Women’s Cross Country Wins First-Ever NCAA Division III Championship, Men Finish Third
WOMEN | MEN
Winneconne, Wis., November 19, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis women’s cross country team raced to the program’s first-ever National Championship at the 2011 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship held on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis.
“We had great team performances on both sides,” said Washington University head cross-country and track and field coach Jeff Stiles. “Our athletes executed the race plan really well and ran with a great deal of confidence. It’s fun to get on the awards stand and to win, but the most rewarding thing is to watch the athletes perform well and execute to the best of their abilities. Having your athletes go out and compete the way ours did is all you can ask for as a coach. We had a tremendous following of fans, parents and alums so it was a great atmosphere.”
After finishing as the runner-up in 2010, the Washington U. women had all five of its point-scorers place in the top-40 individually to score 70 points to win the 2011 National Championship over 2010 national champion Middlebury College who scored 111 points. The men’s team also posted its highest National Championship finish in school history, placing third in the team standings with 206 points. North Central College won the men’s team title over defending champion Haverford College.
The team championship marked the seventh top-four finish at the National Championship in school history for the Washington U. women. The men posted their third-straight top-10 finish by placing third, improving on the previous program-best finish of seventh-place in 2009.
Individually, senior Erica Jackey placed fourth, the highest finish for a Washington U. women’s runner in school history. Jackey finished the 6K course in a season-best time of 21:04.21 to place fourth overall. Chiara Del Piccolo from Williams College won the individual championship with a time of 20:52.08.
Freshman Lucy Cheadle ran a season-best time of 21:28.59 to finish 20th, while sophomore Sarah Fisher and senior Molly Wawrzyniak followed in 22nd and 23rd with season-best times of 21:31.34 and 21:31.55, respectively. Senior Elizabeth Phillips rounded out the Washington U. scoring with a season-best time of 21:48.79, which placed her in 40th overall. Senior Jessica Londeree and freshman Grace Bridwell finished 73rd and 169th out of 277 runners with times of 22:06.85 and 22:43.26.
On the men’s side, senior Michael Burnstein earned his third-straight All-America cross country honors with a 10th-place finish in a season-best time of 24:25.25 on the 8K course. Burnstein became just the second runner in Washington U. men’s cross-country history to finish in the top-10, joining Tim Julien who placed 10th in 1999. Senior Tucker Hartley also saved his best performance for last, running a season-best time of 24:41.99 to finish 30th overall. University of St. Thomas’ Ben Sathre was the men’s individual champion with a time of 23:44.27.
Junior David Hamm and senior Kwin Keuter also finished in the top-100 of the 279-athlete race for Washington U. Hamm ran a season-best time of 24:55.98 to finish 44th overall, while Keuter finished 83rd in a season-best time of 25:10.33. Freshman Ryan Senci raced to a 107th-place finish in a season-best time of 25:19.04 to finish Washington U.’s team scoring. Sophomores Elliot Petterson and Caleb Ford also ran great races for WUSTL, finishing 130th and 197th in times of 25:28.51 and 25:57.32.
“The 2011 women’s cross country team and season will go down in Washington University history as the year they won it all – University Athletic Association, NCAA Midwest Regional, and NCAA National Championship,” said Washington University director of athletics John Schael. “To top it off, Elizabeth Phillips was named Division III’s Elite 89 award winner. We are extremely proud of the men’s cross-country team as well, finishing third in the traditionally talent-rich NCAA Cross Country Championship. The third-place finish is the highest in program history.”
By finishing in the top 35 individually, Jackey, Cheadle, Fisher, Wawrzyniak, Burnstein and Hartley each earned All-America honors for Washington University.