After years of dominance by North Central, Wheaton women’s cross country finally broke through. In Normal, Ill., the team competed in this year’s CCIW Women’s Cross Country Championship against the rest of the conference and experienced something they haven’t been able to do since 2008.
“I really wanted our team to win this championship because North Central held the title for the last three years. I couldn’t let them have it for the fourth year,” senior Jackie Smith said. “I’m so happy that I was able to experience this win during my last season alongside such a wonderful team of women.”
Wheaton won its CCIW-best 11th CCIW Championship for women’s cross country. Four Thunder runners landed in the top ten including freshman Hannah Oechsele in fifth place with a time of 24:16.6, senior Anna Trujillo in sixth place in 24:09.0, freshman Taylor Burton in ninth place in 24:16.6 and sophomore Megan Bailey in 10th place with a time of 24:23.9. All four players were First Team All-CCIW selections.
Senior Jackie Smith and freshman Catherine Stapleton placed 13th and 17th with times of 24:34.8 and 24:44.6, respectively. Both runners were honored as Second Team All-CCIW selections as well.
Rounding out the Thunder’s finishers were freshman Ally Stapleton in 26th place with a time of 25:11.3, junior Becca Marcotte in 35th place with a time of 25:53.5 and senior Elise Topazian in 51st place with a time of 26:40.3.
“My personal goal is to PR by getting under 22:45 this next weekend at regionals. I’m hoping that we have some colder weather and can take advantage of this competitive race environment,” Smith explained. “We’ve trained hard all season and I’m excited to see each of us ladies give it our best shot.”
On Nov. 12 Smith will have an opportunity to set her personal record and the team will have a chance to give it their best shot as they run against the rest of the field at the 2016 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional in Wineconne, Wisc.