Rio women 12th in RSC XC Championship

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande posted a 12th place finish in the women’s division of the River States Conference Cross Country Championship, Saturday afternoon, at the Rio Grande Cross Country Course.

The RedStorm tallied 352 points to finish at the bottom of the team competition.

With freshman Darcy Williams (Wellston, OH) – Rio’s only runner throughout the entire regular season – sidelined, the RedStorm fielded its makeshift squad with athletes from the school’s golf, basketball, track, softball and soccer programs.

Junior Hunter Rockhold (Clinton, OH), a golfer by trade, gave Rio its top finish in the 97-runner field by completing the 5k course in a time of 26:22 for 70th place.

Sophomore Cecilia Murphy (Fayetteville, OH), who is part of Rio’s junior varsity basketball program, was 75th after crossing the finish line in 26:48 and senior Taylor Tackett (Hillsboro, OH) – a member of the track program – was 81st in a time of 27:29.

Others representing the RedStorm included junior McKenzie Cremeens (Ironton, OH), a softball team member who placed 91st in a time of 30:41; freshman Madison Lewis (Carrollton, OH), a softball who was 94th after crossing in 35:45.53; senior Rafaella Gioffre (Huron, OH), a golfer/cheerleader who took 95th place in 35:45.94; sophomore Kathleen Root (Old Fort, OH), a member of the track team who placed 96th in a time of 38:48; and junior golfer Madison Duskey (Beverly, OH), who was 97th with a time of 38:49.

Asbury University’s Bethany Hamilton had the top individual time of 20:07 and captured RSC Runner of the Year honors for her efforts. Hamilton outdistanced the duo of Kaeley Boyd (20:20) and Kara Sandusky (20:38), who helped West Virginia University-Tech to the team championship.

Tech, which had four of top eight finishers in the race, tallied 38 points and easily outdistanced runner-up Midway University (84 pts.). Asbury University took third place with 86 points.

West Virginia Tech and Midway earned the league’s automatic qualifiers to the NAIA National Championships, which have been rescheduled for April 9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Also earning national qualifier berths as individuals were Hamilton, Carlow University’s Rachel Jones, Brittany Lenz of Ohio Christian University, Alyssa Boyd from Point Park University, Asbury’s Carolina Trumpower and Julia Arruda of Indiana University East.

Trumpower was named RSC Newcomer of the Year and West Virginia Tech’s Jeremy Bloom was named Coach of the Year.

Williams was Rio Grande’s representative on the RSC Champions of Character team.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.