CANANDAIGUA, New York – The Columbus State women's cross country team finished as national runner-up out of 13 teams on Sat, Nov. 12 at the NJCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships at the Finger Lakes XC Course. The women were led by two-time all-American Stevie Shepherd, who finished sixth overall.
The Cougars came into the meet ranked No. 2 in the country behind Harper College. Harper won the meet scoring 36 points and averaging a 5k time of 20:46.0 while Columbus State scored 79 points and averaged a 22:05.1 finish.
Shepherd's time of 20:39.2 and sixth place finish put her at second-team all-American status, a nine-place improvement from last season's national championships where she finished 15th overall.
Freshman Laura Hill contributed an all-American performance, finishing 21:37.9 for a 15th place finish. Sophomore Emily Howard and freshman Alex Ortega filled the three and four spots with times of 22:24.7 and 22:30.3 respectively.
Freshman Elizabeth Finley rounded out the Cougars scoring with a strong showing of 23:09.3, finishing in front of everyone but Harper's fifth runner. Completing the Cougar lineup was freshman Madeline Bodie, who crossed the finish line at 23:19.0.
This year marks the sixth time the women's cross country team has made the trip to the NJCAA DIII National Championships. As the 2016 national runner-up, it is the team's best finish in school history.