Women's Cross Country Highlights NAIA National Championships With Program Best Third Place Finish
Cornerstone University saw a successful day in Vancouver, Wash., for the NAIA National Championships, highlighted by the women’s team earning a program best third place finish and first ever finish on the podium behind All-American finishes from Nygia Pollard and Anna Martin. On the men’s side the team earned 15th overall, powered by Luke Pohl’s second consecutive NAIA All-American honor and fourth place finish overall. CU has concluded the 2021 cross country season and will now jump into indoor track & field training with the first meet beginning on Dec. 3 at the GVSU Holiday Open.
The Golden Eagle men earned a 15th place finish at the NAIA National Championships, behind Luke Pohl’s best national finish of fourth and his second consecutive All-American honor with a time of 25:09.7. Pohl hung around seventh for most of the race and in the final 1K was able to push past three competitors to earn fourth, which is the second-best individual finish in program history. Luke Koopman and Colten Covington were the next two best CU runners as they ran most of the race together. The two fell back in the final 2K after sitting just outside the top 40 and All-American status. Koopman and Covington finished 69thand 86th respectively.
- Luke Pohl – 25:09.7 – 4th (NAIA All-American)
- Luke Koopman – 26:26.7 – 69th
- Colten Covington – 26:39.4 – 86th
- Grant Gayan – 26:58.4 – 124th
- Jamin Thompson – 27:07.2 – 144th
- Carter VanderMeer – 27:21.3 – 173rd
- Nate Vruggink – 28:07.7 – 250th
The Golden Eagle women were powered by two NAIA All-American performances, as Nygia Pollard finished seventh with a time of 18:33.8 and Anna Martin ninth with a time of 18:36.0. The two performances led Cornerstone to their highest ever team finish of third and their first ever finish on the podium. Pollard and Martin also become the first two CU women to earn All-American in the same national’s race. The next best finishers for CU were Annika Shoemaker and Sierra Albus who after hanging in the top 40, dropped just outside at the finish line with a 42nd and 44th place finish respectively.
- Nygia Pollard – 18:33.8 – 7th (NAIA All-American)
- Anna Martin – 18:36.0 – 9th (NAIA All-American)
- Annika Shoemaker – 19:04.5 – 42nd
- Sierra Albus – 19:04.9 – 44th
- Haley Nieuwkoop – 19:31 – 79th
- Sophia Shoemaker – 21:06.5 – 270th
- Cammie McConnell – 21:30.0 – 289th
Cornerstone cross country athletes will have a short break before jumping into the indoor track & field season. The first indoor meet is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at the GVSU Holiday Open.