MARION, Ind. - For the fourth time in Forester history, the HU women’s cross country team ran to a first place finish at the conference championships on Saturday at Indiana Wesleyan University.
As the Crossroads League champions, Huntington earns an automatic bid to the NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championships to be held at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, on November 17.
The last time the Forester women competed at the NAIA National Championships as a team was in the fall of 2002 when they finished 23rd.
Huntington claimed the first three spots with Cendall Ogle leading the way. The conference champion established a new PR by finishing in 18:35. Gretchen Spahr and Hannah Moore finished neck-and-neck with Spahr edging ahead in 18:45.07 for second place while Moore took third in a personal best 18:45.74. All three Foresters earned a spot on the All-League Team.
Krista Wood crossed the line in 19:37 to take 23rd while Erin Rockey rounded out HU’s scoring with a 35th place finish in 19:56. Other runners for HU included Natalie Spahr (38th, 20:00), Miranda Boyts (41st, 20:07-PR), Amanda Henningfield (56th, 20:34) and Alyssa Haselby (107th, 22:34).
Huntington took the title with 60 points followed by Taylor (66), Indiana Wesleyan (79), Spring Arbor (99), Marian (123), Bethel (155), Grace (204), Goshen (207) and Mount Vernon (214).
The HU men’s cross country team ran to a fifth place finish at the Crossroads Championships. Huntington’s top three runners ran within ten seconds of each other with Tyler Herber pacing the HU pack. The Fremont native earned All-Conference honors with his 15th-place finish in 26:35.
Lance Wood finished two spots later in 26:32 for 17th place while Brian Menzie crossed the line in a new personal best of 26:33 for 18th place. Antonio Castillo ran to a 37th place finish in 27:12. Teammate Josh Graham placed 45th with a time of 27:26.
Other Forester runners included Ethan Medley (62nd, 27:55), Matt Bittner (67th, 28:15), Isaiah Laatsch (80th, 29:09), Alan Huffman (90th, 29:50) and Josh McIntyre (96th, 30:40).
Indiana Wesleyan defended their title with 32 points followed by Spring Arbor (51), Goshen (60), Taylor (115), Huntington (121), Grace (194), Marian (212), Bethel (232), Saint Francis (248) and Mount Vernon (264).