CARMEL, Ind. – In what the Taylor University women's cross country team hopes is a preview of things to come, the No. 13-ranked Trojans scored another convincing team win over an eight-team field at the Crossroads League Preview on Friday afternoon.
Taylor battled through unseasonably warm temperatures that slowed the times to score its 13th team victory in its past 24 regular season outings. TU secured five of the top-eight finishes on the day and took 10 of the top-25 spots on the individual leaderboard in the field of 93 CL competitors.
Taylor's point total of 23 was 40 points better than second-place and No. 24 Marian's mark of 63. No. 17 Indiana Wesleyan took third with 75 points and RV Spring Arbor finished fourth with 86 points.
Taylor Bluemel led the pack up front for the Trojans, crossing in second place for her best collegiate showing. The second-place finish and time of 19:17.1 gave Bluemel a sixth-straight race with a finish among TU's top-three individuals dating back to her freshman campaign.
A pair of freshmen followed closely behind Bluemel, with Sarah Harden and Livy Schroder taking third and fourth for their second-straight top-five finishes in as many races to open their careers. Harden crossed at 19:18.7, with Schroder right behind at 19:21.0.
Juniors Rachel Blagg and Michelle Franch joined the trio inside the top-10, with Blagg taking sixth for her ninth-straight performance inside TU's top-five individual finishers and Franch ended in eighth overall for her fourth collegiate top-10 showing.
Anna Craig and Naomi Noyes finished in 12th and 14th to round out TU's top-seven but the top finishes kept coming with Katelynn Hanback taking 18th, Valerie Wierenga ending in 23rd and Mae Elizabeth Gimre claiming 25th.
No. 13 Taylor (15-0) will take a week off, before returning to the course to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic on September 30.