Women's Cross Country Defeats Mary Baldwin in Home Opener

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's cross country team recorded ten of the top eleven overall finishes—including eight of the top nine attached times—during its home opener dual meet with NCAA Division III Mary Baldwin University on Saturday morning and defeated the Fighting Squirrels 20-43.

Mary Baldwin's Sophia Stone came in first overall with an impressive time of 21:36 on the challenging Southern Virginia home course, which features several steep hills, loose gravel and one large fallen tree, but the Knights collected the next ten overall finishes.

Freshman Tori Faulkner (Mesa, Ariz.) recorded Southern Virginia's best time (23:25) on Saturday placing second overall. Fellow freshman Leah Huber (Castle Rock, Colo.) was the Knights' second fastest runner finishing third overall with a time of 24:42.

Southern Virginia's next three finishers—sophomore Kera Macfarlane (Yorktown, Va.), freshman Kelli Nahoolewa (Saginaw, Texas) and freshman Shelbi Prince (Mexico, Mo.)—all crossed the finish line within seven seconds of each other for fourth place (25:54), fifth place (26:00) and sixth place (26:03) respectively to close out the scoring for the Knights.

Senior Cassie Cooper (Kelso, Wash.), freshman Tayla Alfrey (Auburn, Wash.), unattached freshman Nicole Nahoolewa (Saginaw, Texas), unattached freshman Desiree Gentry and senior Bridget Gonzales (Riverside, Calif.) would all finish before Mary Baldwin's Kimberly Denny came in 12th overall to break the ten-runner Southern Virginia streak.

Three more Knights competed on Saturday as freshman Katelyn Tonini (Houston, Texas) finished 14th (29:31), Cameryn Lee finished 19th (34:35) and senior Tori Isham (Snohomish, Wash.) finished 20th (36:59).

Women's cross country competes again next Saturday, Sept. 10 in the Washington and Lee Invitational at 10 a.m.