Women Wrap XC Season at NCAA Central Region Championship

A string of Rams, led by Taylor Novak, race down the the final stretch at Saturday's NCAA Central Region Championship.
A string of Rams, led by Taylor Novak, race down the the final stretch at Saturday's NCAA Central Region Championship.

NORTHFIELD, Minn.-- North Central Women's Cross Country finished up their 2017 season on Saturday at the NCAA Central Region Championship hosted by Carleton College. The Rams finished 32nd in a field that produced five Division III National Championship qualifiers.

Junior Taylor Novak (Minot, N.D./Minot State) led a pack of three NCU runners that finished within 30 seconds of each other, to place 202 overall. Junior Brianna Griffin (Reedsburg, Wis./Reedsburg) was next in 203 with sophomore Raen Barcelon (Kodiak, Alaska/Kodiak) in 204th. 

Freshman Sidney Palmer ended her rookie campaign in 207th place and senior Danelle Pageler (Warren, Minn./Warren-Alvarado-Oslo) rounded out the Rams five with a 210th placement. 

The Rams team average was just one four seconds off their mark from 2016, the team's first run at an NCAA regional meet.

Meet host Carelton College dominated the impressive field to win with a score of just 49 points, over 50 spots ahead of second place Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln, Neb.). Carleton and NWU each earned automatic qualifications into the NCAA Division III National Championship. Third, fourth and fifth place team finishers Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa), St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.) and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.) also received at large berths into the national meet.

Meg Mathison of Carleton won the individual title, leading three Knights in the top eight overall.