WSU - Women's Cross Country Advances to NCAA DII National Championships

WSU - Women's Cross Country Advances to NCAA DII National Championships

Provided by WSU

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Wayne State University women's cross country placed third out of 30 squads Saturday at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, held at Angel Mounds Course and hosted by the University of Southern Indiana.

The Warriors earned a total of 115 points with four runners in the top 25.

Senior Lauren Gagnon (Waterford, Mich. / Waterford Mott), along with juniors Chelsea Johnson (Oxford, Mich.), Brittany Johnson (Oxford, Mich.) and Kayla Balfour (St. Clair, Mich.) each earned All-Midwest Region honors after placing in the top 25 individually.

Gagnon completed the 6k race in a time of 21:23.3 to earn 11th place with Chelsea Johnson right on her heels in 13th place with a time of 21:26.6.

Brittany Johnson placed 20th in a time of 21:35.4 and Balfour crossed the line at 21:44.4 earning 23rd overall.

Senior Kayla Smade (Columbus, Mich. / St. Clair) ran a time of 22:23.6 to place 49th, while classmate Cara Smock (Wyandotte, Mich. / Roosevelt) placed 114th with a time of 23:29.7.

Sophomore Leah Coonrod (Kalamazoo, Mich. / Gull Lake) crossed the line in 23:56.6 to place 129th overall.

By placing third at the regional meet, the Warriorshave earned a spot in the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship meet which will be held in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, December 6th. The NCAA National Championship appearance will be the fifth in school history and the first since the 2008 squad placed 12th at the NCAAs and were led by All-American Rachelle Malette, who placed sixth individually.

Grand Valley won the regional championship earning 42 points overall to top second place Hillsdale (76 points). Just behind WSU was Malone (132 points), while host USI finished fifth with 145 points in the deepest region in the country. According to the USTFCCCA national poll released on Nov. 12, GVSU was first, Hillsdale (7th), WSU (8th), USI (12th), Northern Michigan (14th), Lewis (24th) and Malone (26th). Since only the top four in the region qualified for the national championship meet, three teams ranked in the top 25 nationally did not qualify.