Milligan women’s cross country runs to top 20 finish at nationals
Vancouver, Wash. (Nov. 17, 2012) — The No. 22 Milligan College women’s cross country team ran to a 19th place finish at the 2012 NAIA Cross Country National Championships at the Fort Vancouver National Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday afternoon. It is the Buffaloes’ 10th straight top 25 finish at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, and their seventh finish inside the top 20.
“Anytime you finish higher in a championship than you’re ranked, you should be satisfied,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “We did have higher expectations, but I think we did a solid job in less than ideal conditions. Perhaps Cassie would’ve made the difference on the day as well but you have to line up with what you’ve got, and our ladies did a great job of getting after it and competing.”
The Buffalos were paced by sophomore Mackenzie Patten (Kingsport, Tenn.). The former Sullivan South standout ran to a personal best time of 19:13 to finish in 53rd.
“Mackenzie is starting to round into form and I’m excited about her future as a Buffalo,” Layne said. “Her learning curve is still pretty big but she’s a competitor and that’s always a big part of performance.”
Meagan Wright (Florence, S.C.) capped off a stellar freshman campaign as she finished in 88th with a time of 19:42. Senior Danielle Mitchell (Johnson City, Tenn.) covered the 5K course in a time of 19:44 to finish in 95th.
Natalia Rivas (Johnson City, Tenn.) recorded a 105th place finish in her last collegiate cross country race with a time of 19:54. AAC Runner of the year Catie McMahon (Lanoka Harbor, N.J.) finished the race in a time of 20:32 to finish in 154th, while Heather Exline (Glouster, Ohio) rounded out the Milligan squad with a time of 20:54, which placed her 168th overall.
On the men’s side, Matt Murphy (Greeneville, Tenn.) finished in 227th. The senior recorded a time of 27:22 in the 8K event.
The Buffaloes wrap up a successful season that saw them capture their 10th straight Appalachian Athletic Conference title.