BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Elizabeth Soper (SR/Grand Rapids, Mich.) came to the 2016 Midwest Classic ready to start her senior season as a member of the Olivet Nazarene University cross country team. Soper captured first place in the 75 runner field, crossing the finish line in 19:23.58. She finished more than 15 seconds ahead of teammate Sarah Ray (SR/Warsaw, Ind.) who also ran an impressive race, the only other runner to break the 20 minute mark, finishing at 19:39.58. The annual 5k race was held on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Aspen Ridge Golf Course and with it came the almost annual rain. The entire race was run with a steady rain falling on an already saturated golf course.
The Tigers top seven runners all finished in the top 10. Behind Soper and Ray was Karley Brown (SR/Lees Summit, Mo.) in fourth place overall. Brown finished in 20:15.74. Alexa Beezhold (JR/Saint John, Ind.) and Heather Halverson (JR/Le Roy, Ill.) rounded out the top five Olivet finishers. Beezhold finished in 20:26.91 to place fifth while Halverson finished right behind sixth at 20:30.93.
Olivet finished with 18 points dominating the field to capture the title, followed by Greenville College (Ill.) in second with 76 points. North Park University (Ill.) finished third with 82 points. Roosevelt University (Ill.) and Moraine Valley Community College (Ill.) rounded out the top five with 112 and 137, respectively.
The Tigers return to action on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational hosted by Augusta College. The event, scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m., will be run at the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois.