet, as freshman Tyler Shipley and sophomore Rachel Schreiber earned at-large selections to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

The national meet will take place on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

“I am very happy for both Rachel and Tyler,” Pacific cross country coach Tim Boyce said. “They each ran excellent, lifetime bests at the regional meet on Saturday as did many others from our squads. We were not sure how many teams would be invited from the West Region, but we remained hopeful.

“I know they both look forward to the opportunity to return to Terre Haute. We are very proud of them.”

Shipley’s invitation was made possible when the University of La Verne was named as an at-large selection to the national meet. The Leopards finished third in the regional meet, behind automatic qualifying teams from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer.

Shipley, a Forest Grove High School graduate who placed 16th in Saturday’s meet, was the seventh and final individual qualifier to make the field.

Shipley was the No. 3 runner from the Northwest Conference to finish at regionals, and became just the third Pacific runner to ever run under 25 minutes for 8,000 meters with a time of 24:59.30. He is now the third-fastest runner in school history and becomes the Boxers’ first men’s competitor at the NCAA Championships since fellow Forest Grove native Kellen Peters in 2006.

Schreiber, meanwhile, earned a spot in the national meet field thanks to a story that could only happen in the world of NCAA Division III athletics.

Even with the selection of Willamette as the third team from the West Region with an at-large berth — joining Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Lewis & Clark — Schreiber appeared to have just missed the field as the No. 8 individual runner not from those schools.

But Pomona-Pitzer’s Annie Lydens, the No. 4 individual qualifier from the region, is unable to compete at the national meet because she is a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. That opened the door for Schreiber to be Pacific’s first female representative at nationals since Kelsey Owens in 2008.

Schreiber posted a lifetime best for 6,000 meters on Saturday and became the fourth fastest runner in school history, finishing 18th with a time of 22:03.06. She was the sixth NWC runner to cross the finish line after just missing All-NWC honors two weeks ago with a 15th-place finish at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships.

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