Raven Women’s Cross Country brought home their second straight championship on Saturday, winning the 2021 Heart Cross Country Championship with a score of 49 points.
The Ravens finished seven points better than runner-up Baker University to earn the Heart’s automatic berth into the 2021 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championship later this month.
Benedictine’s top two runners finished inside the top five individually. Mary Rolwes led the way with a fourth-place finish in a time of 19:03 with Isabella Guerra seconds behind her in fifth place with a time of 19:08.1. The duo was joined by Julia McLaughlin, who placed ninth to earn first-team All-Conference honors. Mary O’Connor placed 15th overall to earn honorable mention All-Conference honors while Emma Boever finished in 16th, just seconds out of honorable mention honors. Sandra Bradley and Mary Cate Golden finished 26th and 37th respectively to round out the scored runners for the Ravens.
Benedictine has earned an automatic bid to the 2021 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championships, Nov. 19 in Vancouver, Washington.
Coach Je’Kel Smith said repeating as Heart champions was quiet the accomplishment with five national qualifiers departed from last years team.
“Being defending champs and losing five of our seven qualifiers had me thinking this is going to be an interesting season,” Smith said. “Our ladies did an amazing job this season and took down every thing I challenged them with the entire season. We had four freshman do really well and a walk-on who did just enough at the end of the race to push over the hump for the title.”
For a second team from the Heart to earn a bid into the NAIA National Championship, they would have to finish in the Top 30 of Monday’s Final NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll. For a look at the Top 25 poll, please click here.
After Monday’s Coaches’ Poll, individual NAIA National Qualifiers from today’s Conference Championships will be determined as well. The Top six finishers from today’s meet not running on an NAIA automatic qualifying team or at-large qualifying team and finished 20th or better in the conference meet, will individually qualify for the NAIA national meet.
Information complied by Benedictine Athletics