Rams continue dominance at Mt. Mercy meet
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Women's Cross Country - Fri, Sep. 1, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS – Cornell's 2017 women's cross country team may have new leaders at the front of its lineup, but the results remained the same at Friday's season opener at Seminole Valley Park.

The Rams captured individual and team championships at Mount Mercy's Mustang Gallop for the fourth year in a row. In fact, Coach Dan Schofer's squad hasn't lost the last six times it competed here.

Sparked by the 1-2 finish of seniors MariKate Murphy (SR/Kirklin, Ind.) and Lily Niswonger (SR/St. Louis, Mo.), Cornell earned a 41-46 victory over Mount Mercy. The Rams also collected the first Bremner Cup point of 2017-18, sprinting past Coe 17-46 in head-to-head dual scoring.

Murphy stepped up as Cornell's new front-runner, winning the 4-kilometer race in 14:46. The all-conference performer charged ahead of the pack early and coasted all alone to the finish line.

Murphy finished a full minute ahead of her closest competitor not wearing a Ram uniform. Niswonger took runner-up by more than 30 seconds, turning in a time of 15:15.       

Erin Hosto (FR/La Moille, Ill.) enjoyed a strong Ram debut in seventh place (15:52). Dominique Fleming (JR/Winterset, Iowa) came in 12th (16:17). Zoe Kane-Preissing (SO/Chicago, Ill.) sewed up the team title for Cornell, taking 19th in 16:39.

Also cracking the top 30 for Cornell was Katie Baker (JR/Lake Havasu City, Ariz.) (23rd, 16:45), Morgan Barnard (SO/Keystone, Iowa) (25th, 16:48) and Stephanie Voller (JR/Marengo, Ill.) (26th, 16:49).

A total 74 runners completed the race.

Coming up – The Rams are back in action Sept. 9 at the Les Duke Invitational hosted by Grinnell. First race is 10 a.m.