SMITHFIELD, R.I. – It was a day to remember for the Quinnipiac women's cross country team as they put together a sensation team effort, placing second overall at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Race on Saturday. The Bobcats showed great depth, placing four runners in the Top-20 overall standings to claim the second place finish. Their 85 points were behind the University of Connecticut, who won the event with 46 points, but one spot ahead of No. 25 nationally-ranked Boston College (86 points).
"We really came together today and we are so proud to finish this race where we did," said Quinnipiac assistant cross country coach Chris Dickerson. "These girls have all bonded together and even though our training has been tough, they've really made themselves into a strong team. We are really encouraged and look forward to what we can do as we start to enter the championship season."
2013 Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Race Team Results
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This monumental achievement for Quinnipiac comes on the heels of a season-opening victory at the Stony Brook Invitational a week ago. The Bobcats place ahead of a Boston College team that finished 2012 in 19th place at the NCAA Championship, finished ahead of the Bobcats by wide margins in both the New England Championships and NCAA Regionals last season and started the season ranked No. 25 in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I National Cross Country Poll.
Senior Jess Soja (Simsbury, Conn.) shot out of the gates strong with a time of 18:32.4 in her first event of the season. She posted her fourth career Top-10 finish as she crossed the line in ninth place overall out of 100 total runners. Her finishing time in the 5k event is a significant improvement from her time of 18:49.9 in the 2012 Nassaney Memorial Race.
Bobcats continued to litter the top section of the results page as sophomore Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.) claimed 12th place in the overall standings with a time of 18:44.5. One of the most-improved runners from a year ago, Savage bested her 2012 Nassaney Memorial result of 19:50.2 by more than one minute. Senior Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.) was grouped with Savage and finished right behind in 14th position. Also competing in her first event of the season, Faust crossed the line in 18:51.5 for a near 20 second improvement from her 2012 result in the same event.
Next in line for the Bobcats was an impressive outing from freshman Allison Decker (Milford, Pa.). Another runner competing in her first event of the season, Decker impressed with a 20th place result and a time of 19:04.2. Rounding out the scoring for the Bobcats was senior Christina Faust (Macungie, Pa.) who managed 30th place with a time of 19:15.6. Sophomore Ashley Carle (Jackson, N.J.) was the sixth-fastest Bobcat with a time of 19:35.9, good enough for 39th place overall, while fellow classmate Rebecca Morse (West Newbury, Mass.) finished in 44th place with a time of 19:56.4 to complete the scoring for Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats will now have a week off before they carry a ton of momentum into the Iona Meet of Champions scheduled for Sept. 21. Quinnipiac will be getting their first look at Van Cortlandt Park, home to the 2013 MAAC Cross Country Championships.
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