COLFAX, Wis. -- Simone Childs Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) and Alison Smyth (Sr./Billings, Mont./West) finished second and fifth overall as the Carleton College women's cross country team captured the team title at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Blugold Invitational. The Knights placed five runners among the top 20 scorers and edged a squad from the University of Minnesota for top honors.
This was the second straight meet that the Knights were the top team from both the MIAC and the Central Region. Carleton entered the race ranked No. 22 in USTFCCCA's national rankings and edged the host school, UW-Eau Claire, which came into the day ranked No. 5 in the country.
The Knights also bested nationally-ranked programs from No. 13 St. Olaf, No. 18 Luther, and No. 29 UW-La Crosse.
Childs-Walker's second-place finish was out of 341 individual runners. She finished the six-kilometer race at 22.10.1, just 0.3 seconds behind Liz Berkoltz, an unattached racer from the University of Minnesota (D-I).
Two more unattached Golden Gophers crossed the finish line next, just in front of Smyth, who was placed fifth overall but second in the team portion of the competition with a time of 22:22.2.
The Knights Taylor ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore/St. Mary’s), Rachael Klehm (Jr/Wellesley, Mass/Wellesley), and Becca Herd (Fy./Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain) finished 14th, 17th, and 24th respectively, all aiding the Knights in their overall score of 43.
“We did a great job. We ran an incredibly smart race. There was some really good talent at this meet," says Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. "We had eight people under 24 minutes, so that was really exciting for us. Some really good stats across the board. The team is doing a great job packing it up, running together, and running smart."
The Knights will race next Saturday, October 8 at the St. Kate's invitational in St. Paul, Minn.