CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Ranked No. 7 in the country, the MIT women's cross country team will travel to Oshkosh, Wis. this weekend for the NCAA Division III championship. The Engineers finished third at nationals a year ago and have placed in the top 10 in each of the past three years, a streak that coach Halston Taylor hopes his squad can continue on Saturday. The championship will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The women's 6k begins at 12:00 p.m. with the men's eight-kilometer race to follow at 1:00 p.m.
The Cardinal and Gray earned a team bid to the national championship after finishing third at the New England Division III championship last weekend. Senior Brooke Johnson (Shoreham, N.Y.) and freshman Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) led the way for Tech at the regionals and figure to be among the top performers at the NCAA meet. McVay was the top freshman finisher at the New England championship and earned New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Rookie of the Year honors earlier this season. Sophomore Martina de Gues (Los Altos, Calif.) also earned all-region honors and will be a key factor this weekend.
Senior Tania Morimoto (Mountain View, Calif.) will bring experience and leadership to the team on Saturday, as she has competed at the national championship in each of the past two seasons, finishing 80th overall last year.
Freshmen Dacie Manion (Old Town, Maine) and Stephanie Marzen (McLean, Va.) join McVay as Tech's rookie runners. Sophomores Claire O'Connell (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) and Alexandra Taylor (Harbor Springs, Mich.) round out the top seven harriers for the Engineers this weekend.
On the men's side, senior Daniel Harper (Naperville, Ill.) will represent the Cardinal and Gray, qualifying for the championship as an individual despite MIT failing to secure a team selection. Harper ran very well at last weekend's New England Division III championship, finishing 12th overall. Harper, who placed 48th last year when Tech went to nationals as a team, is Tech's first individual runner selected to the NCAA championship since Jake Ruzevick in 2006.
Both races will be streamed live this weekend via ncaa.com.