Navy Women's Cross Country Takes Third at Patriot League Championship
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Behind three All-Patriot League performances the Navy women's cross country team finished third overall in the standings at the 2017 Patriot League Championship. Racing on Lehigh University's 6k Goodman Campus Cross Country Course, the Mids posted a team score of 88 points as Ali Valenti (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) earned a nod on the All-Patriot League First Team and Emily Craig (Fr., Reistertown, Md.) was named the Rookie of the Meet.
In a fairly even field of competitors, Navy led the way with three runners finishing in the top-11 on Saturday. Valenti highlighted the Mids' effort with a sixth-place result of 21:28.47. Craig and teammate Grace West (So., Pinehurst, N.C.) went back-to-back in 10th and 11th place with times of 21:41.41 and 21:42.09, respectively.
For finishing in the top-seven, Valenti was awarded a spot on the All-Patriot League First Team, while Craig and West were named to the All-PL Second Team. As the top finishing freshman, Craig earned Rookie of the Meet laurels. Amongst freshmen runners, only three finished in the top-20.
Rachel Fairbanks (Jr., Jamesville, N.Y.) was Navy's fourth runner to complete the course as she took 26th place at 22:09.49.
Karla Mendoza (So., Madison, Neb.) was the Mids' final scorer as she clocked in at 22:24.81, good enough for 36th.
Navy's top-seven lineup was rounded out by Nora Honrath (Fr., Brielle, N.J.) and Allison Parks (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio), who finished back-to-back in 41st and 42nd with times of 22:29.00 and 22:30.00, respectively.
"We met our individual goals with our first three runners earning All-Patriot League honors, as well as Emily earning Rookie of the Meet as the top freshman finisher," remarked head coach Karen Boyle.
"Having a couple of our top runners out with injuries diminished our chances of winning the team title. It's nice to have finished one place better than last year, but we were still two off from the championship. It's paramount that we keep everyone healthy throughout the season. Our next goal is to get ready for the NCAA Regionals."
Led by the individual champion, Christine Bendzinski (20:52.42), Bucknell repeated as league champion with a team score of 58 points. In the final standings, Army edged Navy by nine points at 79 to 88. Lehigh and Holy Cross rounded out the top-five with respective team totals of 105 and 119. American (125), Boston U. (152), Loyola (240), Lafayette (241) and Colgate (288) finished in positions six through 10.
The Mids will take a week away from competition as they prepare for the 2017 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship on Friday, Nov. 10. That meet will be held at the same course as today at Lehigh University.