Vancouver, Wash. - Making their first ever appearance at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships may have been a frightening experience but the Viterbo University women's team did not let that show as they ran a great team race. The V-Hawks finished 22nd out of 32 teams at the Championships.
As has been the trend in every meet this year, the V-Hawks were led by junior Bea Foley (Greenville, Wis.) who finished 23rd out of 331 runners individually in a time of 18:24. It was Foley's second straight year competing at the NAIA Championships as she finished 118th last year in a time of 20:02. Foley's 1:38 improvement in time helped her earn NAIA All-American honors. She becomes the first ever Viterbo women's cross country runner to earn All-American honors and just the sixth athlete in school history to earn first team All-American honors.
Junior Kriston Siemianowski (Sparta, Wis.) has been the #2 runner all year for the V-Hawks and that is where she finished in this meet. Siemianowski completed the 5-K course in 18:50 which was good for 48th place. Coming in third for Viterbo was Rosemay Loken (So. - La Crosse, Wis.) who finished 220th individually in a time of 20:19. Like Foley, it was Loken's second time running at the National meet as she also qualified last season.
Scoring fourth for the Viterbo was sophomore Amanda Schield (Medford, Wis.) who finished the race in 21:00 which was in 258th place. Rounding out the scoring for the V-Hawks was junior Cindy Leuck (Cashton, Wis.) who was just a couple of spots behind Schield in a time of 21:05. Also competing in the National Championships was Sandy Gebhart (Fr. - New Holstein, Wis.) (181st, 21:09) and Emma McCarthy (Jr. - Eleva, Wis.) (294th, 21:57).
The 22nd finish is fairly impressive for a team that is in just its third season as a varsity program. After finishing second last year at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships, the V-Hawks won the MCC title this year to earn an automatic bid to the 31st annual NAIA National Cross Country Championships. The good news for MCC Coach of the Year John Metelko is that he returns all seven of these individuals next season. Coach Metelko is hopeful that this year's experience at the national meet will only help the V-Hawks go into an offseason looking forward to competing for a possible return trip to the championships next season.
1. California State - San Marcos (88 points), 2. Biola (127 points), 3. Black Hills State (151 points), 4. Malone (164 points), 5. Simon Fraser (177 points), 6. Azusa Pacific (209 points), 7. Southern Oregon (255 points), 8. Concordia (Oregon) (279 points), 9. Indiana Wesleyan (290 points), 10. Cedarville (292 points), 11. Olivet Nazarene (305 points), 12. College of Idaho (324 points), 13. Aquinas (334 points), 14. British Columbia (385 points), 15. Morningside (415 points), 16. Kansas Wesleyan (416 points), 17. Point Loma (461 points), 18. Lewis & Clark (478 points), 19. Lee (485 points), 20. Carroll (Montana) (493 points), 21. Park (544 points), 22. Viterbo (546 points), 23. Embry-Riddle (556 pts.), 24. Milligan (558 points), 25. Shawnee State (573 points), 26. Baker (664 points), 27. Wayland Baptist (668 points), 28. Holy Names (888 points), 29. Union (903 points), 30. Oklahoma Wesleyan (943 points), 31. Berea (978 points), 32. Langston (1056 points)
Individual Results (331 finishers):
23. Bea Foley 18:24
48. Kriston Siemianowski 18:50
220. Rosemary Loken 20:19
258. Amanda Schield 21:00
261. Cindy Leuck 21:05
265. Sandy Gebhart 21:09
294. Emma McCarthy 21:57