Morningside finished ahead of three NCAA Division II programs en route to the women’s team title at the Briar Cliff Invitational cross country meet.
Morningside’s women’s cross country team won the championship at Saturday’s Briar Cliff Invitational held at Adams Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, S.D.
The Mustangs, ranked 21st nationally in the most recent NAIA poll, scored 81 points to reign over a 15-team field that included 15th-ranked Dordt and NCAA Division II institutions Sioux Falls, Augustana, and Wayne State. Morningside finished with a seven-point victory margin over runner-up Sioux Falls.
Morningside had two of the top six finishers in the field of 168 runners. Tiffany Shepherd led the way by running the fourth place time of 17:51.97 over the 5k course, while Michelle Mumm finished just two positions behind with the sixth place time of 18:01.82.
Morgan Applegarth finished one spot out of the top 20 with the 21st place time of 18:48.51. The Mustangs’ other two runners who figured in the team scoring were Payton Boer with the 34th place time of 19:01.80 and Natalie Lambert with the 35th place time of 19:03.90.
Morningside finished fourth in the 14-team men’s field. The Mustangs, ranked 24th nationally in the NAIA, finished with 108 points to finish behind GPAC rivals Northwestern (51) and Dordt (76) and NCAA II Sioux Falls (88).
Alec DeVries was the Mustangs’ top finisher with a time of 25:35.49 over the 8k course to finish fourth among 157 competitors.
The Mustangs also had a top 20 finish from Sean Skillern with a time of 26:20.52 for 16th place.
Morningside will compete in the Mount Marty Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 22, in Yankton, S.D.