The junior from Wilson Central earned one of the Mid-South Conference four individual berths into the national championships with a 10th-place finish in this past week’s conference championships. Shawnee State won the team title at the event, taking spots 1-5 and No. 9, leaving the next four best individuals to earn the league’s automatic berths.
Blankenship becomes the first Cumberland runner, male or female, to reach the national championships since the program was reinstated in 2012. She missed almost all of the 2016 cross country season with an injury and was the team’s top finisher in each of the last two races.