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Coop Freshman of the Year, Women's Cross Country second at NACC meet

Photo by Rick Tittsler
Photo by Rick Tittsler

AURORA, Ill. – Freshman Bethany Coop was named the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Freshman of the Year as she helped pace the Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Cross Country team to a second-place finish at the league championships Saturday.

The Falcons had three runners earn All-NACC accolades in Coop (Mora, Minn.), sophomore Ashley Scheele (Kohler, Wis.) and freshman Nora Imperl (Greenfield, Wis.). The top 15 finishers at the NACC Championships are named All-NACC runners as Coop finished seventh, Scheele eighth and Imperl 15th.

CUW finished behind Aurora University in the team standings. The deep and talented Spartans placed five in the top 10 and had six All-Conference runners, winning the team title with 25 points.

Coop ran a two-second PR despite battling injury all week, but she ran a gutsy performance, according to head coach Russ DeLap. Scheele and Imperl both set new PRs as well, Scheele coming in at 23:32.1 and Imperl clocking in at under 24 minutes for the first time in her career (23:54.8).

The fourth Falcon to cross the finish line Saturday was freshman Paulina Agnello (Brookfield, Wis.) who hit a monster PR of 24:17.2. Junior Larissa Schiltz (Deforest, Wis.) rounded out the scoring lineup with a time of 24:24.1.

Coming in just after Schiltz was junior Jessica Rice (Canton, Mich.) who continued to impress with another big PR. Rice ran a 24:25.7, 26 seconds faster than her previous best. Senior Sarah Volkert (Rockford, Ill.) ran a 26:04.9 in her final collegiate race, which also resulted in a PR.

Overall it was a strong day for the Falcons who were eyeing a runner-up finish. CUW had several strong performances and several of the top runners were underclassmen showcasing a promising future.

The Falcons will next take part in the NCAA Division III Midwest Championships in two weeks. The meet will be held at Lake Breeze Golf Course, with each team being allowed seven runners to compete.