Women's X Country
Cross Country: Duo Represents WVU Well at NCAAs
November 22, 2010 04:52 PM
NCAA Championship Individual Results
2010 WVU Cross Country Season Statistics
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Having enjoyed successful 2010 campaigns, West Virginia University cross country runners Kaitlyn Gillespie and Sarah-Anne Brault represented WVU well with strong finishes Monday afternoon at the NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
Qualifying as individuals to the championship race following their all-region performances at the Mid-Atlantic Regional on Nov. 13, the pair of runners made a strong impression for the program competing against over 200 of the nation’s top runners.
Gillespie, a sophomore and transfer from Cedarville University in Ohio, earned All-America status with her top-40 finish by arriving in 34th place with a 6K time of 20:46.8. Brault, a redshirt sophomore, came in 71st place overall in 21:08.
“The girls were outstanding today,” WVU coach Sean Cleary says. “Katie came in with one goal in mind: to come back as an All-American, and she did so. The NCAA Championship race is one of the fiercest events in the world where every great collegiate runner in the country steps up to the line with the highest of expectations. Both Katie and Sarah return knowing that they mastered this race.”
Sheila Reid, a junior out of BIG EAST foe Villanova, came in first place with a time of 20:06, three seconds ahead of Georgetown’s Emily Infeld. Oregon’s Jordan Hasay arrived in third followed by Risper Kimaiyo of UTEP and Texas Tech’s Rose Tanui.
“Katie’s performance will go down as one of the finest accomplishments in school history,” Cleary says. “Sarah’s race was her finest championship racing to date. Being sophomores, if they continue to put the effort in, they can continue the legacy from the last four years. Our future has potential for great security.”
Villanova repeated as national champions with 120 points, followed by Florida State (154) and Texas Tech (165). Fellow BIG EAST school Georgetown came in fourth (167), followed by New Mexico with 227. Other schools that the Mountaineers faced this season and placed were Providence (9th), Syracuse (10th), Princeton (15th) and Penn State (26th).
Last season, the Mountaineers finished sixth in the country at the race on the heels of All-American runners Clara Grandt, Marie-Louise Asselin and Keri Bland. Earlier this year, Cleary decided to redshirt three of his projected top runners in Kaylyn Christopher, Jessica O’Connell and Kate Harrison to better utilize their talent for a future season.
With the conclusion of the season, coach Cleary looks to the future with high aspirations.
“A year from now, if you take Gillespie’s and Brault’s performances from today, and you have three other runners going stride for stride with Brault to go along with Gillespie leading them, we have a fifth- or sixth-place team at the national championship,” Cleary says. “To bring back the three redshirted seniors, in addition to several other strong runners, we have a good shot at becoming a top-10 team by next fall.”