Cross Country Recap
2016 Season in Review
- Sixteen personal record times set by returning Belles.
- Ten different runners finished in the top five for the team throughout the season.
- Brittany Beeler became the first three-time All-MIAA and All-Region harrier for the program.
Depth continued to be key for the Belles cross country program and their success in the 2016 season.
The team opened up the year with a top ten finish at the competitive Calvin Invitational. Saint Mary's had a team score of 183 and was 12 points behind seventh place Cornerstone. Three weeks later, the Belles finished sixth at the MIAA Jamboree and were within striking distance of Trine for fifth.
The next three races for the Belles were loaded with nationally-ranked competition. The Louisville Classic, which served as the pre-national race for the Division III field, featured nearly 40 programs to open October. Saint Mary’s earned a solid 18th place finish. Six days later, the team took seventh in a field of several nationally-ranked NAIA programs at the Bethel Invitational while six runners posted a 5k PR. Each team in the top six was either nationally-ranked or was receiving votes in the national poll among NAIA programs. Competing in their third race in as many weekends, the Belles finished off a grueling stretch with a 13th place finish at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble in mid-October. Five Belles recorded 6k PR times at the event.
Two weeks later, the Belles moved past Albion to take fifth place at the MIAA Championship race while finishing sixth in the overall final standings. Brittany Beeler took fourth place individually and became the second Saint Mary's runner to earn First Team All-MIAA honors multiple times in a career. Moreover, she is the first runner for the Belles ever to earn three All-MIAA accolades.
In a challenging field at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, the Belles claimed an 18th place finish to conclude the 2016 season. Beeler continued to rewrite the history books by becoming the program’s first three-time All-Region performer after placing 15th overall. Adele Edmonds, Anna McClowry, Maura Honan, and Kaitlyn Alessi complemented Beeler’s run to round out the scoring efforts at the race.
Beeler, Alessi, Edmonds, McClowry, Sarah Allen, Caitlin Blum, Maggie Pacana, Mary Philbin, and Reilly Pieri each had at least one personal record time for the Belles during the fall. Additionally, four first-year runners had improved 6k times throughout the season. Over the span of the team’s seven races, ten different runners scored at an event for the Belles.