Cross country at Seattle Pacific began as a
fall conditioning program for track athletes in the early Fifties.
Ken Foreman, who became track coach in 1950, initiated the program
soon after. Early on, the Falcons produced men's teams of national
Bernard Buck, who took over for Foreman from
1957-63, guided the team to four consecutive NAIA district titles.
Seattle Pacific was sixth nationally in 1961 and seventh in 1962.
Foreman returned in 1964 and two years later took the Falcons to
second at the NCAA Pacific Coast Regional.
The women's program is rooted in the Falcon
Track Club, a women's elite program founded by Foreman. Doris
Brown (Heritage) was Foreman's star harrier on those original FTC
teams. She was among several women who went on to run for the U.S.
National Team, and won an unprecedented five consecutive IAAF
World Championships from 1967-71.
In 1976, the first varsity women's program
began competing, and Debbie Quatier, who had previously run for
FTC, won the regional meet while leading the Falcons to second
overall. By 1979, Heritage succeeded Foreman as coach and SPU won
its first regional crown and went on to finish second nationally
in the AIAW Championships. It was the first of 11 times the women
qualified for national meets. They have placed as high as third at
the NCAA Championships in 1983 and '86, and have finished among
the top 10 each of the past three seasons. Since becoming a
Pacific West Conference sport six years ago, SPU has won five
Individually, there have been 19 All-America
runners, including two national champions: Joan Corbin (1979 AIAW)
and Bente Moe (1985 NCAA).
Seattle Pacific has hosted fall meets at a
variety of locations, but none more so than Camp Casey on Whidbey
Island. Foreman began the Coupeville Invitational on the former
seaside army base in 1964, just before the university acquired the
land from the government. The Casey Invitational--with a signature
stage running up a wooded trail and looping around an historic
lighthouse--was held on an annual basis through 1993, and meets
continue to be run there on a semi-annual basis.
|SPU at Nationals