09/08/2012 – The women's cross country teams opened the 2012 season with a memorable showing at the Knight Invitational hosted by Calvin College. The women, who are ranked 17th nationally, placed 4th in the 22 team women's field. Overall the Saints were the top NAIA school in the field and were only defeated by Calvin, Grand Valley and Case Western. The host Knights won the team championship, while Ohio Northern senior Alison Steinbrunner won the individual title with a time of 17:42.
The women, who finished with 131 points, were led by senior Alina Dhaseleer, who recorded an eighth place finish in a personal best time of 18:15. Rachael Steil ensured a solid one-two punch for the Saints as she came off the course in 14th place (18:32). The Saints received outstanding efforts from Carley Woolcott (33rd - 18:55) and Britta Patterson (35th - 18:56) who keyed the Saints performance in their first collegiate races. Rounding out the scoring for the Saints was Catie Rietsema who placed 75th in a time of 19:39. Adding depth to the top seven was Crysta Paganelli (84th - 19:45) and Mary Bogardus (115th - 20:10) who also were both in the first races in the Aquinas maroon and white. The women also recorded the 4th fastest team time of all-time (94:18) as six freshman graced the top ten on the team.
The Saints will return to the course on Friday when they travel to South Bend to compete in the National Catholic Championships on the campus of Notre Dame University.