Taylor’s cross country teams finished in the top three once again. They competed in the Crossroads League Championship on Nov. 9 in South Bend, Ind. The women’s team finished in 1st place in the 5K for the seventh year in a row with a time of 93:52, while the men’s team finished in 2nd place in the 8K with a time of 2:07.14.
The women’s team surpassed rival teams with a total score of 45 points.
Junior Sarah Harden and junior Livy Schroder led the way by finishing in the top five. Harden finished second with a time of 17:58.9; Schroder finished fifth with a time of 18:38.3.
Schroder said being in the top five is something she wanted to achieve.
“It was a goal of mine going into it, we felt like it was a lot of fun,” Schroder said.
The women’s team had three runners in the top 10, six runners in the top 20 and nine in the top 30. Claiming number nine in the top ten was sophomore Giovanna Domene with a time of 18:59.5. Sophomore Corinne O’Leary followed behind with a time of 19:03.0, winning 12th place. Senior Naomi Noyes came in 17th with a time of 19:11.4 and freshman Brooke Studnicki came in 18th with a time of 19:11.6.
The men’s team had three runners in the top 10, six in the top 15, and nine in the top 40. Junior Josh Roth led the way with a time of 26:06.5 winning third place, followed by junior Daniel Gerber with a time of 25:15.6 winning him sixth place, and senior Hunter Smith won eighth place with a time of 25:24.1.
They were followed by Sophomores Alex Helmuth who came in 11th place with a time of 25:42.4, Derek Van Prooyen who came in 14th place with a time of 25:44.6 and Connor White who came in 15th place with a time of 25:46.2.
After the placements were announced, the teams combined to cool off together with one last run.
Schroder said this was a highlight for her.
Head Coach Quinn White said he was really proud of both teams’ performance.
“They (the women’s team) did a great job, it was very competitive, one of the most competitive league meets we’ve had in years,” White said. “(The men’s team) had a lot of competition, three of the teams were in the top 10 ... we didn’t have our best race but still ran well ... I’m still proud of both teams,” said White.
By finishing in the top three, both teams will be competing in the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash.
Roth is really looking forward to seeing how the team fares at nationals.
“ I’m excited to compete with the best teams in the nation and see where we can place,” said Roth.
White hopes the Trojans will make the podium at nationals this year. He also hopes Taylor’s teams will be among the top four honored at nationals. At the end of nationals, the scores of the runners are combined and whoever has the lowest score overall is declared the winner. Only the top four will be recognized.
The Trojans will compete in the NAIA National Championship on Nov. 22 in Vancouver, Wash. The men’s race will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET with the women following at 2:30 p.m. ET.