By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Berends of Taylor (Ind.) has been named the NAIA Women's Cross Country National Runner of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Berends was chosen for her performance during the week of Sept. 1-7 and was selected out of a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Berends, a freshman from Hudsonville, Mich., won the Ray Bullock Invitational championship on Sept. 5, outdueling not only a 101-athlete field, but also an unbearable heat. She recorded the 10th-fastest time in Taylor history with a mark of 18:36 in her first collegiate race and ended 1:17 ahead of the second-place finisher.
Over 10 national qualifiers from the 2013 NAIA National Championships participated in the nine-team event hosted by the No. 7 Trojans.
For the complete player of the week calendar, click here.
Nominees: Mary Beth Bailey, Park (Mo.); Robbiccaa Williams, Tennessee Wesleyan; Ciara Pierce, Union (Ky.); Cassie St. John, Milligan (Tenn.); Rachel Roelle, Eastern Oregon; Alena Pacheco, Roosevelt (Ill.); Jessica Disselkoen, Trinity Christian (Ill.); Heather Kristensen, Purdue Calumet (Ind.); Leah Esposito, Carroll (Mont.); Claudia Hewston, Great Falls (Mont.); Nicole Slater, Dordt (Iowa); Lauren Shomaker, Hastings (Neb.); Rachel Pavelka, Midland (Neb.); Catherine Fakler, Xavier (La.); Jillian Benson, Baker (Kan.); Samantha Carlson, Peru State (Neb.); Madison Caffery, Sterling (Kan.); Amy Jystad, Saint Mary (Kan.); Cassie Hollenback, Southwestern (Kan.); Karly Sprouse, IU Kokomo; Danielle Hoop, Cumberlands (Ky.); Sarah Johnson, Campbellsville (Ky.); Liz Mosbach, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Kelsey Carbajo, Grand View (Iowa); Jazmine Garcia, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas); Michaela Werner, Oklahoma City; Daisy Goldsmith, Science & Arts (Okla.); Utami Ketchem, Brenau (Ga.); Jessica Williams, Loyola (La.); Alex Orr, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Sarah Diebner, Southeastern (Fla.) ; Lotti Zeiler, SCAD Savannah (Ga.); Britny Vickers, Warner (Fla.); Angelica Diaz, Northwood (Fla.); Laura Condron, Indiana Tech; Ashley Yeager, Lourdes (Ohio); Stephanie Johnston, Concordia (Mich.); Ashley Russo, Siena Heights (Mich.).
2014 Women's Cross Country Composite Award Winners
Week 1 (September 10): Alex Berends, Taylor (Ind.)