Aquinas College - A Podium Performance
Provided by Aquinas
The women's cross country team made history on Saturday as the Saints brought home a fourth place trophy from the 2015 NAIA National Championships. The annual championships were contested on the grounds of McAlpine Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Northwest Christian claimed their first ever team title as they totaled 98 points. The Saints, whose previous best was a seventh place finish at Nationals, tallied 184 points to find themselves on the podium. The performance is the highest ever finish by an Aquinas College women's athletic team at Nationals and is the third highest finish overall in school history (2004 Men's XC - 2nd & 2008 Men's XC - 3rd). A model of consistency all year, the Saints showed their strength as the pack once again proved vital to the team success. A :33 time gap 1-5 provided the Saints with enough punch up front to find themselves near the top of the leaderboard. The pack was driven today by the All-American effort of Kathy Middaugh. The junior from Newyago placed 30th in a personal best time of 18:10 to become the fourth Saint in program history to be crowned All-American. Middaugh was closely followed through the chute by Carley Woolcott and Melissa Winchester. Woolcott placed 42nd (18:28) and Winchester finished two spots back at 44th (18:29). The final two scoring positions were filled by Molly Peregrine (56th - 18:41) and Adri Sigafoose (60th - 18:43). Aquinas showed their depth as both Clare Naughton (18:52) and Alexis Miller (18:54) both placed in the top 80 of the 321 person field. The Saints also broke their team time record by :29. After breaking it at the WHAC Championships two weeks ago (93:01), the Saints lowered the gold standard to 92:32 at the National Championships. The women's program has now finished in the top nine at Nationals in three of the past four seasons and will look to build upon the success of 2015 in the future.