MARION, Ind. – The Taylor University women's cross country team raced to its fourth-straight Crossroads League Championship on Saturday, topping the 10-team field at Indiana Wesleyan to claim the 2016 Crossroads League Championship and an automatic bid into the NAIA National Championships on November 19.
With its Crossroads League Championships from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Taylor now boasts six all-time league titles and becomes the first women's cross country program to secure four-straight titles since Indiana Wesleyan claimed eight-straight from 1998 through 2005.
The Trojans topped the field with a team time of 94:06 for their fastest mark of the season and the sixth-best team time in program history. TU ended with 46 points to win the championship by 22 points over second place and 23rd-ranked Indiana Wesleyan and by 32 points over third-place Mount Vernon Nazarene.
TU dominated the front of the field, placing a trio of runners inside the top-eight, six finishers among the top-18 and 10 inside the first 49 to cross the tape. Mae Elizabeth Gimre, Taylor Bluemel, Rachel Blagg and Michelle Franch all secured All-Crossroads League honors by finishing in the top-15.
Gimre paced Taylor for the fifth-straight race and registered her fifth top-five finish of the year with a second-place time of 18:15.7, with Bluemel carding a fourth-straight personal-best with a seventh-place time of 18:42.3, which was good for the 15th-best time in TU program history. Blagg crossed next in eighth with a time of 18:46.7 for her third-straight sub-19:00 time of the season and Franch ran her second-best time of the season to end 12th at 19:01.0.
No. 14 Taylor (101-7) will now turn its attention towards competing as a team for the fourth-straight year at the NAIA National Championships in Elsah, Illinois on November 19.