(Grand Rapids, Mich.) For the second time this season the Cornerstone Women's Cross Country team shattered the school record for team time. Both records occurred at the Calvin College Gainey Athletic Complex.
Running in the Michigan Intercollegiate Championship meet, the Golden Eagles faced a field with 27 Michigan Colleges represented. The rain earlier in the week did little to soften the course and the wooded sections of the course blocked most of the gusting wind.
Coming into the meet, the team was looking forward to racing conference rivals, Aquinas for the first time since early September. The Saints held out their top seven, leaving Cornerstone to find another plan. "Aquinas beat us by 53 seconds here in September, so if we couldn't race them, the idea was to beat their time from that day," said Coach Rod Wortley.
CU's front runner all season, Jill Louisignau was joined by Julie Oosterhouse and Audrey Tremaine. The trio ran side by side through the first mile, splitting 5:39. Julia Contrers followed in 5:45 with CallyAnne Wyma and Mindy Lewis together at 5:54.
After the second mile, Jill, Julie and Audrey worked their way into the pack of Calvin runners. Behind them their teammates were matching up and passing the next best NAIA team in the race, Spring Arbor.
In the final 400 meters, Oosterhouse unleashed her All-American 800 meter speed reaching the finish in 21st place with a huge personal best of 18:13. Louisignau and Audrey Tremaine pushed each other all the way to the line with Jill catching the camera first in 25th. Both clocked new PR's of 18:26.9. Audrey's time broke the freshman record of 18:36 set in 1996 by Erin Courtright. Contreras placed 28th lowering her best by 25 seconds to 18:41. Wyma ran a collegiate best, 19:06 in 42nd place with Lewis erasing 11 seconds off her PR in 51st in 19:14. Sydney Tremaine became the fastest CU woman at the number seven spot placing 67th in a new best, 19:38.
Cornerstone's team time, the total of the first five runners, was an astonishing 92:55, chopping 2:16 off the old mark from September and 1:23 faster than Aquinas on that day.
Grand Valley State dominated the meet taking six of the first nine places for a winning score of 19. Host, Calvin was second with 74 followed by Saginaw Valley State with 85 and Cornerstone fourth with 124 points.