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Coach Dennis Newell, far left, and members of the University of Mary women's cross country team celebrates their second-place finish at the NCAA Division II cross country meet on Saturday.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The University of Mary women's cross country team capped off a stellar 2017 campaign on a high note Saturday.

Four Marauders earned All-American honors as U-Mary finished second in the NCAA Division II women's cross country championships. The national runner-up finish is the best NCAA placing by any U-Mary team. The Marauders' previous best finish in the national cross country meet was fifth in 2011.

U-Mary, ranked fifth coming into the national meet, tallied 137 points -- 11 more than national champion Adams State. California Baptist (148) and Chico State (179) rounded out the top four.

Senior Alexis Zeis was once again the top finisher for the Marauders, placing 13th. Zeis, a four-time All-American with a national championship to her credit (2015), covered the 6,000-meter course in 21:18.9. 

Junior Jaiden Schuette, sophomore Kate Fox and senior Kaycie Stewart also garnered All-American status on Saturday.

Schuette, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference runner-up, came in 17th overall (16th in the team standings) with a time of 21:25.2. The Bismarck native finished 75th last year.

Fox, a Wing native, placed 29th overall (25th in the team standings), posting a time of 21:35. She finished 47th in 2016.

Stewart, a Corvallis, Mont., native, closed out her college career with a 37th-place finish (34th in the team standings). She turned in a time of 21:41.1 and finished 35 places better than she did in her last national meet appearance in 2015. She didn't compete in last year's meet because of an illness.

All-American honors went to the top 40 finishers.

Sophomore Bree Erickson closed out the Marauders' scoring with a 55th-place finish (48th in the team standings). The Cambridge, Minn., native posted a time of 21:58.7.

Also competing for the Marauders were freshman Sydney Wendt (134th, 22:52.7) and junior Rebekkah Bond (168th, 23:14.8).

The Marauders, who also won the NSIC and Central Region championships, are coached by Dennis Newell.

Senior Caroline Kurgat of Alaska-Anchorage posted a winning time of 20:32.3. She finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Sarah Berger of Walsh (20:52.1).

WELCOME HOME: The University of Mary will host a welcome home party-media event for the women’s cross country team today at 1:15 p.m., at the Bismarck Airport.

The Marauders flight is scheduled to arrive at 1:40 p.m. Those attending the welcome home event should park in short term parking. Parking is free if tickets are validated.

Should the party plans change, updates will appear online at, on Twitter at @umarysports, and on the University of Mary Marauders Athletics Facebook page.

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