Webster University snagged the 2017 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Championship, edging out defending champion Greenville University by just seven points. This marks the second conference championship in program history for the Gorloks, joining the 2011 squad. The Gorloks ran as a team on the chilly fall day with their top three runners sticking as a group for the majority of the race. It was those three runners, finishing third and fifth, that propelled the Gorloks to a team championship.
The Gorloks main grouping was led by Holly Goergen, who finished 3rd overall, with a time of 23:16. She was followed by Meghan Illig, with a 23:31, and Lauren Coleman, with a 23:38. The Gorloks scored more points when Meredith Sowers crossed the finish line in 23:42, picking up 7th place and added to their point total when Kalleigh Linthicum took 12th place. The final two runners that scored for the Gorloks were Minnell Fundora, 17th, and Savannah Brewer, 19th. With seven runners in the top 19, the Gorloks won the championship with a team score of 31 points.
Westminster College's Jessica Kuykendall ran her way to a second straight SLIAC individual title, coasting to a time of 21:59, cutting more than 30-seconds off her winning time from a year ago. Kuykendall becomes just the fifth runner in conference history to win multiple titles while her time is the fourth fastest in SLIAC 6K Championship history. Strengthen by Kuykendall'first-placece finish the Blue Jays of Westminster took 3rd place as a team with 79 points.
Greenville placed four runners in the top ten, finishing with 38 total points as a team. They were led by Lia Kruse's 2nd place finish, with a time of 22:56. Shirley Estes took 6th place with a 23:39 and Megan McKee finished 9th with a 24:00. Brooke Goodyear finished 10th with a 24:11.
Principia College finished 4th as a team with 107 points and were led by Allegra Pierce's 13th place slot with a time of 24:50.
Spalding was 5th with 144 points as Kelsey Phillips picked up a top ten finish, placing 8th with a time of 23:46.
First-year program MacMurray College took 6th place with 162 points with Diamond Norwood leading the way with a 27th place finish, in a time of 26:06.
Fontbonne placed 7th with 173 team points and were led by Sarah Rhoads' 38th place finish, with a time of 28:27.
Blackburn College was paced by Kate Smith, finishing 35th overall with a time of 27:45.
Following the race, the SLIAC handed out their 2017 All-Conference awards, with Webster's Lauren Coleman being named Newcomer of the Year. Webster head coach Dan Graber was named Coach of the Year and Webster University also picked up the Team Sportsmanship award. In addition, each team was recognized on the All-Sportsmanship team. Those individuals are Kate Smith, Blackburn College; Katie Gosser, Fontbonne University; Lia Kruse, Greenville University; Lizzy Staub, MacMurray College; Elsa Heath, Principia College; Kelsey Phillips, Spalding University; Meredith Sowers, Webster University; and Taylor Howard, Westminster College. For a full list of All-Conference honorees click HERE