Women's Cross Country Wins NCAA Championship
November 18, 2006
The Middlebury women's cross country team has won its fourth NCAA Championship. The Panthers did so with 144 points, just one point ahead of NESCAC foe Amherst in the 32-team event. Fellow NESCAC teams Tufts (5th) and Williams (8th) were also in the top 10. The race took place at the Voice of America Park, hosted by Wilmington College in West Chester, Ohio. The NCAA Championship is the 27th for Middlebury College in the last 12 years.
"These were the most difficult conditions we've ever run in," said 32-year head coach Terry Aldrich. "There was standing water throughout the course, with our racers having to run in 6-8" deep mud at times."
Middlebury, who had finished second in '99, '02 and '04, turned in an impressive performance. After finishing fourth at NESCAC's, the NCAA New England Regional Champions peaked at the right time as they came on strong late in the season.
"This team came together mentally and physically as well as any team I've ever coached," said Aldrich. "This is a credit to them and the effort they put in during the type of training that we do, preparing them for any conditions."
Sophomore Alexandria Krieg led the team in the title race, finishing 10th overall with a time of 23:19, 48 seconds off the winning pace. Krieg has been the Panthers third racer for most of the season and turned in her best performance of the year today.
Next for the Panthers was Andrea Giddings, who finished the race 25th overall in 23:40. The senior has been Middlebury's top runner all season and turned in another impressive performance in the title race.
Finishing 29th overall was senior Erin Archard in 23:42, while senior Claire Schultz came in 58th with a time of 24:20. Senior Makely Lyon rounded out Middlebury's scorers as she came in 68th overall in 24:29. Also competing at the NCAA Championship race for the Panthers were senior Devyn Young in 84th place (24:43) and first-year racer Anne Sullivan in 143rd (25:49). There were 279 individuals competing in this year's championship race.
Based on their finishes Krieg, Giddings and Archard all earn All-American status.