December 15, 2016
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – The Master’s University women’s cross country program made some major additions to its overall resume after completing an impressive 2016 season.
One of TMU’s most notable accomplishments in 2016 occurred on November 5 when the Lady Mustangs placed second overall at the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship for the fourth-straight year. TMU placed second out of the GSAC’s nine teams with a collective time of 1:29:51. The Lady Mustangs’ time at the conference championship marked the overall fastest team time in TMU women’s cross country program history.
Abigail Frankian placed second overall after recording an outstanding final time of 17:23. The junior runner’s time was the fastest individual time in TMU program history. Close behind Frankian was Morgan Pedrick who finished in fifth-place with a final time of 17:39.5. Mikala Fairchild earned a sixth-place finish at 17:48.4, while Rachael Ingoldsby finished ninth overall with a final time of 18:04.6.
Based on their stellar performances, Frankian, Pedrick, Fairchild, and Ingoldsby earned All-GSAC honors. Frankian has now earned All-GSAC honors for three-straight years (2014-16), while Pedrick repeats these honors from last season.
Two weeks later,TMU placed 10th out of a field of 36 teams with a collective time of 1:33:04.26 at the 2016 NAIA National Championships.
At the conclusion of the 5k national championship race run on the North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Ill., the Lady Mustangs claimed 369 points and clocked an average time of 18:36.86.
TMU’s team time is the second-fastest performance that the Lady Mustangs have recorded at the NAIA National Championships. Last year, the Lady Mustangs posted a program-best collective time of 1:32:44.
Frankian highlighted TMU’s performance as the junior runner placed 13th overall out of a field of 334 competitors at 17:35.35. Frankian’s performance earned her NAIA All-American honors as the top 30 finishers at the national championships earn this accolade.
Frankian repeated these honors from last season where she finished the national championship race in 17:51.8. In the record books, Frankian’s performance eclipsed older sister and TMU alumni Karis Frankian’s program-leading time of 17:37.7 at the NAIA National Championships.
Based on their performances in the classroom, Abigail Frankian and Rachel Rush were named as GSAC and NAIA Scholar-Athletes. This was Frankian’s second time receiving the academic honors on both the conference and the national levels.
Looking ahead, the Lady Mustangs, who finished 10th in the NAIA Top 25 postseason poll, will graduate two seniors, but will return a slew of talented student-athletes and welcome a number of key off-season additions for the 2017 campaign. In the upcoming months, TMU women’s cross country fans are encouraged to check back for new student-athlete signing articles and the announcement of the 2017 season schedule.