Huntington's Hannah Stoffel wins NAIA women's cross country national championship

November 24, 2019

 

Huntington University junior Hannah Stoffel capped off an incredible cross country season by winning the individual NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship on Friday, November 22.

Stoffel crossed the finish line for the 5,000-meter race in 17:18.4, more than 17 seconds before her nearest competitior. She is the first Forester to win a national championship in cross country.

"Crossing the finish line with Huntington on my chest - which is my hometown - is so incredible," Stoffell said in a post-race interview with the NAIA. "Obivously, the outcome was great, and made me feel good. But the purpose of today was just to be able to enjoy everything we've worked for as a team this season."

Huntington women's cross country team finished 10th, the best finish in program history. Molly Mitchell earned NAIA All-America honors, finishing 17th with a time of 18:26.4. Saige Norris finished 59th (19:11.4), Mara McFarland placed 124th (19:51.9), Olivia Von Gunten placed 140th (20:00.4), Isabel Hunter was 166th (20:20.3) and Erin Manchess was 212th (21:19.8). Saint Francis freshman Alex Ebetino placed 75th nationally - and first among freshmen - with a time of 19:16.2 Indiana Tech sophomore Kara Kline placed 146th - second among sophomores - with a time of 19:46.4

On the men's side, Huntington placed 17th as a team in the 8,000-meter race. Haile Stutzman placed 46th (25:56), Kent Yoder placed 48th (25:57.7), Elijah Chesterman placed 114th (26:42.2), Adrien Gentie placed 120th (26:47.3), Aaron Hendryx placed 149th (27:04.8), Nick Childs placed 187th (27:43.9) and Matthew Hyter placed 192nd (27:48.4). Indiana Tech sophomore Jake Willison finished 21st in the nation - second among sophomores - at 25:18.2. 

Stoffel, a Huntington native, transferred to Huntington this year after running two seasons Indiana University. She clinched the Crossroads League individual championship on Nov. 9, was named Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year, earned Crossroads League Runner of the Week four times this season and was named NAIA National Runner of the Week twice. She also won the Bethel Invitational, Rumble In The Fort, and the Indiana Wesleyan Twilight Invitaitonal this fall.

At Huntington North, Stoffel was All-State in the 1,600-meter run as a junior and senior and All-State in the 800-meter run as a sophomore. 

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