Across the country in Vancouver, WA, Taylor’s cross-country teams dominated in their final race of the 2023 season.
The Trojans closed the books on another impressive season as the men’s and women’s teams wrapped up their seasons at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17.
The women’s team was the first to race and earned fifth place, with a team score of 184 points. The team’s total time was 1:53.39, with an average time of 22:33.
The men’s team improved upon their most recent NAIA poll ranking and placed ninth among 36 teams. They had a team time of 2:09.53, averaging 25:58, to gain a score of 300 points.
Three athletes earned All-American honors for placing in the top 40. Senior Mollie Gamble finished in a stellar fourth overall, sporting a time of 21:40.2. Coming in at 31st with a time of 22:25.9 was sophomore Noel VanderWall. For the Jarheads, freshman Nate Burns placed 32nd, with an 8k time of 25:31.8.
Both Gamble and VanderWall were All-Americans at the Cross-Country Championships in 2022 at the 5k distance.
Following VanderWall in 43rd place was junior Audrey Brinkruff with a time of 22:47.2. Next for the Maddawgs were senior Ahna Neideck in 70th (23:20.5) and junior Lynae Ackley in 85th (23:25.5). Rounding out the top seven were sophomore Kaitlin Burden in 90th (23:27.2) and sophomore Madelyn Borchelt in 183rd, with a 6k time of 24:31.5.
Sophomore Ryan Hanak finished second for the Jarheads with a time of 25:51.7 to finish in 56th place. He was followed by sophomore Luke Harber and senior Ben Eiffert in the top 85 with times of 26:01.3 and 26:10.7, respectively. Juniors Zach McKowen and Joel Mumaw rounded out the top seven with places of 136th and 139th.