VANCOUVER, Wash. (Nov. 22, 2019) – Sophomores Avery DeWolf and Bekah Owen were the first two of four Buffs to finish in the top 100 as the Milligan College women's cross country team ran to an eighth-place finish at the 2019 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship Friday at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
DeWolf (18:41) took 32nd in the 5K women's championship race while Owen (18:43) took 34th. Each narrowly missed the top 30 standard for All-American status.
With Milligan's eighth-place finish, this marked the fifth straight year Milligan landed in the top 15 at the national championship and 16th time in the last 17 seasons the Buffs earned a spot in the top 25. Milligan is one of only four NAIA programs to compete in every national championship since 2010.
"We had both Gabby (Mardis) and Amy (Ferguson) go down within the first 500 meters so that completely took us out of our rhythm," Head Coach Chris Layne said. "To see them fight back the way they did to grab eighth was satisfying because at that point we were going to be out of the team race."
Upperclassmen shine behind DeWolf, Owen
After DeWolf and Owen, three upperclassmen all claimed spots inside the top 120 to round out the scoring for Milligan. Senior Katlyn Haas (19:20) took 83rd, junior Amy Ferguson (19:21) took 87th, and senior Hannah Bell (19:33) took 116th.
Among the Appalachian Athletic Conference | Race details
Milligan entered the event having most recently finished runner-up at the Appalachian Athletic Conference meet to No. 1 SCAD Atlanta by two points. SCAD finished third at the national meet with AAC Runner of the Year Emily Kearney taking runner-up nationally. She finished in 17:34, 16 seconds off Hannah Stoffel (17:18) of Huntington who earned the individual victory. Madonna won the event as a team.