Runners fail to qualify for NCAA championships

Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It was neither the best of times nor the worst of times for the men’s and women’s cross country squads last Saturday.

On one hand, the men’s and women’s teams posted strong finishes of eighth and seventh, respectively, at the NCAA Northeast Regionals held in Madison, Conn. But none of the runners qualified for the NCAA Championship meet later this month.  

“It wasn’t our best day overall,” said Head Women’s Cross Country Coach Jill Miller. “We kind of came in with some high expectations for ourselves and didn’t fulfill those.”   

The women were led by Margaret Connelly ’14 , who finished the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 41 seconds, which earned her an overall finish of 18th place, just two slots shy of qualifying for the championship. Lauren Pischel ’11 finished next for Brown in 21:20, with Heidi Caldwell ’14 close behind, crossing the line in 21:23.

The final two women to score for Brown were Elaine Kuckertz ’13 and Kesley Ramsey ’11, who finished in 21:33 and 21:40, respectively.

“I think, overall, we had a good season, definitely learned a lot,” Miller said. She added that the team faced a chaotic year, but came away with valuable lessons, including the importance of carrying momentum through the postseason.  

Matt Duffy ’12 was once again the top runner for the Brown men, finishing the 10k race in 30:38. He placed 22nd overall and missed qualifying for the Championship meet by fewer than 15 spots .  

“Individually, I think it was more a type of a race I wish I had been running all along,” Duffy said. “We didn’t have our complete A-game, but it was a huge improvement from (Heptagonals) and its good to end on an up-note.”

Also contributing to the men’s eighth place finish were Michael Stumpf ’13 who ran 31:15 to finish 43rd overall, and Christian Escareno ’11 who finished in 31:21 and placed 51st.  

“I was very pleased with how they responded from the disappointment at Hep,” said Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Tim Springfield. “It’s not always easy to bounce back.”  

Brian Schilder ’11 and Dan Lowry ’12 were the final two men to score for Brown, posting times of 31:27 and 31:39, respectively. According to Springfield, the men competed hard and ran tactically well overall.

“I was real happy with how they hung together throughout the whole season and had the best race of the year at regionals,” Springfield said.

Following the NCAA Regional Championships, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recognized athletes earning All-Region awards. Brown was represented by Connelly and Duffy, both of whom have been strong contributors throughout the season.  

With the 2010 cross country season in the books, the distance runners must now turn their focus towards the approaching indoor track season. This period should be characterized by more rest than the runners have recently had , as they look ahead to enjoying a strong indoor season.


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