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Westmont’s Stumbo Earns 4th All-American Honor

Westmont men's cross-country squad finishes 16th at NAIA finals while Warriors' women's team finishes 17th.

KENOSHA, Wis. — With an overcast sky and temperatures in the low 40s, Westmont’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed in the NAIA National Championships  on Saturday at the Dr. Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course here. The men’s squad finished 16th in the 28-team event, three better than its No. 19 national ranking. The women’s team finished 17th out of 29 teams.
 
Senior Anna Stumbo  posted a time of 18.14.6 in the women’s 5,000-meter race to claim 16th place and her fourth NAIA Cross Country All-American title. She joins Miriam Niednagel  (1993-94) as the only two runners to earn All-American honors in each of their four years at Westmont.

Asked how she was feeling after the race, Stumbo replied, "I’m really relieved and grateful and feel privileged and happy. It was really helpful going into the race knowing this was my final one and trusting that God had given me this last opportunity."
 
"Anna did her usual," said head coach Russell Smelley. "She was forced to the front, ran there and hung on. She did very well. She’s a four-year All-American — that’s an outstanding accomplishment."

In addition to her cross-country honors, Stumbo has earned four All-American titles in track and field, making her an eight-time NAIA All-American.

Finishing second among the Westmont women was senior Lisa Griego, who recorded a time of 18:42.2 and claimed 47th place out of the field of 268 runners.  

Sophomore Christa Juell  was the third across the finish line for the Warriors, placing 131st (19:25.7). Senior Leanne Riggin  and freshman Chrissa Trudelle  rounded out the scoring for the Warriors, with Riggin placing 188th (19:58.6) and Trudelle finishing 190th (19:59.6).

Also competing for the Warriors were freshman Katie Fritzke  (20:04.1) and junior Kaitlyn Dunn  (20.26.7).

Senior Robby Cherry  was the top Westmont finisher on the men’s side, placing 51st in a time of 25:48.0.

"Robby, a senior walk-on, finally had the race he wanted to have at Nationals," declared Smelley. "He moved up the whole race, from the 80s to 51st. That is an outstanding performance for him."

"I was very satisfied with the race and happy with how I performed," said Cherry. "I was surprised how great the course was. There is so much to it. It has a lot of character."

The Dannehl Course is the only course in the nation dedicated to cross country. In the spring, summer and fall it is used for cross-country running. In the winter, it becomes a cross-country skiing course.

"I am very happy with how God has blessed me and allowed me to become a leader on this team," Cherry said. "It has been a blessing to me to be a part of Westmont and I am very happy with how my four years have gone."

A cross-country All-American in his sophomore season, senior Aaron Megazzi  was fighting a cold and having difficulties breathing in the championship race. Still, he finished second among the Warrior men, taking 103rd place out of 258 competitors in a time of 26:16.3.

Finishing one place and one second behind Megazzi was sophomore Sean Adams. In 107th place was senior Nick Martin, who posted a time of 26:18.5.

The final scorer for the Warriors was junior Kirby Ifland, who learned Friday that he would be taking the place of injured runner Andrew Dixon. Ifland placed 156th in a time of 26:41.9. Rounding out the field of Westmont runners were freshmen Jacob Goodin  (26:52.2) and Eric Williams  (27:15.6).

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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