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Courtesy of Columbia Athletics / Ben Ennis

Junior Natalie Tanner took 15th-place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, OR on Saturday.

Track and field's Natalie Tanner closed her junior season with a 15th-place finish in the 5-kilometer at the NCAA Championship on Saturday evening.

The junior clocked a 16:23.04—11 seconds off of her personal best—in her first-ever appearance at NCAAs, as Arkansas senior Dominique Scott took home the title with a time of 15:57.07.

That marked the second victory of the weekend for the South Africa native, as she won the 10-kilometer race by nearly 10 seconds on Thursday.

Scott paced the first third of Saturday's race at a leisurely 5:30 pace, and the pack stayed tightly knit. At 6:00, Stanford's Aisling Cuffe and several other runners pushed ahead of Scott, as the race sped up significantly.

But no runner built a large enough lead to hold off Scott's late-race kick, with the senior finishing three seconds ahead of Oklahoma State's Aurora Dybedokken.

Tanner and the rest of the squad will return to competition in the fall, as the Lions now look to extend their streak of consecutive NCAA appearances to 11 years.

ellorine.carle@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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