UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University women's cross country team will join 35 other programs on the North Farms Cross Country Course in Elsah, Illinois on Saturday, November 19 to race at the 2016 NAIA National Championships.
Taylor will take the course ranked No. 13 and has hovered between No. 7 and No. 14 throughout the 2016 campaign, while posting a head-to-head win-loss mark of 101-7 and claiming a fourth-straight Crossroads League Championship.
In addition to the team win at the league meet, the Trojans also secured a victory at the season-opening Indiana Wesleyan Invite and finished among the top-three teams in all six regular season events. TU posted the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth-best team times in program history and had Mae Elizabeth Gimre, Rachel Blagg and Taylor Bluemel all record individual times inside TU's top-15 all-time.
"The focus this season has been on the process of maximizing our God-given talents," remarked four-time Crossroads League Coach of the Year Quinn White. "We feel if we can race like we have been practicing, then we will be happy with the outcome."
The Trojans finished 10th in 2013 and 2014 and 11th overall in 2015 and will take the course on Saturday with a projected lineup of Hannah Schroder, Gimre, Blagg, Michelle Franch, Bluemel, Naomi Noyes and Amanda Dibley. Schroder, Gimre, Blagg and Franch will all be making return trips, with Schroder making her third appearance at Nationals after finishing 43rd in 2013 and 125th in 2015. Gimre crossed in 59th one year ago, followed by Franch in 109th and Blagg in 263rd.
"No matter what the outcome will be on Saturday, this team has been special," reflected White. "We are thankful for it all, the good times and the challenging times."
TU will write the final chapter of its 2016 championship season when it takes the course for the NAIA Women's Cross Country Championships starting at 11:30 am (ET).