BILLINGS — Running on her home course, Rocky Mountain College junior Ruth Chepsat won the Frontier Women's Cross Country Championship Friday afternoon at Amend Park, leading the Battlin' Bears to a team title, as well, which qualifies them for the NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Nov. 22.
Chepsat crossed the line in 18 minutes, 44.5 seconds, four seconds ahead of Carroll College freshman Reghan Worley, who beat Chepsat on the Amend Park course back on Sept. 13.
"Last time, I wasn't really prepared. I went too hard for the fast loop," Chepsat said. "So (Friday), I was going to reduce my pace a little bit and then be ready for the last lap."
Chepsat, Worley and Montana Western's Eireann O'Connor were bunched together with half a kilometer to go, but Chepsat surged ahead of the other two, who were unable to catch her.
"It's a mentality. I was like, 'I have to win this, so I have to push myself so hard,'" Chepsat said after the win.
Chepsat's teammates ran a good race, as well, as Rocky easily won the team title with 36 combined points. Sydney Little Light and Mei-Li Stevens finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while Courtney Hallock crossed in ninth. Western edged Carroll for second in the team race, 54 to 59. You can see full results here.
Lewis-Clark State dominated the men's race, finishing 1-2-3 as Cole Olson took the overall title in 25:31.06. The Warriors finished with 24 team points, well ahead of second-place Rocky at 46. Jackson Duffey was the Battlin' Bears top finisher in fourth overall at 25:49.68, while Isaac Petsch (5th) and Jackson Wilson (7th) also placed in the top 10. You can find full results here.
The NAIA National Cross Country Championships will be held in Vancouver, Wash. on Nov. 22.