WINNECONNE, WI - In the closest NCAA Division III women's cross country championship in more than a decade, Johns Hopkins missed a third straight national title by just one point. Washington University-St. Louis won the title with 98 points to edge the defending champion Blue Jays. MIT finished in third place (247 points) and UW-Eau Claire finished in fourth (265).
"It was a tough defeat, but I'm so proud of how well this team ran today," said head coach Bobby Van Allen. "We had some phenomenal performances led by Caelyn's sixth-place finish. Watching her move up throughout the race and hammer home the final stretch, outkicking Aly Wayne from Washington was simply amazing. I'm so happy for Tasha Freed, on earning her first-ever All-America honor, and Felicia Koernercareer-best 22nd-place finish."
Hopkins seemed poised to bring home its third straight title, and sixth in the last seven years, as the Blue Jays held the lead at the 2.3K, 3K and 5K points of the race. A late push by Washington University, led by individual champion Paige Lawler, saw the Bears grab their first title since 2011. In the team scoring, the Blue Jays placed one runner in the top 10, three in the top-20 and four in the top-30. The Bears meanwhile, had three runners in the top-10 and four in the top-25.
"Scoring under 100 points at an NCAA Championship is such an incredibly difficult task, and one we accomplished today," noted Van Allen. "Almost any year, that would win the title, but Washington University just put together an amazing day and certainly earned the title. This was a fantastic year and one that we can be proud of, yet provides motivation for the underclassman coming back next year."
Running in her first NCAA Championship race, Caelyn Reilly was in 10th place at the 2.3K and 3K marks of the race. She moved into seventh through the 5K and crossed the finish line in sixth place with a time of 21:11.3 to pick up All-America honors. Just one year removed from finishing in 118th place and running in her final collegiate cross country race, Tasha Reed turned in a career-best performance. She crossed the line in 21:40.6 to place 19th and garner her first All-America honor.
Senior Felicia Koerner moved up four spots over the final 1000 km of her collegiate career to finish in 22nd place and 21:44.5. She finished 20 spots higher than a year ago and seven spots better than her 2016 All-American finish. Sophomore Therese Olshanski was the fourth Blue Jay to cross the line. Like Koerner, she also moved up four spots over the last 1000km, to finish in 35th place with a time of 21:54.2.
Senior Ellie Clawson raced to a 43rd-place finish as she crossed in 22:03.4, to just miss All-America honors by three spots. Junior Sam Levyfinished in 22:06.2 to claim 47th place, finishing 170 places higher than she did in 2016. Junior Rebecca Grusby rounded out the Blue Jays' top seven finishers with a 101st-place finish and a time of 22:33.3.
Today's championship was the closest margin of victory since 2006 when Middlebury edged Amherst, 144-145. In addition, Hopkins is the first team since 1995 to score under 100 points and not win the national championship. The Blue Jays' 99 points are their fourth best point total in program history.
This is the Blue Jays' seventh straight podium finish and first runner-up finish. Hopkin is the only school in the nation to finish in the top four in each of the last seven national championships.
The four All-Americans matches the program best as Hopkins also produced four All-Americans in 2014. Reilly's sixth-place finish is tied for the third best and is just the sixth top-10 finish in school history. Koerner and Olshanski each garnered the second All-America honor of their careers, becoming just the eighth and ninth runners in school history to do so.
The Dickinson women's cross county team made its 18th consecutive appearance at the NCAA National Championships on Saturday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Competing against a remarkable fast field on unfavorable course conditions, the Red Devils put together a top-20 finish, placing 14th overall.
With a relatively young line-up, the Red Devils made a strong showing on the national stage, led by sophomores Isabel Cardi (Media, Pa./Strath Haven) and Emma Johnston (Pelham, N.Y./Pelham Memorial) who came across the line with times of 22:23 and 22:24, respectively, to place 76th and 80th.
Sophomore Allyson Yanega (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) turned in a great performance, clocking a personal-best time of 22:44 while junior Sarah House (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) crossed the line in 22:46.
Senior Lucile Ionescu (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) had one of her strongest races of the season, cutting over a minute off her time at the regional championships to finish with a mark of 22:59.
The Red Devils put together an outstanding season, winning team titles in the first four meets of the season. They combined for another strong showing against some top out-of-region opponents to claim second at the Connecticut College Invitational.
Dickinson was ranked as high as number-six in the nation on the year, finishing second to top-ranked Johns Hopkins at the Centennial Conference Championships and the NCAA Mideast Regionals. The Red Devils earned six All-Region honors to qualify as a team for nationals for the 20th time overall in program history.