ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Occidental women's cross country team is making noise on the national stage.
The Tigers finished 12th overall at the Cowbell Classic and Principia College on Saturday in a meet that is considered the Pre-National Championships. Out of the 36 teams that attended, a good majority are ranked among the top teams in the nation.
The meet featured the same course that the NCAA Division III National Championships will be on.
Oxy's standout performance is likely to catapult it from the top 30s to the top 20s in the national rankings and gives Oxy a good argument to be selected for the Nationals if it finishes in third place in the West Region, a spot outside of the two automatic qualifying bids.
Roxanne Valle led the way for Oxy, placing 39th overall with a time of 22:59.11 in the 6K. Valle, who qualified as an individual in 2016 for the National Championship, was just four spots off where the All-American cutoff of the top 35 runners would be.
Aria Blumm was Oxy's second best in 54th at 23:10.51.
Sabrina Thurber, who is quietly having an outstanding season, has consistently become Oxy's No. 3, placing 78th at 23:31.99.
Lucy Kolpa, a former soccer player who is in her first cross country season ever, finished sixth for Oxy at 24:23.24.
"It was a deep field with some of the top-ranked teams in the country," Oxy head coach Rob Bartlett said. "It was an opportunity to prove that we belong in the national conversation and we accomplished that today."
John Hopkins was the team winner and Taryn Cordani of Ithaca was the overall winner.
The times across the board in the 6K were particularly slow because of a high heat index.
The Tigers are back in action at the SCIAC Championships at Prado Park on Nov. 4.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram