MARION, Ind. – The Spring Arbor University women's cross country team finished in fifth place at the 2016 Crossroads League Championship, held at Indiana Wesleyan University, on Saturday.
Junior Victoria Harper paced the team with a season-best time of 18:39. She would finish fifth overall to earn All-Crossroads League honors as well as qualify for the NAIA National Championship later this month.
EVENT: Crossroads League Championship
TEAM FINISH: 5th/10
TOTAL NUMBER OF RUNNERS: 122
NAIA RANKED TEAMS: No. 14 Taylor, No. 23 Indiana Wesleyan
LOCATION: Marion, Ind.
THE TEAM SCOREBOARD
- Taylor – 46 points (1:34:06)
- Indiana Wesleyan – 68 points (1:35:22)
- Mount Vernon Nazarene – 78 points (1:35:48)
- Marian – 127 points (1:37:55)
- Spring Arbor – 142 points (1:38:01)
- Grace – 167 points (1:39:09)
- Huntington – 177 points (1:40:14)
- Goshen – 207 points (1:40:53)
- Bethel – 214 points (1:41:41)
- Saint Francis – 258 points (1:53:15)
SPRING ARBOR TOP 7 RACE TIMES
- Victoria Harper (18:39 / 5th)
- Kelli Smith (19:42 / 29th)
- Caitlin Clark (19:42 / 30th)
- Jennifer Coffell (19:51 / 37th)
- Hannah Hoffmann (20:04 / 45th)
- Danielle Anderson (20:15 / 50th)
- Diana Dvorak (20:31 / 59th)
- Harper ran her fastest time of the season to help the Cougars earn their highest team finish at the conference meet since 2014. She also qualified for the national championship for the second time in her career.
- Four of SAU's top seven finishers posted career-best times, including seniors Jennifer Coffell and Danielle Anderson, who were competing in the final race of their careers. Also running PR's were Kelli Smith and Diana Dvorak.
- The Cougars also turned in their fastest team time of the season with a 1:38:01.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH BRYAN BURK
- "Our team had a great showing today at the Crossroads League Championships. I am very proud of all of them and the effort they put in to run for their team today. They truly poured out everything they had for each other."
- "We are very excited to have our best team time of the season. The competition was very tough this year and we knew we would be right in the middle of the pack and ended up finishing fifth among a lot of great schools. It was fun to have such a close fight to the finish."
- "The girls dedicated this race to our six seniors and it was a special race to honor them. We were also blessed to come out with one national qualifier, junior Victoria Harper, who had an incredible race to qualify her."
The 36th annual NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship will be held at North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Ill on Saturday, Nov. 19.