No. 26th-ranked St. Thomas had a good day in Louisville, Ky., taking 20th place out of 32 teams at NCAA Division III Championships.
Coach Joe Sweeney's team, in their third consecutive national meet, beat all three other Central region teams -- Carleton, Nebraska Wesleyan and St. Olaf.
Seniors Alex Fossum (81st out of 280 finishers, 21:48), Bridget McGivern (119th, 22:03) and Kayla Janto (144th, 22:15) led the Tommies and all three had career-best 6,000-meter times. Fossum joined a short list of Tommie runners to break 22:00 for 6,000 meters, and she was the third MIAC finisher.
Other Tommie runners were:
- Ali Glassbrenner (190th, 22:34);
- Jenny Walz (198th, 22:35);
- Sara Ness (222nd, 22:52);
- Melissa Marsh (236th, 23:09).
Each of the last three years at nationals, Fossum improved from 200th to 148th to 81st; McGivern progessed from 146th to 139th to 119th; and Janto improved from 244th to 217th to 144th.
St. Thomas took first in the conference for the fist time in nine seasons, and was the top Central Region finisher at nationals.