Maria Bernard and Jack Williams win NAIA regional cross country as UBC teams take gold and Silver

The University of British Columbia won its third straight A.i.i. Conference Women’s Cross Country title on Saturday.

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CLINTON, IOWA – Claiming seven of the top nine individual spots Saturday, the nation’s top-ranked women’s cross country team, the University of British Columbia – strolled to a three-peat at the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships held at Ashford University.

The Thunderbirds behind All-American Maria Bernard swept the top three individual spots en route to and 18-point team performance to easily outdistance runner-up California State San Marcos for the team title. CSUSM finished with 42 points, while Johnson & Wales (Colo.) finished third with 109 points.

Maria Benard

Maria Benard

Bernard claimed the individual crown with a time of 17 minutes, 2.9 seconds over the 5,000 meter course. Bernard’s teammate Natalia Hawthorn followed in second with a time of 17:26.5, while Amelie De Fenoyl was third in 17:34.6.

UBC’s Jackie Regan collected a fifth-place finish in 17:57.1, while Tamara Harris was seventh (18:12.9), Sandra Kilmartin eighth (18:20.3) and Kirsten Lee ninth (18:31.4).

Three CSUSM runners were the only other runners to finish in the top 10 as Kate Bouvatte placed fourth (17:15.6), Natalie Rodriguez sixth (18:04.8) and Charlotte Kuzminski tenth (18:55.3).

For full results from the A.I.I. Champions go to: aiisports.com/d/2014-15/A_I_I__Women%27s_Cross_Country_Results.pdf

Jack Williams

Jack Williams

UBC tried to snap the CSUSM streak as the Thunderbirds’ Jack Williams claimed individual conference honors with a winning time of 25 minutes, 20.3 seconds over the 8,000 meter course. But CSUSM would claim five of the next six individual spots to successfully defend the title.

CSUSM’s Enrique Ramirez paced the Cougars with a second-place finish in a time of 25:23.8, while his teammate Steven Ing followed in third at 25:26.7. The Cougars would then take the five thru seven places behind Andrew Tallamas (25:56.6), Zachery Laurenzana (26:01.2) and Easton Tackett (26:03.9).

Daniel Ybarra rounded out the top-10 finishes for CSUSM placing 10th with a time of 26:16.3.

Behind Williams for UBC, Evan Elder placed fourth (25:34.2), Ben Thorne eighth (26:09.5), Bilal Shamsi ninth (26:11.9) and Devin Rajala 11th (26:25.4).

For complete results from the meet, go to: aiisports.com/d/2014-15/A_I_I__Men%27s_Cross_Country_Results.pdf