Men's XC Places Seventh, Women 10th, at NCAA Championships
MEN'S RESULTS | WOMEN'S RESULTS
Cleveland, Ohio, November 21, 2009 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s cross country team ran to a seventh-place finish and the women placed 10th at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Highland Park Golf Course in Highland Hills, Ohio. It is the first time in school history Washington University has seen both of its cross country teams place in the top-10 at the national championship meet.
The Washington U. men continued their sudden ascent to the upper echelon of Division III teams with their surprising seventh-place finish on Saturday. The Bears earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships after finishing third at the NCAA Midwest Regional last week in Oshkosh, Wis., defeating six teams ranked in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top-35 Poll.
In a matter of seven days the Bears vaulted from being unranked nationally, to posting the best national finish for any WU men’s cross country squad in school history. The WU men’s squad was appearing in the NCAA Championships for just the fifth time in school history and the first since 2006.
Washington University’s women’s squad has now run in six-straight NCAA Championship meets, and it is just the third time in school history (1997, 2006) that Washington U. has seen both its men’s and women’s teams qualify for the national championship in the same season.
“This is probably the greatest day in school history for the Washington University cross country program,” head coach Jeff Stiles said after at the conclusion of Saturday’s competition. “I would gladly give up a national championship to have both teams come to the national meet and compete and do well. Our women’s team has had national success recently, but without the men qualifying too, so this means a lot to have them both here and do well.”
The Washington University women’s team improves on its 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships a year ago and it saw junior Taryn Surtees earn 2009 NCAA All-America honors. She placed 20th overall (22:36.0) and received All-America accolades for the second time in her career; she placed 30th as an All-American in 2008.
On the men’s side, sophomore Michael Burnstein finished 20th overall and was named an All-American for the first time in his career. He completed the 8k course with a time of 25:56.4.
Junior Dave Spandorfer came in 63rd overall with a time of 26:30.3 and junior Kwin Keuter was the 93rd-place finisher with a time of 26:41.6. Sophomore Tucker Hartley, who was a late addition to Washington University’s championship competitors, was the Bears’ fourth runner, coming in 96th place with a time of 26:43.1. Rounding out the scorers for the men’s team was sophomore Matt Schwab, who submitted a time of 26:47.4, which was good for 107th place.
“Our team really had an emotionally difficult week, something that really helps put things in perspective and because of that I think they really went out there today with no pressure, just knowing that they wanted to give it their best and everyone out there had a great race,” Stiles said.
For the WU women, senior Molly Schlamb ran to a 51st-place finish with a time of 23:07.6, and junior Jessica Londeree posted a time of 23:12.1, which was good for 59th place overall. Coming in 166th place was sophomore Liz Phillips, who finished with a time of 24:11.4, and sophomore Erica Jackey came in 179th place, with a time of 24:17.6.
North Central College won the men's race with a team score of 50 points, with all of its runners placing within the top-17 positions. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire claimed the top spot in the women's race, edging out second place St. Lawrence University by nine points with a team mark of 171.
The WU women were the top finisher among four competitors from the University Athletic Association (UAA), with Case Western Reserve University coming in 15th, New York University placing 24th and Emory University coming in 32nd.
On the men's side, NYU came in fourth overall, but Washington U. was ranked second among the five UAA institutions in competition, after the Bears finished fourth at the conference championships just three weeks ago. Carnegie Mellon came in 12th place, Emory was 14th, and Brandeis University finished 24th.