The Oles placed first, outlasting rival Carleton to claim the title on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon.
Jenna Carlson '09 has led the Ole pack all season. She added to her long list of credentials (which already include overall finishes of sixth at the Roy Griak Invitational, second at the St. Olaf Invitational and first place at the Macalester/St. Kate's meet) with her stellar performance on Saturday.
In the 6K, Carlson placed second overall and only 23 seconds behind winner Hailey Harren of Gustavus. Harren and Carlson were the only two runners to break the 23-minute mark.
Consistency has been key to the Oles success during the first half of their season. The women have remained relatively healthy, allowing them to use their depth to their advantage.
On Saturday, all competing Ole runners placed in the top 20 overall, including Carlson, Kezia Manlove '06, Annie Knutson '09, Larisa Nordstrom '06, Stephanie Block '07, Sarah Estill '06 and Casey Baustian '08.
As these results show, the team has found just the right blend of veteran leadership and young talent.
The team also sent a small squad to participate in the 4K race, also on Saturday. The Oles finished fifth out of 12 teams, led by Kari Koos '06, who placed 14th overall, and Andrea Gelle '07, who crossed the finish line 20th.
The Ole women also received some long-overdue national recognition for Saturday's performance.
In the weekly raceberry.com NCAA Division III womens cross country poll, the Oles rose to number 19 overall and third in the central region. Also ranked are MIAC foes Carleton (20th overall) and Macalester (25th).
The teams next scheduled meet will be at home against Gustavus on Oct. 21.
The race will conclude the regular season for the Oles, who will then prepare for the MIAC championships at the end of October. Last season, the women placed fourth at the event.