CHANNAHON, Ill. – Despite having three runners finish in the top 11, the Olivet Nazarene University women's cross country team finished third at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, Nov. 5. The 5k race was held at Community Park in Channahon, Ill. There were a total of 135 runners competing from 13 universities.
Elizabeth Soper (SR/Grand Rapids, Mich.), who has had a phenomenal senior season, finished third overall. She crossed the finish line in an impressive 18:46.7. Alexa Beezhold (JR/Saint John, Ind.), running a 19:14.8, took seventh place , Sarah Ray (SR/Warsaw, Ind.), who had missed several weeks of practice for medical reasons was close behind in 11th place at 19:18.2. All three qualified as individuals for the 2016 NAIA National Championships.
Karley Divan (SR/Lees Summit, Mo.) and Courtney Vande Vorde (FR/Hamilton, Mich.) finished 26th and 27th, respectively. Divan crossed the finish line in 20:20.5 with Vande Vorde right behind at 20:22.4.
The University of St. Francis (Ill.) captured the overall team title with 44 points, edging out Saint Xavier University (Ill.) with 46. Olivet finished third with 74 points. Rounding out the top five was Saint Ambrose University (Iowa) and Trinity Christian College (lll.).
Soper, Beezhold and Ray will represent Olivet at the NAIA National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 19. This year's event will be held at North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Illinois. The women's race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.