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Sometimes the path less taken is the way to go, but not in cross country. Fortunately, for Georgetown College and the women's cross country team doing some of the men's loop was not a devastating change to the overall outcome Saturday at the Berea Invitational.
The Tigers finished second behind Tennessee Wesleyan, and for the second week in a row Tayler Godar captured the top spot.
"The top runners didn't run in the wrong direction for long, but it probably did alter the times by about 10 to 15 seconds," said GC coach Todd McDaniel. "The lead runners, which included Tayler, Marissa Hale and Miranda Mullins were told to take the men's first loop which goes behind the finish line instead of in front of it."
Tayler Godar won the 16th Annual Shawnee State Invitational this past Saturday and earned Mid-South Conference Runner of the Week. This is the third week of handing out the award, and the first runner other than University of the Cumberlands' Danielle Hoop to get it.
It is the second time Godar has been honored with the women's cross country award, picking it up in the same week in 2013.
Tayler Godar finished 10 spots back, a mere 18.04 seconds, behind fellow Mid-South Conference competitor University of the Cumberlands' Danielle Hoop in her first race of the season. The Georgetown College men's and women's cross country team started the 2014 races with the Queen City meet in Cincinnati.
Her 19 minutes 36 seconds and seven hundredths of a second finish helped the Tigers to finish 11th out of 20 teams. They were two teams behind the Patriots, both of which are NCAA schools. The split between the top five scoring runners for GC was 2:47.80
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.
Georgetown College women's cross country has been pacing themselves for Saturday's Mid-South Conference meet in Rio Grande.
The Tigers have found themselves in the recent coaches' polls receiving votes as they had several Top 10 finishes and a Top five mark in the final tune-up. Friday evening it was the hardworking student-athletes' academics that took center stage.