Nov. 21, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Navy senior Jess Palacio capped her cross country career on Monday at the NCAA Championship where she placed 164th out of 254 runners at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
"It was an incredible experience," said Palacio. "Coming in, I didn't know what to expect and I just wanted to go out there and try and hold on for as long as I could. It was a fun race and I'm extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to compete."
Palacio, who was the first Mid to take part in the NCAA Championship since Amy Watson in 2008, finished the 6k course with a time of 21:28.8. Palacio was the only student-athlete from the Patriot League to compete in the event.
"I'm happy that she had a great experience and I'm extremely proud of her competitive instinct," said Navy head coach Karen Boyle. "She came out with a nice, solid start and finished strong. I'm very proud of everything that she has accomplished in cross country and now looking forward to strong indoor and outdoor track seasons."
Runners from the Mid-Atlantic region took three of the top-five spots, including Villanova's Sheila Reid who won her second consecutive individual title with a time of 19:41.2. Georgetown, also from the Mid-Atlantic region, edged Washington, 162-170, for the team title.
Palacio ends her brilliant cross country career with a total of nine individual titles. The Sun Valley, Nev., native helped the Mids to the Patriot League championship this season as she claimed the individual title and became the first three-time, First-Team All-Patriot League honoree in Navy history. She is also a two-time All-Mid-Atlantic region honoree.