Women’s Cross Country 18th at Nationals

Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 24th, 2013


NAIA Cross Country ChampionshipCompeting with a wind-chill factor of 15 degrees at the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Championship in Lawrence, Kansas, Westmont Women’s Cross Country finished 18th out of a field of 32 national competitors.

Freshman Kelly Collins was the Warriors’ top-finisher, completing the 5,000 meter course at Rim Rock Farm in a time of 18:59 and finishing 62nd out of 319 finishers.

“Kelly held her own and did not fold under pressure competing as our number one runner and at nationals for the first time,” noted Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “We had a one minute team spread, the best of the season. We had hoped we would have that level of performance. It was a reasonable performance for our women. Their aspirations were a little higher but they held together well in a large field and on a challenging course. I think the temperature had an effect on their ability to run fast.”

Sophomore Jessica Meyers claimed 86th place with a time of 19:08 and sophomore Piper Bain finished the course in a time of 19:47 to finish 170th. Junior Heidi Nicholls’ time of 19:57 was good enough for 184th place. Freshman Haley Alexander completed the Warriors’ scoring, finished 188th in a time of 19:59.

“Haley ran a strong race in her first national championship,” noted Smelley

The team matched its 18th place finish from last season and has competed at the national championship the last three seasons. With four of Westmont’s top-five finishers underclassmen, the future looks bright for the women’s cross country team.