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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.
Georgetown College women's cross country team has steadily been sending a message – watch out we are coming. With harrier Tayler Godar leading the way, the Tigers have been tracking the competition and improving every week. It is the pack-like mentality that has also helped them garner votes this past week in the NAIA Coaches' Poll.
"This is a fantastic group of runners and they all understand the true sense of team," said GC coach Todd McDaniel. "I knew they would eventually be in the rankings. They run so well together and know when to push a race or split up and push forward."
Georgetown College women's cross country harriers once again showed what could be just around the corner. Running at Cedarville University's Invitational, the ladies ran a 6k rather than the normal 5k and finished just nine points behind Mid-South Conference foe University of the Cumberlands and everyone else above them was an NCAA Division II school or higher.
"It was a great race and you have to factor in the conditions as well," said Tiger coach Todd McDaniel. "Cedarville was hit pretty heavy with rain the past two days, but the course held up fairly well. Our men ran first and thus ran in a circle around where the women would then have to run.
"The footing was a bit tougher and I wanted to gage our runners after the difficult test I tossed at them this past weekend at Centre. They were a bit behind their paces from this past Saturday, but take in the extra distance, conditions and the mild temperature and I'm extremely pleased with this race."