The Loyola women’s cross country team had four runners finish in the top five as it won its first ever Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) title in Valparaiso, Indiana Nov. 2.
Sophomore Anneka Murrin led the charge for the Ramblers as she won the meet as an individual with a time of 17:59.97 for the 5k — less than 10 seconds faster than junior Mimi Reimers. This is the third straight year a Loyola runner won the meet after Lindsey Brewis won back-to-back medalist honors in 2017 and 2018.
Loyola sophomores Tarynn Culling and Kathleen Simms rounded out the top four at the meet, finishing with times of 18:15.90 and 18:19.89, respectively. Because Loyola won the title, coach Alan Peterson was named MVC Coach of the Year.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how the team prepared and came ready for this race,” Peterson said in a statement after the meet. “They took control from the start and never left it in doubt. It was a truly unbelievable performance from them.”
On the men’s side, the Ramblers finished fourth out of nine teams. Senior Riley Demeulenaere was Loyola’s highest finisher in 10th place out of 67 runners.
Sophomores Ian Cummings and Chantz Visse were the next Ramblers to cross the finish line with respective times of 25:38.83 and 25:49.68. In a statement after the meet, coach Mircea Bogdan said even though the team didn’t finish in the top three, he thought it improved from last year’s eighth-place finish.
“I thought the team competed hard today and gave all they had,” Bogdan said. “We came up a little short of our goal, which was to get on the podium. … I am particularly happy for Riley, Ian and Chantz. Now we’ll turn our attention to regionals, where we hope to improve on our finish from last season.”
With conference in the books, the cross country teams are next scheduled to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regionals Nov. 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.