Westminster College's Jessie Kuykendall continued her record setting Year for the Blue Jays by becoming the first runner in program history to win the SLIAC Women's Cross Country individual title. Kuykendall, who set a school record in the 5k last month, was not slowed down at all in Saturday's SLIAC Championship 6k race in Louisville, Ky. Kuykendall took control of the race early, jumping out to the lead on the opening gun before the Ford even entered their first turn. She held a five second lead after the first lap on the back course and was not threatened after the turn. Kuykendall cruised to the title, finishing in a time of 22:30; the fastest time at the championships since 2013. Her 50-second margin of victory was the fifth largest in conference championship history and the largest since 2008.
Brooke Gooodyear, from Greenville Colllege, pulled ahead of teammate Lisa Kruse on the final stretch to take second place. Defending champion Valerie Martin, from Webster University, finished fourth with a time of 24:09; leading a group of Gorlok runners that gave Webster three runners in the top seven finishers.
But it was the Greenville Panthers that were able to put together a winning race to take the team title, finishing with 31 team points. Greenville had had four runners finish in the top eight and another three take spots 12-14. The team title extends the programs conference record to 16 team titles, with this year being their first since 2014.
Spalding University's Kelsey Phillips was named the conference Newcomer of the Year after finishing in 10th place at the meet. Phillips finished the course in a time of 25:16 and is the first Golden Eagle to take home the conference award.
Mother top finishers for schools were Allegra Pierce from Principia College (25:24), Wendy Pocklington from Blackburn College (29:45), and Jennie Stare from Fontbonne University (31:47). In addition the Greenville College women's team received the SLIAC Team Sportsmanship award.