Determined to improve upon last year’s fourteenth place finish and committed to a strong finish for their season, the women’s cross country team turned out a solid eighth place finish and one All-American at the NCAA Division III Championships at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.
Tri-captain Meg Randall ’99, saving her best race for last, ran to a fifteenth place finish in 18:25.51 earning her All-American Honors. This was Randall’s first All-American finish in cross country and the first Williams women’s cross country All-American in three years. Randall is a two-time All-American in track.
The individual winner of the race was freshman Cheryl Smith from SUNY Cortland in 17:48.39. The overall team winner was Calvin College with 124 points. Rounding out the top 10 schools were College of New Jersey, (170), University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, (179), Carnegie Mellon, (186), SUNY Cortland, (196), University of Chicago, (230), Middlebury, (246), Williams, (249), Nebraska Wesleyan, (250), and University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse, (279).
Deborah Frisone ’00 also turned out her top performance of the season and was the second team finisher for the Ephs in fifty-first place with a time of 18:59. “I think having run on the course earlier in the season gave me some confidence,” said Frisone.
Rounding out the top five for Williams were Lauren Krisko ’00, ninety-sixth (19:24.33), Tara Crowley ’00, one hundred and fifth (19:30.94), and Lauren Wiener ’00, one hundred twenty-seventh (19:32.19).
The eighth place finish, in addition to Middlebury College’s seventh place finish, means that there will be a total of four schools from the New England Region that will qualify for the National Championships next year, as opposed to only two this year. “Last year, because we were not in the top half in team placing, the New England half, that means that the region will be represented by the maximum amount of four teams,” said Head Coach Kristen Morwick, “Having four spots definitely takes the pressure off at Division III New Englands”.
The race was held at a high school close to the Dickinson campus. The course weaved amidst the perimeter of the school, along a rolling terrain of fields. The course was also fairly wide open making it friendly to the hoards of spectators running from one spot to another.
“Going into this race, we had high hopes for a better finish. While we are an extremely talented team, other teams just happened to have great races. For us to have a top four finish, all of us would have had to be on. It’s extremely difficult for a team to have every member of its squad running a great race on the same day,” said Randall.
Despite disappointment, one can’t forget the success that team came away with from the race as well as the season as a whole. “Our finish allows the New England Region to send four teams to Nationals next year, and [Randall] was the first All-American that I’ve coached. This team has had a great season. This meet can’t take anything away from that,” said Morwick.
“This has been the best season I’ve had in four years as far as the team goes. This is a very dedicated team with incredible talent and strong team unity. They are going to go on and continue doing great things,” said Randall.