Clayton State runs in NCAA Division II National Championships Sat.
Joplin, MO – The Clayton State women's cross country team participated for the first time in school history in the NCAA Division II National Championships Saturday, placing 28th in the event.
Although the Lakers finished in the bottom of the half of the field, the squad did set a team record average of 23:20.0 for a 6K race, which was seven seconds faster per runner than the previous team best set at the NCAA Division II Southeast Region meet earlier this year.
"We finished ahead of most of the teams I thought we could beat, except for Columbus State," said head coach Mike Mead. "It was a good day but just against an elite field. This bunch set a benchmark that we will be gunning for next season."
For Clayton State, senior Paige Galvin led the way for the Lakers finishing in 111th place with a time of 22:39, a career best in her final collegiate cross country race. Her time ranked 12th on the team's Top 25 fastest individual times for 6K.
"Paige ended her career on a high note," said Mead. "Any time you can finish a career running your best at the national meet is a worthy accomplishment."
Junior Samantha Walling also ran a career-best, breaking 23:00 for the first time, finishing in 173rd place with a time of 22:58. Her time ranked No. 16 all-time on Clayton State's all-time list.
Racquel Valadez, a sophomore, had the team's third best finish with a time of 23:11 to place 185th, while sophomore Jessica Smith placed in 211th place with a time of 23:50. Junior Gisele Javois rounded out the scoring for Clayton State in 219th place with a career best time of 24:00