(Grand Rapids, Mich.) The combination of good weather, a good course, and
good competition produced great results for the CU Women's Cross Country team
at the Calvin College Knight Invitational.
With the temperature near 60 degrees the air was almost autumn crisp and
while the leaves in the wooded section of the course hadn't started to change
colors, the ground was hard and fast. The fourteen-team field included
nationally rated schools from NCAA division III and the NAIA. Coming into the meet, Cornerstone needed to
race well to improve on the 30th place in the weekly NAIA poll. The
Golden Eagles put their sights on number fifteen ranked Aquinas and number
seventeen, Spring Arbor. The early pace
away fast as the race got underway. Andi Ripley stuck to the back of the large
front group passing through the mile mark in 5:41. The next four CU harriers
arrived at 6:05.
Ripley held fifteenth place then out sprinted Spring Arbor'stop
runner to finish fourteenth in 18:38, a personal best by 23 seconds. Melissa
Sawicki shaved two seconds off her PR clocking 19:07 for 26th. Nicki
Erler took sixteen seconds off her previous best finishing 31st in
19:24. Janelle Lindman turned in a season-best 19:43 in 52nd and
Janey Sluka lowered her PR an amazing 56 seconds to finish 58th in
19:47. In addition to the personal best
times, the CU women tied the school record of 1:36:39 for the fastest 5k team
The results brought even better news, Cornerstone finished seventh with
181 points, ahead of Spring Arbor in eighth with 186. Aquinas was fifth at 149.
Calvin won the meet with 28.
"We got what we were looking for
today," said coach Rod Wortley. "The women executed the race plan extremely well
and matched up well with the teams we wanted to beat."