The Dordt College Defender women’s cross country team earned a sixth place finish at the NAIA National Championship Meet at Rim Rock near Lawrence, Kansas. The Defenders totaled 199 points to claim sixth place, narrowly missing Olivet Nazarene’s 196 which was good for fifth and Lewis-Clark’s 189 for fourth place.
The Defenders were led by Lauren Opp’s 16th place time of 18:18 which gave her NAIA-All-American status. Opp’s placing was good for 12 points. Kayla Byl was second across for Dordt with a time of 18:45 which was 46th overall and 32nd for points. Renee Buikema moved up in the pack for the Defenders with a time of 18:53 for 58th overall and 41st in the points. Abby De Vries wasn’t far behind as she claimed 65th place and 47 points in 18:59.
Dordt’s fifth and sixth runners packed together with Lillie Koerner and Jordyn Visscher 94th and 95th overall and both ran between 19:11 and 19:12 for 67 and 68 points. Katie Bonnema completed the Dordt seven with a time of 19:41 and was 161st overall and was in the 105th spot for points.
“Our ladies ran a great race and we have our top six ladies back next year and are excited about that,” said Dordt College coach Greg Van Dyke.
Five runners count towards each teams total.
British Columbia went low for the title with 56 points. Hillary Holt from the College of Idaho claimed the individual title with a time of 16:48.
319 women competed in the meet and 32 teams made up the field. The course was a 5,000 meter race. Dordt finished 9th at last year’s event.