ELSAH, Ill. -- Janie Reid finished eighth, Chance Hyatt 10th and Leah Esposito 11th to lead the Carroll College cross country teams at the NAIA Cross Country Championship at the North Farm Cross Country Course.
Esposito ended her senior year with a strong showing, finishing just one spot outside of the Top 10. But it was Reid who led the way for the Saints in the blistering-fast race. The two All-Americans led the Carroll women to a 14th-place team finish.
The winner, Oklahoma City’s Aminat Olowora, set a new championship record time of 16:24.28. Reid ran the 5K course in a school-record time of 17:30.10, good enough for eighth place overall.
Reid finished 67th at the meet a season ago, a 59-spot improvement.
“For Janie to finish eighth is awesome,” coach David Morris said. “The jump she made from last year this year is amazing; she has gotten so much better, but her confidence is the big difference. I think she can do something special as track season approaches and through her senior year.”
Esposito was two seconds behind, finishing with a time of 17:33.42. Both earned All-American honors, which means Esposito closes out her cross country career as a four-time All-American, despite the health problems she battled through this season.
“I think Leah wanted to do better but with everything that she went through, maybe it set her back more than we thought,” Morris said. “Maybe not even physically, but the stress got to her and everything that she went through is really emotionally tough to deal with.”
The Saints were in good shape to be among the race leaders as a team, but the gap between the two top runners and the rest of the team was significant. The third Carroll runner, Samantha Mundel, finished in 120th with a time of 18:58.47.
Teal Bullick finished 184th with a time of 19:24.21 and Macala Fifield was 220th with a time of 19:14.97 to close out the scoring. Amelia Gardner finished in 235th with a time of 19:47.58 and Kaitlin Stromberg was 243rd time of 19:51.87.
“They ran the times that we wanted to run, but the race was so fast,” Morris said. “We didn’t get out fast enough. Leah and Janie could adjust to the pace but the rest of the team couldn’t close. I am pretty happy with the result for how the year went. So many of our girls were hurt this season.”
On the men’s side, Hyatt ran a personal best 8K time of 24:51.70 to finish in the Top 10 for the first time in his career. It is the second consecutive All-American honor for Hyatt.
Layne Ryerson, who joined the team as a transfer after the season already was underway, was 80th with a time of 25:52.20. Baird Linke closed out his cross country career with a time of 26:36.70 for 193rd place.