Across the finish line
Amelia Mallat Collegio Reporter
The PSU women’s cross country team took 15th out of 24 teams in its ninth trip to the NCAA Division II National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Spokane, Wash.
The women scored 422 points, edging the Tampa women’s team by seven points for the 15th position. Augustana won the national championship with 75 points, beating out Western State by four points.
The first Pitt runner to finish the 6k race was sophomore Erica Testa who finished 65th overall with a time of 23:18.7. Four places behind Testa was Pitt junior Melissa Peden, who finished in 23:21.2. Junior Kaley Temaat placed third on the team, finishing in 23:35.7, which was good for 79th place.
Head coach Russ Jewett says the women had a successful season. They captured the MIAA cross country title on Oct. 22, placing all five of its scoring runners in the top 20. That enabled them to get a convincing 29-point win over the host school, Missouri Southern.
Jewett says he walked away from that title win proudly.
“We have an extremely tough squad,” Jewett said. “What it came down to is that we were tougher than our opponents when we needed to be to win.”
Also this season the women earned second place at the MIAA vs. GLVC meet on Oct. 8. They finished the 5k race with 74 points, barely falling to Harding, which had 71 points.
The women competed in the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree on Oct. 1 where they finished in 11th place.
On Sept. 21 Pitt won a dual meet against Missouri Southern by eight points.
Due in part to the successful season the women had, Jewett was selected as the MIAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. His PSU women claimed their eighth MIAA title, the most of any current conference school. Four Gorillas finished in the top 15 individually, including Peden, who earned All-MIAA honors by finishing in sixth place. This is Jewett’s second consecutive year winning the award.
The PSU women’s cross country team will start next year with the alumni meet.