JOPLIN, Mo. – With 83 points the Adams State University women's cross country team ran to their first NCAA Division II title since 2009. Adams State's win snapped three consecutive championships for rival Grand Valley State University. Grand Valley took second place on Saturday with 97 points.
"I'm just extremely happy for them. We have such an unbelievable history of success and the last few years we've fallen a bit short." Head coach Damon Martin said after the meet. "I couldn't be prouder of our seven girls. They ran tough."
The Grizzlies were led by freshman Noel Prandoni in 10th with a 6K time of 20:21.5. Following closely were teammates Jenna Thurman (20:48.4) and Maura O'Brien (20:56.5) in 10th and 14th place, respectively. Also collecting points for ASU were Grace Tinkey (21:03.1) in 21st and Kelsey Corbin (21:16.7) in 33rd.
"Our senior, Kelsey Corbin, had been hurt on and off throughout her career and never made it to nationals until this year. For her to run as big as she did and garner All-American status was a big story." Damon added.
Rachel Kresl (22:00.4) and Chante Roberts (22:02.7) completed the ASU field in 76th and 81st place, respectively.
It serves as the program's 19th overall national crown (16 NCAA DII and 3 NAIA). It also serves as the third championship won in Joplin (1999, 2007, 2015).
During their championship feat, six runners notched season-best times on a 6K course (Prandoni, Thurman, O'Brien, Tinkey, Corbin, and Roberts).
At the conclusion of the meet Prandoni, Thurman, O'Brien, Tinkey, and Corbin were named All-American performers.
"Our alumni and fans should be real proud of these kids. They worked their tails off." Martin said.
Alexis Zeis of University of Mary (N.D.) was the individual winner with a time of 20:03.4.
Adams State concludes their 2015 season with four team titles; three of which were won within the past month.