The men and women's cross country teams just returned from the NCCAA National Cross Country Championships at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. With snow falling and already on the ground the two days leading up to the race, it made for a memorable experience! The women started the day off at 10:00 AM, setting the stage for the event.
"It was a chilly morning, and I think the cold affected us a little at the start, but I'm so proud of the work our ladies have put in this year. To see them race like they did, despite conditions we aren't really used to, was great!" praised Coach Hall.
Junior Jazmin Konnick was the first Lady Lion to cross the line, finishing 33rd place in a time of 19:46 for the 5000 meter race. "I never would have guessed that I would get the opportunity to run in New York, let alone a National Cross Country meet!" said Konnick. She was followed by fellow juniors Lindsey Toole (48th, 20:12), Gabby Hill (21:15, 93rd) and Coco Ruiz (21:16, 94th). Heidi Schreiber, who had been the fifth runner for most of the year, stepped up in a huge way and was the team's third runner, finishing in 89th place with a time of 21:01, only two seconds off of her personal best! Freshman Emmye Holbert ran her lifetime personal best this weekend (21:29) and was followed by Kiara Hernandez (22:24) to round out the Emmanuel nationals team. As a team the women finished 10th place out of 38 teams. When asked about the season as a whole, Jazmin had this to say: "We finished the season strong, we finished 10th in the nation, and at the end of the day, we run for the glory of God. I believe that's exactly what we did in New York!"
This is only the second time in program history for Emmanuel to run at the NCCAA Championships and it is a completely different group than those who ran in 2011. The Lady Lions now know what to expect for next year, and look forward to making significant improvement on this year's finish!