HAMDEN, Conn – The Quinnipiac women's cross country team received national attention on Tuesday, Oct. 2 as the team was ranked No. 15 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Northeast Regional Women's Cross Country Poll. The appearance in the Northeast Poll is the first time the Bobcats have been ranked since the team was No. 12 on Sept. 27, 2010.
After being selected first in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Bobcats have done nothing to disappoint as they have excelled both collectively and individually in several meets throughout the season. The women have won five of the eight possible NEC Weekly Awards through five weeks of the season, withholding one week (two awards) where the Bobcats did not have a scheduled meet. It marks the first time in Quinnipiac history that three different Bobcat runners have been named NEC Rookie of the Week and the only other NEC team to accomplish the feat was Sacred Heart in 2005. The program has swept the weekly awards twice already this season, their most in a year since they claimed three in 2010.
Quinnipiac's season began with a strong showing at the Stony Brook Invitational where they placed 3rd out of five teams. Freshman Ashley Carle (Jackson, N.J.) placed 9th overall, was the second-best NEC competitor, the third fastest freshmen competing, and represented the first time a freshmen finished first for the Bobcats since Becca White (Natick, Mass.) placed first at the 2009 Quinnipiac Invitational. Racing in her first collegiate race, Carle earned her NEC Rookie of the Week honors for her efforts.
White excelled on Sept. 8, leading the Bobcats to a 3rd place finish (out of 17 teams) at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Race hosted by Bryant University. Quinnipiac only finished behind No. 14 Harvard and No. 3 Boston College, while placing one spot ahead of No. 9 Brown in the meet. White crossed the line with a time of 18:08.2 in her first race of the 2012 season. It was her highest finish in a race since the 2011 Stony Brook Invitational where she placed 3rd as well. White was supported by junior Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Conn.), who ran the event in 13th overall, and finished a career-best second on the team. Soja's breakout performance with a time of 18:49.9 was her second-fastest timed 5k finish of her career behind the 2010 NEC Championship where she had 18:34.4.
Quinnipiac put on an incredible display on Senior Day, winning the Quinnipiac Invitational over Central Conn. St. on Sep. 15. White dominated the field, winning her third career Quinnipiac Invitational with a time of 18:11.1. White received plenty of help as the Bobcats took seven of the top eight finishers as they finished with 19 points and their NEC counterpart Blue Devils posted 44. White finished a little more than 27 seconds faster than the next closest competitor. The Bobcats continued their dominance with a pack of four runners that finished within 30 seconds of one another. Juniors Soja (18:52.3), Amanda Faust (19:01.6) and Brianna Faust (19:10.1) combined with freshman Tracy Campbell (19:21.2) to take the 3rd through 6th place finishes. White and Campbell combined to earn NEC Athlete and Rookie of the Week, respectively, for the first Quinnipiac sweep of the weekly awards on the year.
The Bobcats just posted another strong showing at the Lehigh Paul Short Women's Gold 6k Run where they finished 18th out of 40 teams. The 18th place finish is seven spots higher than the 2011 Lehigh Paul Short Run result for the Bobcats and the total time this year of 1:51:39 was nearly two minutes faster than Quinnipiac's result last year, 1:53:14. Quinnipiac also finished several spots ahead of Mid-Atlantic regional powers No. 11 Delaware, No. 12 Maryland, and No. 14 St. Joseph's. White led the Bobcat contingent again with a 74th place finish (out of 360 runners) and a time of 21:50. Soja continued her breakout season with a 103rd place result and time of 22:10, besting her 2011 Lehigh Paul Short Run result of 24:46. Junior Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.), freshman Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.) and junior Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.) complete the top-five for the Bobcats as they all finished within five seconds of another from 22:31 – 22:36. White and Savage went on to claim NEC Athlete and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for their performance this past week.
The USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Regional Cross Country Rankings are broken into nine separate regions (Great Lakes, Mountain, South Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, South, and West) with teams earning a No. 1 – 15 ranking based on a regional executive committee that overseas all teams within their predetermined region. The Bobcats are the lone Northeast Conference representative throughout all nine regions and hold a spot behind six Ivy League competitors, three from the American East, three from the BIG EAST, and one each from the ACC and MAAC.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Northeast Regional Cross Country Rankings
Current School Conference Last Week
1 Cornell Ivy 4 (up 3)
2 Colombia Ivy 3 (up 1)
3 Boston College ACC 2 (down 1)
4 Yale Ivy 7 (up 3)
5 Dartmouth Ivy 6 (up 1)
6 UConn BIG EAST 8 (up 2)
7 Providence BIG EAST 1 (down 6)
8 Syracuse BIG EAST 5 (down 3)
9 Brown Ivy 12 (up 3)
10 New Hampshire Amer. East 14 (up 4)
11 Stony Brook Amer. East 10 (down 1)
12 Iona MAAC 9 (down 3)
13 Vermont Amer. East 13
14 Harvard Ivy 11 (down 3)
15 Quinnipiac NEC Not Ranked
The Bobcats will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 7 when they travel up to Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. for the New England Championships. The sub-varsity race will begin at 12:00 p.m. and the women's sub-varsity event will start at 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com