Senior Katherine Novak broke away from the lead pack and crossed the finish line Saturday, Oct. 27 as a UMAC champion in winning the individual title at the UMAC Women's Cross Country Championships, at Benson Golf Club in Benson.

Novak's time of 23:29.3 over the six-kilometer course was 25 seconds ahead of runner-up Aria Plewa of St. Scholastica. Novak becomes the third Cougar runner to win an individual cross country conference championship over the last ten seasons: Amanda Peters (2014), Linda Keller (2009-12).

Novak paced the Cougars to a second place team standing with 73 points. St. Scholastica repeated as team champion with a team score of 20. Completing the field were: UW-Superior (90), Martin Luther (99), Crown (146), Bethany Lutheran (162), Northwestern (174), Northland (190), and North Central.

Two other Cougars earned top 10 finishes behind Novak. Paige Stearns ran a ninth place time of 24:51.5 and Kaitlyn Ladwig was right behind with a time of 24:52.5. Brittney Jonson crossed the finish line with a time of 25:56.6, good for 22nd place and Alexa Yeager rounded out the Cougar top five with a time of 26:58.0.