Mason, Ohio, Nov. 22, 2014 – Three individuals raced to All-America honors to lead the Washington University in St. Louis men's and women's cross country teams to fourth-place finishes at the 2014 NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships Saturday at the Kings Island Golf Center.
The Washington University men posted the second-lowest point total in school history to tie for fourth with Colby College 192 points. The Bears won the tiebreaker over Colby by having their top-three runners each finish ahead of the top-three from Colby. North Central College (Ill.) won the team title with 130 points, while St. Olaf College (143) and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (188) finished second and third, respectively. It marked the Bears' fourth consecutive top-five finish at the national meet. The WUSTL women finished with 180 points to place fourth overall, the eighth top-five finish in program history and first since 2011. Johns Hopkins University won the women's team title for third year in a row with 87 points, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (112) and St. Lawrence University (138) finished second and third, respectively.
"I am so proud of both teams. To be the only school with two teams on the podium is something we are very proud of," said head coach Jeff Stiles. "Both teams ran for Washington University and the WUSTL cross country family. This gave us the best combined finish in Division III with eight total points (two fourth-place finishes). I couldn't be more proud of every competitor and the rest of our team who came to watch."
Senior Lucy Cheadle cemented her place in the cross country record books by racing to a national runner-up individual finish in a time of 20:58.7. She became just the 13th individual in NCAA Division III women's cross country history to earn four All-America cross country honors in her career after finishing 20th in 2011, 21st in 2012, and fifth in 2013. Cheadle is the first women's runner to achieve four All-America honors since four different athletes did so in 2004. Her runner-up finish is also the highest individual placing in Washington University school history.
"Lucy ran like a champ and lost to another girl who was undefeated this season," Stiles said. "Our team that doesn't have much experience stepped it up big time. We came into the season ranked around 25th. To be ranked sixth coming into the meet and get back on the podium was quite an accomplishment. This team's chemistry is what made it special."
Senior Drew Padgett ran with the lead pack throughout the men's race and crossed the line in 24:02.4, the second-fastest 8K time in his career, to place sixth overall. He became the third top-10 finisher in school history, joining Kevin Sparks (fourth in 2012) and Michael Burnstein (10th in 2011) to earn that distinction. It was Padgett's second All-America finish in his career, after placing 25th a year ago. Junior Josh Clark also raced to All-America honors for the first time in his career, placing 21st in a career-best time of 24:30.6. It marked just the third time in school history that the Washington U. men have had two All-Americans in the same season. Senior Garrett Patrick and sophomore Ryan Becker also ran career-best times to finish 49th and 73rd in times of 24:54.9 and 25:06.4, respectively.
"On the men's side, we really stepped it up," Stiles said. "We came in ranked 12th and were four points from third place. Drew led the charge. Josh is the heart and soul of the team, and had the race of his life. Garrett, Ryan and Dillon really closed the door. We were in 10th place around 3K and each of our guys passed several other runners toward the end. They truly ran for a greater cause."
WOMEN – 6K
1. Amy Regan (Stevens Institute) – 20:51.9
2. Lucy Cheadle – 20:58.7
49. Ellen Toennies – 22:43.1
52. Sarah Curci – 22:49.3
62. Alison Lindsay – 22:56.1
76. Bri Tiffany – 23:04.2
82. Kimberly Johnson – 23:07.2
177. Annie Marggraff – 23:47.0
MEN – 8K
1. Grant Wintheiser (St. Olaf) – 23:44.9
6. Drew Padgett – 24:02.4
21. Josh Clark – 24:30.6
49. Garrett Patrick – 24:54.9
73. Ryan Becker – 25:06.4
104. Dillon Williams – 25:24.0
146. Ian Whittall – 25:35.7
164. Adam Streicher – 25:41.9