The PLNU Women’s Cross Country team recently broke school history by debuting at No. 9 on the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll. This is the first time that a Point Loma team has ranked in the top 10 of NCAA Division II. Not only is this team ranked 9th in the nation, but they are also ranked 2nd in their conference.
Senior runner, Brielle Budroe, appreciates that her team is finally gaining the national attention she believes they deserve.
“I’m really, really fired up about it,” she said. “I think it’s really awesome, and I’m just so excited that we’re kind of finally getting the recognition nationally that I think we deserve as a team, because we are very competitive.”
The team began its 2017 season on Sept. 9 at the Biola Invitational, where they placed third with 68 points.
Sophomore runner, Mackenzie Harder, said, “coach kind of talked about Biola beforehand as almost like a ‘rust-buster,’ kind of just a glorified workout where we’re getting back in the mentality. It’s not as competitive as our meets later in the season, but it’s a good way to start it off.”
There were four PacWest teams that participated in the race and PLNU finished ahead of Concordia and Azuza Pacific, but fell behind Biola, who finished second with 50 points.
“I think for the first race, it was pretty good. Obviously, as a team, and even as individuals, we all have some areas to improve on. I don’t know if I would say I’m satisfied or content with taking third, but I think we ran to the best of our abilities, on Saturday,” said Budroe.
With all seven of the team’s top runners returning this season, their team chemistry only continues to strengthen. “We’ve all been running together; we all understand each other very well. We’re definitely all very close, and that just makes running for each other that much better. I’m a senior, and I would say this season is the best team in terms of chemistry and everyone getting along,” said Budroe.
Most recently, the team took second place at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, which is one of the most prestigious meets on the west coast. The Sea Lions earned 55 points and all five scoring runners placed in the top 19.
The team has continuously set high goals for themselves and are focused on achieving them this season. “As a team we’ve talked about being within top five at nationals. We think top ten is achievable, so we really want to shoot for higher,” said Harder.
The Women’s Cross Country team has the chemistry, attitude, and mindset to compete at a very high level this year, as they aspire to live up to their preseason ranking and own personal goals they set for themselves.