The No. 7 Georgetown women’s cross country team ran its way into the national championships last weekend. The Hoyas placed all five of their scorers in the top 15 at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals to claim a team title and earn one of the region’s two automatic qualifications to the national meet.

Paced by junior Sarah Scholl’s seventh place finish, the Hoyas picked up 50 points to comfortably edge runner-up Villanova, which finished the contest with 57 points. Penn State (111), West Virginia (131) and Princeton (144) comprised the remainder of the top five.

“It was a good performance, and we’re continuing to take steps forward,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “Obviously, Sarah had a great race. It was very indicative of her training level, and with all of her progress, she’s the first one to really put it all together.”

Scholl crossed the line of the 6,000m course in 21 minutes, 6.1 seconds, and the next four Georgetown finishers came in close on her heels, recording eighth, tenth, 11th and 14th place finishes.

Sophomore Jodee Adams-Moore (21.07.7), senior Erin Sicher (21.16.2), senior Marni Kruppa (21.17.2) and junior Treniere Clement (21.26.5) all contributed to the team’s scoring, while senior Jill Laurendeau (21.39.6) and junior Amanda Pape (22:07.3) gave solid efforts in the No. 6 and No. 7 positions.

“We were pretty good, and in some cases, really good,” Helmer said. “Sarah had a breakthrough, Marni had a much better race, Jill had a better race, Treniere and Erin had another solid race and Jodee had her typical outstanding race.”

The most noteworthy achievement of the meet was the tight spread between Georgetown’s first and final scorers. Only 20.4 seconds separated Scholl from the back of the team’s pack, and the team was able to accomplish this despite the absence of one of its top runners – sophomore Nicole Lee – and some relatively unfavorable racing conditions.

“We took Nicole out of the mix, and it didn’t bother them at all,” Helmer said. “I gave them a very conservative race plan – I didn’t want to – but after we got up and saw the course, I felt like we could afford to be very conservative, and give up some spots, and still be in the top two teams, and probably give ourselves a chance to win and qualify on to the national meet.”

The rain complicated matters somewhat for the team.

“It was just a soft, mushy, muddy course – a really good course, but not ideal running conditions,” Helmer said.

The conditions largely determined the team’s strategy, which Helmer said was designed to prevent runners from getting into trouble early.

“They executed the race plan that I gave them, held back for a long, long time before they started running, and when they ran, they ran up to a certain point,” Helmer said. “That was as far as they were going to go. I think we came out of it feeling good, recovered very quickly, and we’ve now set ourselves up for big racing.”

The national championships take place Nov. 25 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.