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Wilmington College Women's Cross Country 2019 Season in Review

The women's cross country team kicked off its 2019 season by hosting the Quaker Open on Aug. 30. Thanks to three top-10 finishes, Wilmington finished runner-up in a field of all Ohio teams.

Freshman Milena Wahl was Wilmington's top finisher, placing third with a time of 12:45.5 on the two-mile course.

Katie Hughes, pictured right, finished in 12:53.8 to begin her sophomore season.

Sydney Yontz, another freshman pictured left, placed two spots behind Hughes with a time of 12:55.7.

The month of September saw Wilmington competing in two events on the road. The first of these was the Ohio Wesleyan University Invitational on Sept. 14. At that event, the Quakers finished 4th-of-9 teams.

The second was the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Cedarville on Sept. 28. Wilmington improved from its placement in 2018, finishing the event in 22nd place and as the 10th NCAA Division III team.

Katie Hughes, a sophomore from Clinton-Massie, running at the JennaStrong Fall Classic

Wilmington returned home for two events in October including one of the biggest events on the calendar every year - the JennaStrong Fall Classic. Formerly the Wilmington Fall Classic, this meet got renamed in honor of former Wilmington runner Jenna Parlette in 2013. Parlette, a member of the women's cross country team, was leading a race at Franklin College in the fall of 2013 only to collapse with the finish line in sight. She passed away three days later.

In a field of 33 teams including several NCAA Division I and II institutions, the Quakers finished with 312 points as the fourth-best NCAA Division III school in the meet. Wilmington by a duo of freshman as Sydney Yontz placed 27th with a time of 19:25.9 and Milena Wahl earned a 31st place finish by cross the finish line of the five-kilometer course in 19:32.0.

The Quaker's last home meet of the year was a dual race against Muskingum University, a team Wilmington would see two weeks later at the OAC Championships.

Wilmington dominated the dual, earning seven of the top eight individual finishes.

The month of November featured two post-season races for Wilmington - the OAC Championships in Twinsburg, Ohio, on November 2 and the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Meet in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Nov. 16.

The sixth-place finish for the Quakers was the highest for the program in seven seasons. Wilmington tallied 175 total points as a team, finishing 22 points clear of seventh-place Heidelberg University and 68 points behind the University of Mount Union. Host John Carroll University edged out Baldwin Wallace University 41-49 to win the championship.

"Our women had a great race as we met our goal of finishing sixth," Head Women's Cross Country Coach Ron Combs said after the meet. "I'm excited for the direction our women are going as we are very young as a team. The experience we gained today will definitely benefit us in the future."

Postseason honors for women's cross country included being honored by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association of America (USTFCCCA) with its All-Academic Team Award. Additionally, five Quakers - Kayci Johnson, Allison Helmke, Katie Hughes, Kendra Stahl and Taylor Cooper - garnered Academic All-OAC recognition.