By Scott Barker, Communications and Sports Information Intern
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (Individual / Team Results) Northwest Christian (Ore.) takes home its first-ever national championships. The Beacons finished with a team score of 98 points.
Northwest Christian was led four top-15 finishers. Alyssa Harmon finished second overall with a time of 17:24.4. Sierra Brown finished fourth with a time of 17:33.5, while Michelle Fletcher (10th, 17:51.6), Rosa Schmidt (13th, 17:54.6) and Macie Gale (90th, 18:58.2) rounded out the five scoring spots for the Beacons. Northwest Christian becomes the 17th school to win a team championship.
The Beacons finished with a team time of 89:42.3 and 20 points ahead of runner-up British Columbia who accumulated a total time of 91:04.6.
Three-time defending champion, British Columbia finished second with 118 points. Natalia Hawthorn finished first for the Thunderbirds and ninth overall. Joining Hawthorn as All-Americans, were Devan Wiebe (18th, 18:03.6) and Kirsten Lee (24th, 18:05.2).
“We knew the girls came back from summer training, that they stepped it up from last year and the girls came to me saying we want to look at being up front,” said Head Coach Heike McNeil. “We knew they were good and were hoping for the best.”
Biola (Calif.) (3rd, 170 points), Aquinas (Mich.) (4th, 184 points) and Carroll (Mont.) (5th, 223 points) rounded out the top-5 team finishers.
This is the first top-5 finish for Aquinas.
Kellian Hunt of Biola, was the individual title by finished the 5-kilometer race with a time of 17:16.7. Hunt finished 61st at last year’s championships and she becomes the first individual champion from Biola.
The national championships were held for the first time at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C.