Clinton, Iowa - The Viterbo University women's cross country team has been a very consistent team all season. That did not change today as they won the program's first Midwest Collegiate Conference Championship in school history. With the MCC title, the Lady Harriers automatically qualify for the 31st Annual Women's NAIA Cross Country National Championships on November 20th in Portland, Oregon.
"Our team did a great job following our plan for the race today," said head coach John Metelko. "Our ladies believed they could win this race and they trusted their training and their teammates. While we were facing good completion, our team's confidence in their abilities helped them to perform today."
As has been the pattern for Viterbo this season, the V-Hawks were led by juniors Bea Foley (Greenville, Wis.) and Kriston Siemianowski (Sparta, Wis.). Foley finished the 5-K course in 18:50 while Siemianowski completed the race in 19:04. Foley and Siemianowski finished behind MCC Champion Obsie Birru who completed the course in an impressive 17:56. Also finishing in the top five for the V-Hawks was sophomore Rosemary Loken (La Crosse, Wis.) who finished fifth individually in a time of 20:04.
Running one of her best races of the season was V-Hawk teammate Amanda Schield (So. - Medford, Wis.). Schield finished 12th individually in a time of 20:29. Rounding out the scoring for the V-Hawks was junior Cindy Leuck (Cashton, Wis.) who completed the course in 20:35; good enough for 14th individually. Also running for the V-Hawks was freshman Sandy Gebhart (New Holstein, Wis.) (15th, 20:37) and Lindsy Cook (Fr. - Rhinelander, Wis.) (21st, 21:06).
As a team, the V-Hawks finished the race with 36 points, an impressive 27 points ahead of second place Mount Mercy University. Grand View University finished third as a team with 67 points while St. Ambrose came in fourth with 81 points. At the conclusion of the race, V-Hawk Head Coach John Metelko was honored as the MCC Coach of the Year.
In just their third season as a varsity program, the Lady V-Hawks has gone from finishing fourth at the MCC Championships in their inaugural season to second last season. Last year, the V-Hawks had Foley and Loken qualify individually for the NAIA national championships but this is the first time they will go as a team. Thirty two teams will compete at the national meet which is hosted by Concordia University of Portland, Oregon.
1. Viterbo (36 points), 2. Mount Mercy (63 points), 3. Grand View (67 points), 4. St. Ambrose (81 points), 5. Clarke (130 points), 6. William Penn (177 points), 7. Ashford (199 Points), 8. Iowa Wesleyan (243 points), 9. Waldorf (incomplete)
Individual Results (81 finishers)
2. Bea Foley18:50
3. Kriston Siemianowski19:04
5. Rosemary Loken 20:04
12. Amanda Schield 20:29
14. Cindy Leuck 20:35
15. Sandy Gebhart 20:37
22. Lindsy Cook 21:06
23. Emma McCarthy 21:12
28. Danielle Stark 21:39
29. Amanda McCarthy 21:41
43. Mollie Brady 22:51
55. Jackie Lutes 24:09
58. Jena Sunderlage 24:17
64. Erica Wilczek 25:04
78. Kelsey Lange 28:29
81. Lauren Ann Rehrauer 31:20