TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Texas Tech Lady Raider cross country team put the finishing touch on its best season in program history with a trophy and earned fourth place running at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
It is the best finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in program history with 191 points and the fourth place finish. The squad was ranked ninth by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association headed into the meet and finished as the highest Big 12 and Mountain Regional team of the meet.
"Outstanding effort by all the ladies today," head coach Jon Murray said after the race. "They handled the adversity, heat and intensity of the national championship well and I am very proud of them."
The course was slightly wet but the sun came out and the temperature was in the upper 60's as race time approached. The race started and almost took a bad turn for the Lady Raiders as right before the 1K mark in the race Caroline Karunde fell and busted her lip. The junior quickly got up and kept running hard and after 2K the Lady Raiders were in fifth place before taking over fourth.
Lillian Badaru concluded her senior season with her second-straight All-American honor placing 17th. She ran a 20:25 to lead the Lady Raiders. Purity Biwott in her first NCAA Championship for Tech was 23rd and named All-American in a time of 20:35.
Winrose Karunde ran one of her best races of the season covering the course in 20:48 placing 38th. Her sister Caroline Karunde wasn't far behind as she ran 21:00 and finished 47th. Gladys Kipsang was the fifth Lady Raider coming across in 66th with a time of 21:11.
Michelle Guzman and Kaci Westervelt were the final two Lady Raiders to cross the line. Guzman ran 22:57 crossing in 202nd place and Westervelt was 205th in a time of 23:09.
Villanova took the women's team title with 86 points while Florida State was second with 133. Washington was just ahead of the Lady Raiders with 188 points.
"It is definitely the next step and we have been working hard," Murray said of the trophy and fourth place finish. "Of course we have had some success being in the top 10 in three of the last four years, it's just the next step of showing you're a legitimate team and being able to perform on the national level."