Williamstown, Mass. – Ranked fourth in the latest national poll, MIT's women's cross country team took the team crown at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Meet. In the field of 57 teams, the MIT women proved again to be one of the top teams in the country by tallying just 40 points. MIT placed four runners in the top eight spots and finished comfortably in front of the second place squad from Middlebury College who earned 65 points and also recieved an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Leading the way for the Engineers, NEWMAC Runner of the Year junior Sarah Quinn (Watchung, N.J.) proved again to be one of the fastest on the trails, claiming the individual title in the field of 387 runners. Finishing the 6k course in 21:39.9, Quinn crossed nine seconds ahead of runner-up Alison Maxwell from Middlebury. Quinn's time was significantly faster than her winning performance of 22:23.9 from the Purple Valley Classic (PVC) that was held on the same course on September 27th.
Finishing second for MIT, sophomore Christina Wicker (Oak Harbor, Wash.) narrowly edged senior Elaine McVay (San Ramon, Calif.) as the duo finished in fifth and sixth place. Wicker crossed the finish line in 21:57.4 while McVay completed the course in 21:59.0. Like Quinn, Wicker and McVay had significant time drops from the PVC in September where they crossed with final times of 23:20.9 and 22:57.4, respectively.
Continuing the impressive tally of placing four runners in the top eight, sophomore Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.) crossed the line in eighth place with a final time of 22:06.0. Rounding out the top five scoring runners, junior Nicole Zeinstra (Holland, Mich.) finished in 20th place crossing the line in 22:32.1. Each of the top 35 finishers earned All-Region honors for their performances.
Also competing for the Engineers, senior Kali Benavides (Miami, Fla.) crossed in 22:42.6 to finish 26th overall and freshman Mary Eccles (Wahiawa, Hawaii) finished in 42nd place as one of the top freshman in the region with a final time of 23:03.3.
The women's cross country team will conclude their season at the NCAA Division III Championships to be held on Saturday November 22nd in Mason, Ohio. Tech is looking to improve on their fifth place team finish at the 2013 Championships.
Highlights courtesy Williams College Sports Information.