Women's Cross Country Concludes Season at NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Navy women's cross country team showed well in its final competition of the season, the 2017 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. Racing versus a field of 28 teams at Lehigh's Goodman Campus 6k Cross Country Course, the Mids finished 12th overall with 388 team points. A 45th-place finish by Ali Valenti (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.) led Navy's effort as she was one of three top-70 individual results for the Mids.
Navy's top individual finisher in each of the team's last four races, Valenti once again was the flagbearer for the Mids on Friday. The Pennsylvania native turned in a 6k time of 21:12.3, that ranked 45th overall, though fourth amongst Patriot League competitors.
Less than 11 seconds behind Valenti in 52nd place, freshman Emily Craig (Reistertown, Md.) clocked in at 21:23.2, her fastest individual time at Lehigh's home course over three races there this season.
Grace West (Pinehurst, N.C.) rounded out the Mids' trio of top-70 runners as the sophomore posted the 69th fastest time at 21:36.2. West was less than six seconds away from breaking into the top-60.
Upperclassmen Allison Parks (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio) and Rachel Fairbanks (Jr., Jamesville, N.Y.) were the final two scorers for Navy on Friday. Parks came in 108th with a time of 22:13.9, while Fairbanks was six positions back in 114th after completing the course in 22:17.2.
Caitlin Schmitt (So., Evergreen, Colo.) and Nora Honrath (Fr., Brielle, N.J.) finished sixth and seventh, respectively for Navy. Schmitt edged her teammate with a time of 22:33.1 (130th) to finish 1.6 seconds ahead of Honrath's 22:34.7 (133rd).
"We were hoping for a top-10 team finish and we had five out of seven women run personal-bests on the course, but our time-split between first and fifth place was over 60 seconds, which is too far of a gap to score high," remarked head coach Karen Boyle.
"I'm really proud of Ali, Emily and Grace. They've been consistently leading us all season. They'll take that confidence forward into indoor track, which starts next week!"
Penn State won the Mid-Atlantic Regional with 31 team points and five top-10 individual results. Villanova secured the second automatic qualifying spot into next week's NCAA Championship with 60 team points.
Villanova's Bella Burda won the individual title with a time of 20:01.5.