by Nicole Oh | Staff Writer
After the Whitworth women’s cross country team ran to a second place finish at the West Regional meet the team traveled to Elsah, Illinois this past weekend to compete at the Division III National Cross Country meet where the Pirates ran to a 13th place finish, the second best finish in school history.
The Pirates scored 415 points and had an average time for the six kilometer race of 22:17. West Regional Champions, Claremont- Mudd- Scripps, finished in 12th place with 402 points, 13 points ahead of the Pirates. Johns Hopkins won the national title for the third year in a row with a score of 96 points. Last year the women’s cross country team finished the race in seventeenth place.
Kayla Leland, two time All-American and nineteenth place finisher, led the way for the Pirates crossing the line in 21:12. Going into the national championship race Leland stated how she was “looking forward to returning with the goal of improving both individual and team placement as well as achieving recognition for our university”. Going into the race the Pirates were ranked 19th and came out 13th.
Next up for the Pirates was senior Thais Pedro-Trujillo who finished in 22:13,101st place. Junior Marissa Mount was the team’s third runner, completing the race in 129th place, with a time of 22:25. Senior Bailey Scott was closely behind in 22:26, with freshman Krystal Roberts rounding out the scoring for the Pirates in a time of 23:00 in 208th place. Also competing for the team was senior Sara Dawes and freshman Hailey Cleavenger. There were 279 competitors in the championship race.
This race marked the end of the cross country season and was the last race for seniors Bailey Scott, Thais Pedro-Trujillo, Sara Dawes and Kayla Leland who stated “The entire cross country season has been as blessing. From trips from Montana, Seattle, Oregon, California and Illinois the victories, experiences, and memories both on and off the course with the team will be remembered for years.”