GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Elizabeth Soper (SR/Grand Rapids, Mich.) paced the Olivet Nazarene University women's cross country contingency at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge XC Invitational hosted by Aquinas College (Mich.), leading the Tigers to an eighth place finish. The 5k race was held at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Continued strong leadership by Soper was key to the Tigers top-10 finish. Soper used an impressive 18:30.80 time to finish ninth in the 273 runner field.
Alexa Beezhold (JR/Saint John, Ind.) crossed the finish line in 18:46.35 to finish second for Olivet, 14th overall. Karley Divan (SR/Lees Summit, Mo.) finished third for the Tigers, finishing in 10:48.13 in 58th place. Rounding out the top five for Olivet were Angela Budach (FR/Woodridge, Ill.) and Heather Halverson (JR/Le Roy, Ill.), who finished 79th and 80th, respectively. Budach posted a 20:18.89, edging out Halverson who finished at 20:20.82.
Aquinas captured the overall team title, followed by Shawnee State University (Ohio) and Taylor University (Ind.). Saint Xavier finished fourth, just ahead of Indiana Wesley University.
Next up the Tigers look to defend their title at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, Nov. 5. The top two teams will earn automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship. The race will be held at Channahon Park in Channahon, Illinois. The women's race is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m.