#5 SAINTS WOMEN EARN FOURTH-PLACE PODIUM FINISH AT NAIA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Provided by Aquinas
For the third straight year, the Aquinas women's cross country team reached the podium at the NAIA National Championships, as the Saints placed fourth in Saturday's (Nov. 18) competition in Vancouver, Wash. #5 AQ had a pair of All-American performers in Melissa Winchester (JR/Middleville, Michigan) and Adri Sigafoose (SR/McBain, Mich.), as the duo led four Saints in the top-42 of the 5K race at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
Aquinas posted a team total of 181 points to match its fourth-place finishes in each of the last two national competitions. Those fourth-place tallies are the best finishes in program history. The Saints' team time of 91:45 is the third-fastest team time in school history, behind last year's 90:28 at the NAIA National Championships and this season's 91:41 at the Greater Louisville Classic.
#2 British Columbia won its fifth national title in the last six years with 109 points, holding off #3 Wayland Baptist (125 points). #1 Oklahoma City placed third with 137 points to finish in front of Aquinas. #4 Taylor rounded out the top-five schools with 232 points.
The Saints' All-Americans were Winchester and Sigafoose, who placed in the top-30 for All-America honors. Winchester – the WHAC and Great Lakes Region Runner of the Year – finished in 21st place with a time of 18:00 and Sigafoose was close behind at 18:03 for 25th place overall.
Meghan Rasch (SR/Santa Clarita, Cal.) finished in 36th place with a time of 18:19, while Alexis Miller (JR/Caledonia, Michigan) crossed in 18:24 for a 42nd place showing. Molly Peregrine (SR/Traverse City, Mich.) was 90th in a time of 18:59.
Janie Noah (SO/Middleville, Mich.) placed 122nd with a time of 19:13 and Leanne McWain (JR/Grand Rapids, Mich.) was 136th in 19:22. The women's race saw 338 individual competitors.
This was the fourth consecutive NAIA National Championship appearance for the Saints women and the 14th overall trip to the national competition. Aquinas has now finished in the top-10 in each of its last five trips to nationals.
Paired with the Aquinas men's team score and 15th place finish, the Saints men's and women's programs combined for a fourth-place finish with 612 total points (181 for the women, 431 for the men). That is the highest combined finish for the Aquinas cross country teams at the NAIA National Championships.