GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Spring Arbor University women's cross country team continues to build momentum as it approaches the upcoming Crossroads League Championship. The Cougars finished 11th out of 25 teams at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge on Saturday – a meet that featured some of the nation's top teams, including eight either ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll.
EVENT: NAIA Great Lakes Challenge
TEAM FINISH: 11th/25
TOTAL NUMBER OF RUNNERS: 273
NAIA RANKED TEAMS: No. 4 Aquinas, No. 11 Shawnee State, No. 12 Taylor, No. 17 Saint Xavier, No. 21 Olivet Nazarene, No. 23 Indiana Wesleyan, #RV Madonna, #RV Siena Heights
LOCATION: Riverside Park | Grand Rapids, Mich.
THE TEAM SCOREBOARD (TOP 5 TEAMS)
- Aquinas – 55 points
- Shawnee State – 89 points
- Taylor – 103 points
- Saint Xavier – 114 points
- Indiana Wesleyan 151 points
SPRING ARBOR TOP 7 RACE TIMES
- Victoria Harper (19:27 / 35th)
- Kelli Smith (19:55 / 68th)
- Hannah Hoffmann (19:59 / 71st)
- Jennifer Coffell (20:01 / 75th)
- Caitlin Clark (20:26 / 100th)
- Megan Beck (20:49 / 136th)
- Kyria Shoemaker (20:52 / 137th)
- Reigning Crossroads League Runner of the Week Victoria Harper led the way for the Cougars. Harper posted a time of 19:27 to take 35th place in the field of 273 competitors.
- Freshman Kelli Smith ran her fastest 5k time of the season, completing the race in 19:55 to earn 68th place overall.
- Running in their first meets in more than a month, senior Jennifer Coffell and sophomore Caitlin Clark finished fourth and fifth for SAU. Coffell turned in a 20:01 while Clark was close behind with a 20:26.
- Five other Cougars also recorded season-best times including, Megan Beck (20:49), Diana Dvorak (21:35), Megan Brown (21:55), Shekinah Johnson (22:48) and Rachelle Budop (28:40).
- For the third straight meet, SAU lowered its team time running a 1:39:50.
- Out of the nine Crossroads League teams competing, SAU finished fourth in what could be a preview of the upcoming league championship.
- Aquinas College earned the team title at the event with 55 points and a team time of 1:32:58.
- The individual winner was Elie Willging from Saint Xavier University with a time of 17:48.
Spring Arbor will travel to Marion, Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 5 for the 2016 Crossroads League Championship.