FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

NEW ORLEANS – The Fort Hays State University women’s cross country team is ranked 17th in the latest USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll, released by the organization Wednesday (Oct. 12). It is the first time Fort Hays State has been recognized in the poll since 2007, when they were ranked 24th in the final poll before the National Championships.

The Tigers and Southwest Baptist are the only teams representing the MIAA in the poll, with the Bearcats sitting in 23rd. Two Central Region rivals rank in the top five, with U-Mary ranked third and Minnesota Duluth fifth. The top four teams at the 2016 Central Regional, hosted by Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., will advance to the NCAA Championships in St. Leo, Fla.

The Tigers finished fourth in a packed field at the FHSU Tiger Open last weekend (Oct. 8), beating out previously-ranked Pittsburg State and finishing behind three of the top-11 teams in the country.

All five of the top Tiger runners posted new personal-bests on Saturday. Shea Bonine shaved nearly one minute off her personal-best 5k race, traversing the Sand Plum Nature Trail course in 17:36.5. The junior has finished in the top-14 in all four races so far this season, picking up her first collegiate victory in Emporia three weeks ago (Sept. 23). Sophomore Sophie Dalmasso was just behind Bonine, finishing in 17:37.6. Dalmasso hasn’t finished below 15th so far this year, winning the Sand Plum Invitational earlier this season (Sept. 15).

The Tigers will return to the course next weekend when they travel to Elsah, Ill. for the MIAA Championships, running a six-kilometer course for the first time this season.

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