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(Lawrence, Kan.) The Cornerstone Women's Cross Country team made their second appearance at the NAIA National Championship finishing 20th in the 32-team field. The hilly, 5 kilometer course at Rim Rock Farm was made even more challenging by the 19 degree wind chill.
Julie Oosterhouse led the team as she has all season, placing 57th in 18:53. Trinity Hulst ran a near personal best 19:15 finishing 109th. CU's 3-5 pack finished just eight seconds apart with Audrey Tremaine and Leah Shepherd 191st and 192nd in 19:59 and 20:00. Sydney Tremaine was 202nd in 20:07.
The University of British Columbia won convincingly with 56 points. As they have been all season, WHAC rivals Indiana Tech and Cornerstone were nearly inseparable. The Warriors finished 19th with 488 and The Golden Eagles were 20th with 508 with CU's team time four seconds faster than Tech's. Hillary Holt of the College of Idaho took the individual title, running 16:48.
(Grand Rapids, Mich.) Two weeks after finishing three places behind Indiana Tech at the Great Lakes Challenge, the Cornerstone Women's Cross Country team successfully defended their 2012 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title.
The Golden Eagles, ranked 21st in the last NAIA poll, put two in the top three and got all five scoring runners in the top thirteen to upset the thirteenth-ranked Warriors 38 to 55. Aquinas was third with 64 points.
It's been a toss-up between Cornerstone, Tech and Aquinas since the second week of September as the three teams met four times during the season with never more than a few points and a few seconds of team time separating them. "Tech broke away at Great Lakes and going into the WHAC meet, they looked to have the best shot at winning," said Coach Rod Wortley. "We needed to find a way to break up their tight 1-3 group and get our fifth inside their number four. Finishing close to them in 20-30 team meets is a lot different than beating them at the conference meet with just three good teams."
(Grand Rapids, Mich.) With eight of the top 25 team in the NAIA looking to solidify their rankings in the last big meet of the season, the Great Lakes Invitational, hosted by Aquinas College provided the perfect opportunity. Five teams beat teams ranked ahead of them, including twenty-first ranked Cornerstone topping nineteenth ranked Aquinas.
The biggest upset saw tenth ranked Taylor University winning the meet over fifth ranked St. Francis of Illinois and sixth ranked Olivet Nazarene. The Trojans' 80 points were six better than ONU with St. Francis a distant third in the 33-team meet.
Equally impressive, was twenty-third ranked Indiana Tech's fourth place finish beating eleventh ranked Texas Wesleyan and sixteenth ranked Shawnee State.
At the end of the four-through-seven group, came Cornerstone. Julie Oosterhouse's seventh place finish in 18:18 paced the Golden Eagles. Jill Louisignau followed with a season best 18:42 in 23rd while Audrey Tremaine took 43rd in 19:03. Trinity Hulst added PR 19:13 in 57th and Cathy Coryell completed the scoring taking 72nd in 19:23.
"Our top five ran well and it was good to get ahead of Aquinas," said coach Rod Wortley. "It's still looks to be a three-way battle for the conference championship, though."
There were other notable accomplishments, including finishing nine Golden Eagles under 20 minutes for the first time in the same race. After the top five, were Kaylee Carew (19:37), Sydney Treamaine (19:44), Leah Shepherd (19:48) and Brooke Owens (19:57). Four others ran personal bests, including Kayla Ovokaitys (20:15), Erin Laplander (20:35), Brianna Griffiths (21:09) and Bailey Brogan (21:33).
November 9, the team returns to Riverside Park to defend their 2012 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title.
(Grand Rapids, Mich.) For the second straight meet, Cornerstone's Louis Falland has taken on some of the best in the NAIA and disposed of nearly all the competition. With six of the top fourteen ranked teams in the NAIA on hand, Falland's 24:57 earned him fourth in the eight kilometer race at Riverside Park.
A passing morning shower left the grass wet, but the footing was good on the figure eight loops around the park. Louis ran patiently in the lead pack through three miles before last year's winner, Mizael Carrea of Robert Morris College broke away taking Dylan Reyes and Mike Blaszczyk of St. Francis of Illinois with him. Timing mats at every mile mark recorded splits for each athlete during the race and the results showed that Louis' final mile in 4:54 was the fastest of anyone in the race. His new best time of 24:57 moved him from sixth to fourth on the CU all-time list.
"This is just his second race of the season. He's never raced at the front of a cross country race before this season so he's still a bit tentative," Van Holten said. "He also ran the second half of the race with one shoe untied, which is a constant distraction."
Behind Falland, the rest of the team ran well. "This is the best we've run all year," said Coach Nate Van Holten. Ben Foreman ran a season best 26:59 to finish 105th. Freshmen, Hunter Burnham (27:33 / 147th) and Jacob Benson (27:50 / 171st) new personal bests as did junior, Michael Darling (28:50 / 232nd).
St. Francis, the defending NAIA national champions, won the meet, edging Olivet Nazarene 66-69. Cornerstone finished 17th in the 37 team field.
November 9, the Golden Eagles return to Riverside Park for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championship.
LAWRENCE, KS (10/12) The sixteenth ranked Cornerstone Women's Cross Country team traveled to historic Rim Rock Farm in Kansas to race on the course for this year's NAIA Championship. The team placed eighth out of 30 teams.
Julie Oosterhouse ran remarkably even splits over the hilly second and third miles taking seventh in 18:40. She was followed by Jill Lousignau, 33rd in 19:18, Cathy Coryell, 54th in 19:36. Audrey Tremaine followed in 19:58 for 79th and Leah Shepherd's 87th place in 20:04 gave Cornerstone 245 points.
Dordt won with 99 points in a field that featured ten teams ranked in the top 25. The three WHAC teams clustered together just as they did in September. Aquinas placed seventh with 241, Cornerstone took eighth with 245 and Indiana Tech was ninth at 250. CU's team time of 97:38 was twelve seconds better than the Saints. "We've run flat, fast courses and hilly, hard courses and either way we're totally tangled up," said Cornerstone Coach Rod Wortley. We'll all meet again in two weeks at Riverside Park to see if any of us has found a way to pull ahead."