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Women's Cross Country - Sat, Nov. 5, 2016

Karyn Paisley put together her best race of the season and helped the St. Ambrose women to a fourth place finish at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

The junior raced to an all-conference finish of 14th place, finishing the 5K course in 19:22, which secured her a spot at the NAIA XC National Championships in two weeks.

The Bees, who finished fifth in the conference a year ago, also had stellar performances from Nicole Woodall (17th, 19:47) and Keeley Knobloch (20th, 19:57) who just missed out on qualifying for the national championships.

St. Francis won the meet with 44 points, while St. Xavier finished second with 46 points and reigning CCAC champions Olivet Nazarene finished third with 74 points. The Bees were fourth with 105 points, nearly forty points ahead of fifth place Trinity Christian in the 13-team field.

Rounding out the top 5 scorers for the Bees were freshman Jenny Dickes (24th, 20:14) and junior Abby Hammer (32nd, 20:26), both of whom ran their personal bests. It was the first time Hammer has been a top 5 runner in her SAU career. Capping off the Bees varsity seven were Mallory Rettenmeier (37th, 20:45) and senior Katie Nelson (42nd, 20:51).

"I'm very proud of how the team competed all year, but the way they competed today really spoke to their character," SAU head coach Dan Zeimet said. "They raced with a lot of heart, toughness and determination. This was a good result, and something we can build on for the future."

While, not finishing in the top 7, freshman Sarah Adams also established a new personal best, running 20:51 to finish shoulder-to-shoulder with Nelson. Another freshman, Sara Stockdale, crushed her previous personal best by more than a minute, running 21:16, while Ann Froeschle, Sara Erskine and Shelby Carlson all ran their season's best times.

Paisley will race for the second year in a row at the NAIA XC National Championships. The race will be held at North Farms XC Course in Elsah, IL just outside of St. Louis. Last year, Paisley finished 228th overall in her first nationals appearance. 

The CCAC also announced 10 Bees were named to the all-academic team: Shelby Carlson, Ann Froeschle, Chloe Gunn, Abby Hammer, Taylor Hills, Keeley Knobloch, Katie Nelson, Mallory Rettenmeier, Ashlyn Rulis and Nicole Woodall.