CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With snow blanketing much of the Midwest, the Olivet Nazarene University women's cross country team had near perfect fall conditions for the NAIA National Championship race on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the McAlpine Park course in North Carolina. Sarah Ray (JR/Warsaw, Ind.) paced the Tiger contingency, finishing 28th overall in the 300 strong field to earn her second career NAIA All-American honor. Olivet finished 17th in the field of 35 teams.
Ray and Elizabeth Soper (JR/Grand Rapids, Mich.) were the only Tigers to post sub-19:00 times. Ray narrowly missed a new personal best, crossing at 18:07.6. Soper ran an impressive race, finishing in 18:34.0.
Alyssa Faulks (SR/Caldwell, Idaho), the lone senior on the team, finished third for Olivet and placed 80th overall with a time of 19:01.7. Rounding gout the top five finishers were Karley Brown (JR/Lees Summit, Mo.) and Alexa Beezhold (SO/Saint John, Ind.). Brown posted a time of 19:40.3 to place 143rd, while Beezhold finished at 20:06.4 to place 176th.
Northwest Christian captured their first ever NAIA National Championship with three runners finishing in the top 10 and a fourth picking up All-American honors. Defending national champion British Columbia took second place, followed by Biola University (Cal.) and Aquinas College (Mich.).
Losing just one runner to graduation, the Tigers will look to next season to improve upon this year and a return to the podium.