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Keller wins third straight title

University of Minnesota, Morris women's cross country runner Linda Keller won her third individual Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship in as many tries Saturday, leading the Cougars to a runner-up finish.

Keller beat her closest competitor at Minneopa Golf Course in Mankato by over a minute and a half, finishing in 22:04.7, dropping over 15 seconds off her time from the same course just three weeks ago.

She led the Cougars to a runner-up finish for the third straight year as they finished with 67 points to sit behind champion St. Scholastica. The Saints placed all five of their runners in the top-10, easily cruising to the win with just 30 points.

Martin Luther was 16 points behind the Cougars, in third with 83 points, with Northwestern in fourth with 96. Northland rounded out the top-five, in the distance with 142 points.

Keller led a trio of Cougars in the top-15, as she was joined by Lanay Walker in 14th and Christina Montanez in 15th. Walker posted her best time of the season with a 25:32.8, while Montanez had her second best day of the season with a 25:38.8.

Just outside the top-15 was Katie Oden in 16th place with her 25:51.5, finishing under the 26:00 mark for the third straight meet. The final Cougar scorer was Amanda Peters in 21st with her 26:12.2, finishing just a second off her career best.

The Cougars will look to continue dropping times when they run at the Fall Finale in St. Joseph this week, in preparation for the NCAA Regional meet in Waverly, Iowa on Nov. 12. Keller finished third at the regional last season, before earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championships to close the season.