Cross Country: Stellar Finish at NCAA Regional

  • By Daniel Whitehead
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  • November 12, 2011 04:38 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five West Virginia runners finished in the Top 25 to earn all-region honors and lead the No. 13 Mountaineers to a third-place mark at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Saturday afternoon in Princess Anne, Md.

Redshirt senior Kate Harrison led the way for the team with a fifth-place finish out of 199 runners with a 6k time of 21:38. Junior Kaitlyn Gillespie came in seventh place in 21:46, while junior Sarah-Anne Brault (8th, 21:53) and redshirt seniors Ahna Lewis (19th, 22:20) and Kaylyn Christopher (25th, 22:38) also earned all-region.

“Five women making the NCAA all-regional team was a very optimistic goal for this group,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “Kaylyn Christopher and Ahna Lewis ran the types of races we knew they could run to provide great depth, and our front pack continued to run at a level that qualifies them as one of the top 1-2-3 punches in the nation.”

Redshirt junior Stephanie Aldea had a good race with a 66th-place overall finish in 23:46.

No. 2-ranked Villanova and No. 7 Georgetown tied for first place with 57 points apiece. Villanova senior Sheila Reid came in first place in 21:32, followed by Georgetown’s Emily Infeld just two seconds later. The Mountaineers defeated No. 22 Penn State, which finished with 90 points, as well as Princeton and 24 other schools participating.

“We ran like a Top 10 program in the country,” Cleary says. “Now we wait to find out our fate in terms of being selected for nationals. Regardless, I am very proud of this wonderful group of ladies.”

Hoping to qualify for the fourth time in five years for the NCAA Championship, the Mountaineers find out early next week if they will earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, which takes place Monday, Nov. 21, in Terre Haute, Ind. West Virginia seeks its fourth Top-10 national finish in five seasons.

NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional
Women's 6k Team Scores

No. 2 Villanova … T-1st … 57
No. 7 Georgetown … T-1st … 57
No. 13 West Virginia … 3rd … 64
No. 22 Penn State … 4th … 90
Princeton … 5th … 124
La Salle … 6th … 193
Navy … 7th … 197
Duquesne … 8th … 261
Maryland … 9th … 312
Loyola Md. … 10th … 325
with 19 other schools participating

West Virginia
Kate Harrison … 5th … 21:38
Kaitlyn Gillespie … 7th … 21:46
Sarah-Anne Brault … 8th … 21:53
Ahna Lewis … 19th … 22:20
Kaylyn Christopher … 25th … 22:38
Stephanie Aldea … 66th … 23:46


Sean Cleary, WVU Cross Country