Three Cumberland Patriots traveled all the way to Lawrence, Kansas to compete in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships this past weekend. These three individual qualifiers advanced on from the Mid-South Conference Championships on Nov. 8th in order to compete in the Championships on the Saturday, November 22nd. Senior Danielle Hoop (Owenton, KY) and sophomores Margaret McGaha (Beavercreek, OH) and Sam Beal (Beavercreek, OH) performed in perfect racing conditions on the well-known course, Rim Rock Farm.
Before the start of the races, these three athletes along with their coaches were not the only Cumberland Patriots who had traveled all the way to Kansas. Hoop, McGaha, and Beal were surprised by their fellow teammates Shelby Gibbons, Madison Peace, Bonnie Nutt, David Palmer, and track teammate Devin Gray. These five individuals took it upon themselves to travel across the country to come support their Patriot family.
With the surprise appearance of their teammates, the three qualifiers performed well, knowing they’d have support every step of the way. Hoop and McGaha were the first event of the day competing in the women’s 5K run followed shortly by the men’s 8K in which Beal competed in. Hoop, running in her last cross-country race of her career, was able to capture her 8th All-American honor placing 26th with a time of . McGaha ran strong and confident as she was able to run the last race of her season with a solid 243rd place finish, in a time of . Beal, also running competitively and tough, finished the 8K event in a time of 28:01 in which he was able to capture a 255th place finish.
As these athletes will have time off for Thanksgiving, they will begin training for their indoor track season along with the entire track team upon returning to Williamsburg following the break. The Cumberland Patriots Cross Country teams both had successful seasons and are looking forward to the track season to come.