Despite seeing the race moved and shortened to a three-mile road race less than 24 hours prior to the competition, the Greenville College women's cross country team won their sixth consecutive St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) title with a first place finish out of six teams at the 2009 SLIAC championships held at Principia College. The title was also the Lady Panthers' 14th overall.
Greenville dominated the race, posting 20 points total and placing five individuals in the top 10. G.C.'s Michelle Sutton claimed the individual crown for the second consecutive year by posting a time of 18:41.53 on the course to be named the women's cross country runner of the year. Also leading Greenville to victory were Shanna Ambuehl (18:55.73), Jennifer Sutton (19:35.10), Sara Schlink (19:50.03), and Lili Castillo in second, fourth, fifth, and eighth place respectively.
Earning All-Conference honors for the women were Michelle Sutton, Ambuehl, Hanson, Jennifer Sutton, and Schlink. Second team all-SLIAC honors went to Lili Castillo. Greenville's Ambuehl was also named the 2009 newcomer of the year, and the Greenville College coaching staff of head coach Brian Patton and assistant coach Jonathan Eckberg earned the coach of the year award. Greenville also received the sportsmanship award.
"Under less than ideal circumstances, I thought the ladies performed as a whole the best that they could," said head coach Brian Patton. "This was the sixth time in championship history we have scored 20 points or less - pretty impressive considering a perfect score is 15 points."
"We did this without the services of senior Talen Gerber who had been struck by a car and was unable to finish the season. While we are loaded with seniors, three of them have eligibility to return and if they do the prospects for next year appear promising."
Fontbonne University, Principia College and Webster University placed second through fourth respectively, while Westminster College and Spalding University tied for fifth place.