Women's Cross Country Places Seventh at Mid-Atlantic Championship
Nov. 12, 2011
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The Navy women's cross country team posted a seventh-place finish, its best since 2000, on Saturday at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in Princess Anne, Md. Navy finished with 197 points to take seventh place, which was the team's best finish since taking fifth in 2000.
The nation's No. 2-ranked team, Villanova, and No. 7-ranked team, Georgetown, both registered a team total of 57 points to tie for the title and earn the automatic bids to the NCAA Championship.
"I was really happy with how we ran, considering how young we are," said Navy head coach Karen Boyle. "Everyone ran really tough and I've been so proud of the team all year. They've been excited about facing tough competition all season, which is great to see. It was also nice to have everybody healthy today."
Navy was led by senior captain Jess Palacio, who earned her second consecutive All-Mid Atlantic Region honor with a 12th-place finish. Palacio ran the course in 22:04.7 as she posted the best individual finish by a Mid at the regional championship since Justine Whipple took 10th in 2005.
"Jess ran a smart, strong race today," said Boyle.
With the possibility of Saturday's third-place team, West Virginia, and fourth-place team, Penn State, both getting at-large bids to the NCAA Championship, Palacio still has the chance to receive an individual at-large bid to compete at the national championship. Both the team and individual bids will be announced on Sunday evening.
Finishing second for Navy on Saturday was junior Brigid Byrne, who took 37th with a time of 23:02.8. Freshman Annie-Norah Beveridge crossed the finish line just five places later in 42nd with a time of 23:06.7.
Senior Katie Taylor placed 52nd by clocking a 23:18.4 and freshman Shannon Cuthbert completed Navy's scoring five with a time of 23:31.2 to take 57th place.
Navy will close out the season next Saturday at the ECAC Championship at New York's Van Cortland Park.