Women’s XC snares 3rd at Div. III NCAAs

Women’s cross country took third place at the Div. III NCAA Championship in Oshkosh, Wisc., on Nov. 19. Williams earned 153 points, behind second-place Middlebury with 111 points and Washington University, who took the title with 70 points. Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 took the individual title, besting 277 other competitors.

Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 capped a stunning sophomore season with the Div. III NCAA individual title, finishing in a blazing 20:52.
Chiara Del Piccolo ’14 capped a stunning sophomore season with the Div. III NCAA individual title, finishing in a blazing 20:52. Photo by Tommy Gaidus.

Del Piccolo finished the 6k in a remarkable 20:52, only seconds ahead of Christy Cazzola of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 20:57. It was a tough competition between Del Piccolo, Cazzola, and Pomona’s Annie Lydens for much of the race. At the end of the second mile, Cazzola was in second, with Del Piccolo in fourth and Lydens in fifth. Del Piccolo was able to come back from behind and moved into second by the third mile, with Cazzola ahead and Lydens in third. Del Piccolo had a final stretch breakaway to take first place, earning the second national title in the program’s history.

Alison Smith ’15 was the second Eph to cross the line, taking 33rd with a time of 21:42. Smith and Del Piccolo earned All-American Honors. “Everyone ran their heart out, and having Alison gain All-American honors as a freshman and Chiara take home the national title was truly amazing,” co-captain Natalie Davis ’12 said. Olivia Delia ’12 moved up from 119th in the first mile, to 88th through the second mile and 67th on the third. Delia had a final push to finish in 43rd with a time of 21:51. Celeste Berg ’13 took 50th place in 22:07, with teammate Shayna Barbash ’14 close behind in 79th with a time of 22:10. Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12 finished in 89th place at 22:14, and Anna Spiers ’15 rounded out the women’s top seven in 110th place when she crossed the line in 22:22.

“Our third-place [finish] put the icing on the cake of a fabulous season, one of our best ever,” Head Coach Peter Farwell ’73 said. “All seven of our racers put together near perfect 6ks from fast start to flying finish. Our first three in particular had their best races of the year, with senior Olivia Delia moving up throughout to nearly reach All-American territory, Alison Smith becoming one our few first-years to become All-American and Chiara Del Piccolo capturing Williams’s fourth ever individual cross country national title, second by a woman.”

The Ephs graduate nine seniors this year, including Div. III NCAA finalists Delia and Goldstein-Kral.