LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The Southern Virginia University women's cross country team won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's national championship on Nov. 11 by outpacing the 11 other small colleges that competed on the snowy 6K course.
The team from Buena Vista, Va., includes 14 Mormon scholar-athletes from nine different states. Freshman Tori Faulkner led the way for the Knights, placing second overall with a time of 25:23.17. Faulkner, a first-year runner from Mesa, Ariz., has been the Knights' top finisher in each of her seven races this season, while twice winning the USCAA's Runner of the Week award.
Southern Virginia's next four finishers entered the chute within 33 seconds of each other as freshman Leah Huber (Castle Rock, Colo.), sophomore Kera Macfarlane (Yorktown, Va.), freshman Tayla Alfrey (Auburn, Wash.) and freshman Shelbi Prince (Mexico, Mo.) placed seventh (26:14.85), eighth (26:34.72), ninth (26:43.18) and 10th (26:47.75), respectively.
Senior Bridget Gonzalez (Riverside, Calif.), who was a two-time USCAA cross country all-American before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil from 2009-2011, finished 17th overall with a time of 27:30.87.
Freshman Kelli Nahoolewa (Saginaw, Texas), whose twin sister Nicole also ran for the Knights this fall, closed out the scoring for Southern Virginia, placing 30th with a time of 28:23.70.
Since its first year as a program in 1998, Southern Virginia women's cross country has captured 10 USCAA national championships.