(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Following a 17th-place finish in last week's NAIA Cross Country National Championship, the Park University Women's Cross Country team moved in to the final NAIA Women's Cross Country Top 25 Coaches Poll, finishing the year ranked No. 17 by the NAIA coaches.
The Pirates had not appeared in the poll in 2012 after finishing the 2011 season ranked 23rd.
Lindsey McDonald's 38th-place finish came by way of an 18:44 time in the women's 5K race, leading the Pirates in the championship meet, and the duo of Elizabeth Grubbs and Niesha Marchbanks ended with identical times, 19:38, placing 80th and 81st. A'Brey Rogers was 19 seconds behind, in 108th place at 19:57, and Teresa Owensby's 20:44 closed scoring for the Pirates, placing 162nd.
The Park women also had 5K times of 21:23 from Kara Lough and 22:26 from Chrisena Wyte.
"The women went to Portland with a goal of being a top-25 team," said Park cross country coach Brian Renshaw. "And I can't be more proud of them. Not only did they reach that goal, by eight spots, but they also turned heads as a team with the way they acted and carried themselves at the meet. This was a true team, and I'm proud of them."
The Park women will attempt to build on the cross country season's momentum in the spring. The Park University Track and Field schedule will be announced at www.parkathletics.com next month.