By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hannah Helker of Oklahoma Baptist has been named the NAIA Women's Cross Country National Runner of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Helker was chosen for her performance during the week of Oct. 21 – 27 and was selected out of a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Helker, a native of Edmond, Okla., bested the 252-runner field at NAIA Mid-States Classic, hosted by Southwestern (Kan.) on Oct. 26 in Winfield, Kan. The junior won the race by covering the 5-kilometer course in 16:18—over a minute faster than her nearest competitor. Led by Helker, the Bison, who had five runners place among the top 20 individuals, brought home the team title, outpacing the 29-team field with a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:29:55.
This is the third 2013 Runner of the Week nod for Helker, who was also honored with the award twice in 2012.
For the complete player of the week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Kristen Garwood, Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.); Elizabeth Grubbs, Park (Mo.); Sami Berry , William Woods (Mo.); Hannah Schroeder, Bryan (Tenn.); Lauren Grindstaff, Milligan (Tenn.); Robbiccaa Williams, Tennessee Wesleyan; Hannah Barnes, Truett-McConnell (Ga.); Emily McLean, Northwest Christian (Ore.); Summer Cano, Southern Oregon; Sarah Ray, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Hilary Halford, St. Francis (Ill.); Hannah Schroder, Taylor (Ind.); Kayla Ewert, Indiana Wesleyan; Rebekah Mullins, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio); Leah Esposito, Carroll (Mont.); Jenyffer Ortega, Great Falls (Mont.); Karis Frankian, The Master's (Calif.); Katie Smelker, Mount Marty (S.D.); Catherine Fakler, Xavier (La.); Lauren Jaqua, Baker (Kan.); Amanda Buhr, Missouri Valley; Rachel Renken, Friends (Kan.); Amber Burgess, Sterling (Kan.); Chelsea Fullerton, Ottawa (Kan.); Sarah Poll an, St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.); Embra Hawkins, Brescia (Ky.); Meliah Carrel, Midway (Ky.); Mercy Kershner, Berea (Ky.); Marissa Buchheit, Point Park (Pa.); Sarah Biehl, Shawnee State (Ohio); Madison Peace, Cumberlands (Ky.); Tayler Godar, Georgetown (Ky.); Sarah Johnson, Campbellsville (Ky.); Emily Weber, College of Saint Mary (Neb.) (Neb.); Talisa Budder, Haskell (Kan.); Meredith Jones, Viterbo (Wis.); Becca Wilder, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Kelsey Carbajo, Grand View (Iowa); Liz Mosbach, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Aleona Reyes, Jamestown (N.D.); Ceara O'Donnell, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas); Brenda Felipe, Texas Wesleyan; Sarah Jerotich, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Deborah Park, Science & Arts (Okla.); Kristina Nolan, Oklahoma City; Annie Hills, Loyola (La.); Andrea Langley, Emmanuel (Ga.); Jessy Scarpone, SCAD Savannah (Ga.); Ellie Staker, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); No Nominee, Northwood (Fla.); Joyce Miller, USC Beaufort (S.C.); Lauren Dunleavy, Ave Maria (Fla.); Anna Ahrens, Southeastern (Fla.); No Nominee, Warner (Fla.); Becca Lamb, Indiana Tech; Julie Oosterhouse, Cornerstone (Mich.); Kelsee VanderBaan, Davenport (Mich.); Ashley Yeager, Lourdes (Ohio).
2013 Women's Cross Country Composite Award Winners
Week 1 (September 18): Ayded Reyes, Cal State San Marcos
Week 2 (September 25): Lindsey Martin, Columbia (Mo.)
Week 3 (October 2): Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 4 (October 9): Maria Bernard, British Columbia
Week 5 (October 16): Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist
Week 6 (October 23): Hillary Holt, College of Idaho
Week 7 (October 30): Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist