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Women’s Cross Country Defeated in Star Meet by One Point, 27-28

Ali Valenti was the top finisher for Navy with a time of 19:41.1
Oct. 14, 2017

WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. – Saturday morning, the fans at Bowdoin Park were treated to an exciting and dramatic one-point women’s cross country meet between Army and Navy. The 2017 installment of Women’s Cross Country Star Meet saw the closest finish in series history as the Black Knights edged the Mids, 27-28. The one-point margin of victory had occurred just one prior time in 31 Star Meets.

Racing on a 5.6K course in Wappingers Falls, the competition was tight throughout with Midshipmen and Black Knight runners rotating on nearly a perfect odd and even basis for most of the first three quarters of the meet. Down the stretch, a bit of separation occurred with Army’s Abby Halbrook and Bethany Nunnery pulling away for the top-two results at 19:33.8 and 19:36.9, respectively. Ali Valenti (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) was the top-finishing Midshipmen in third place at 19:41.1. Navy’s Grace West (So., Pinehurst) and Emily Craig (Fr., Reistertown, Md.) finished side-by-side in fourth and fifth place with nearly identical times of 20:01.9 and 20:02.1.

The next five finishes jockeyed between Army and Navy with a Black Knight in sixth and Allison Parks (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio) of Navy in seventh at 20:16.2. Five seconds after Parks, a fight to the finish between Army’s Mika Andrews and Navy’s Rachel Fairbanks (Jr., Jamesville, N.Y.) went the way of the Black Knight by just 0.4 seconds at 20:21.1 to 20:21.5, respectively.

Gabrielle Perrin (Jr., Vicksburg, Mich.) and Caroline Ascherl (So., Granville, Iowa) were the sixth and seventh finishers for Navy on the day with times of 20:28.6 and 20:35.0, respectively.



“The score is evident of a true Navy-Army battle,” remarked head coach Karen Boyle. “Everyone ran with total heart and grit right down to the finish. Army squeaked one in ahead of us. We’re totally bummed to have come out on the short side of a one-point decision. I love these girls and all they give to Navy Women’s XC.

“We have two weeks to prepare for the Patriot League Championships so we’ll be right back to work.”

All-time in the women’s cross country Army-Navy Star series, Navy holds a 20-12 advantage. Navy came into Saturday as victors in each of the last six Star Meets.

Navy will continue its string of top-level second half competitions with the Patriot League Championship on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Bethlehem, Pa.

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