MARION, Ind. – The 2017 season started in familiar fashion for the No. 14 Taylor women's cross country program, with the Trojans racing to a team win for the 12th time in their last 23 regular season outings and for the fourth-straight time on the Indiana Wesleyan course.
Taylor topped the nine-team field by 51 points and over three minutes, turning in the sixth-fastest team time in program history with a mark of 94:01 and finishing with 32 points. TU flexed its muscles by placing its top-five finishers inside the top-11 overall and taking eight of the top-19 spots.
A pair of freshmen led way, with Sarah Harden and Livy Schroder crossing in fourth and fifth with times of 18:31.7 and 18:35.1. Those times were the eighth and 14th-fastest individual times in TU's program history and gave Taylor seven current runners with at least one career time under the 19:00-minute barrier.
Sophomore Taylor Bluemel also cracked the 19:00-minute marker, crossing in seventh place with a time of 18:44.6. Classmate Naomi Noyes ended 10th and set a personal best, while narrowly missing becoming TU's 25th all-time sub-19:00 performer with a time of 19:02.0.
Other top-20 showings for the Trojans included juniors Rachel Blagg (19:08.1), Mae Elizabeth Gimre (19:13.9) and Michelle Franch (19:16.4) in 11th, 14th and 16th, while freshman Anna Craig crossed in 19th with a time of 19:27.0
Taylor won the team title with 32 points, beating out second-place and No. 19 Indiana Wesleyan's total of 83 and third-place and RV Spring Arbor's total of 91.
No. 14 Taylor (8-0) will return to action on September 15 at the Crossroads League Preview in Carmel, Indiana.