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Georgetown College women's cross country will have two representatives in the NAIA National Championship Meet Nov. 23 in Kansas. Tayler Godar's fifth-place finish and Mary Jefferson's 11th-place finish were high enough individually to put them in the race.
Godar finished eighth a season ago at this race, just on the outside of national qualifiers. However, she dropped 20 seconds, 19 minutes 31 seconds, in her sophomore-season finish and left no doubt about making it to Kansas.
Jefferson shaved a minute 15, 19:53, from her 2012 race and jumped 12 spots to join her teammate at nationals.
"All our women ran well," said GC coach Todd McDaniel. "It was an exciting race. Shawnee State took three of the top five spots, but Tayler did a nice job of staying with that pack that also included Cumberlands' Danielle Hoop.
"Mary has been solid all season and she was right on the heels of Shawnee's seventh runner. It is awesome to be taking two of our women to nationals."
Georgetown last raced in the NAIA meet in 2011 with Elisha Overpeck. This is the first time in a while, if not ever, that the Tigers have had two women in the championship race.
SSU's impressive five runners in the top eight finishers made it difficult for any other team to compete for that spot, but McDaniel was pleased with his team's third place finish. Four Tigers crossed in the top 25 with the final scoring runner coming across in 36th.
Freshman Miranda Mullins, 20:58, and sophomore Kristen Just, 21:26, crossed 17th and 24th. Junior Marissa Hale's 23:17 was just outside the Top 35.
Just showed the most improvement from a season ago. She shaved 1:33 off her time and went from the seventh runner to the fourth.
"We hope this is a foundation building season for what we expect to come in the future," said McDaniel. "We had two of our top runners not compete this season, but this team didn't miss a beat. Injuries hit us late as we finished the season with just six runners in the final three races.
"The future looks promising. Raters are starting to take notice and that is helpful all the way around. These ladies have really been impressive this season."