Hope Women's Cross Country Sports Top 10 Finish at Nationals, All-American
Provided by Hope
Senior Sheri McCormack of Holland (West Ottawa HS) led the Flying Dutch to a ninth-place finish during the national meet in Hanover, Ind.
McCormack posted a time of 21 minutes, 47.1 seconds for 17th place for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's top performance.
It is the third highest finish at nationals for the Flying Dutch, trailing only fourth-place efforts by Alicia Mendenhall Elmore (1993) and Marcia VanderSall (1992).
McCormack, the MIAA Most Valuable Runner this fall, called it a satisfying end to her cross country career.
"I thought it was great when I was conference MVP. I never imagined this at nationals," McCormack said. "It's impossible to put into words. It's great to see how the season ended on this note."
McCormack, Hope's first All-American since 1999, ran the race she and coach Mark Northuis planned.
"Our team had a great start. That helped us immensely getting out," Northuis said. "She passed several people down the stretch. It was the ideal race for her. She said she felt excellent, the best she's felt all season. That's what you want to do. You want to have your best race the last race."
The Flying Dutch finished with 340 points. Johns Hopkins (Md.) won with 85.
Senior Meredith Busman of Coopersville (Coopersville HS) finished 75th in 22:26.1 for 53 points.
Senior Camille Borst of Allendale (Allendale HS) came in 95th at 22:36.1 for 71 points.
Sophomore Casey Campbell of Swartz Creek (Swartz Creek HS) placed 129th at 22:48.0 for 95 points.
Freshman Erin Herrmann of Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS) took 147th at 22:55.0 for 108 points.
Senior Katie Carlson of Rockford (Rockford HS) finished 191st in 23:18.1, while sophomore Julia Stock of Spring Lake (Grand Haven HS) was 238th at 23:46.2.
The Flying Dutch claimed their second consecutive Top 10 finish while equaling the second-best mark in school history from 1987. The 1993 team came in fourth.
Northuis was proud to see his runners realize their potential.
"We were ranked 18th coming in, and I thought we were a Top 10 team," Northuis said. "We had injuries and sickness most of the season. We put it all together on the final day.
"The trend the past few seasons, we've seen a steady improvement in our team's performance. There were 403 teams in Division III. We're one of the top 1 percent. That demonstrates our leaders are doing well. I think it's also a testament to our seniors."