History Being Made in Mud


A lot of Ivy League history has been made at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. in the cold, windy, and muddy conditions.  No course records were set, but there were a number of amazing Ivy performances that will need to recorded in our recordbooks, as we got our first Ivy national champion in cross country and the best men’s finish since 1945.  A total of seven Ivy undergrads and one Ivy grad earned All-American honors today.

It should be noted that the starting line was moved up about 115 meters due to the mud and lingering ponding on the original start line, so there would be a smaller chance of falling near the start.  Therefore, the races were short of the original 10-km and 6-km championship race distances, which converted to a time-equivalent of about 20 seconds.

Maksim Korolev (Harvard) finished off an amazing senior year cross country season with a 3rd place finish in the men’s championship race.  Korolev was out with the front pack of 12 runners since the first kilometer, but slowly crept up to 3rd place on the final stretch.  He was half a second away from claiming the runner up position to defending champion and race favorite Kennedy Kithuka from Texas Tech, but Korolev ran out of room in the final stretch.  Korolev’s final time was 29:59.5.  Freshman Edward Cheserek of Oregon won the race in 29:41.1, Kithuka 2nd in 29:59.1.  Korolev’s final ~2km finish 6:04.2 was the 2nd fastest finish in the field, behind winner Cheserek’s 6:04.1.

Korolev’s  finish is 3rd best finish in Ivy League cross country history, as Dartmouth’s John Hanley finished 2nd in 1945 and Yale’s LeRoy Schwartzkopf finished 3rd in 1942.

Dartmouth’s Will Geoghegan and Columbia’s Nico Composto will also earn All-American honors in their final cross country season.  Geoghegan was in the front of the main racing peloton during the 1st loop while Composto was lingering a little further back.   Both men had a strong 2nd loop, and Geoghegan was in the top 10 at the 8-km split.  They both finished really strong, Geoghegan in 14th (30:22.1) and Composto in 30th (30:37.8).

The other Ivies that finished in the OFFICIAL top 100 include Princeton’s Tyler Udland (47th, 30:53.5) and Alejandro Arroyo Yamin (73rd, 31:03.5) and Yale’s Kevin Dooney (98th, 31:18.8).

Unofficial OFFICIAL team results show that Princeton was the top Ivy men squad again, finishing in 22nd place (469 points).  Dartmouth edged out Heps champion Columbia, with Dartmouth in 24th (551) and Columbia in 25th (580), while Harvard finished 30th (678) out of 31 teams.  The men’s national title went to the Colorado Buffaloes, with 149 points.

While the men’s individual favorite fell, the women’s individual favorite rose to the conditions challenge as Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth) won the first national cross country title in Ivy League history.  She bided her time as Iona sophomore Kate Avery took the early lead.  D’Agostino took over the lead after 4km and just kept on going, dropping both Avery and Kate Bates (Boise State) to finish by  3 seconds.  D’Agostino’s winning time was 20:00.3, finishing the final ~2km in 6:49.8.

The previous best Ivy female performances at NCAA Cross Country were three 2nd place finishes: Yale’s Lindsay Donaldson in 2002, Columbia’s Caroline Bierbaum in 2005, and D’Agostino in 2012.

Joining D’Agostino with All-American honors are Cornell’s Rachel Sorna (14th, 20:26.4), Dartmouth teammate Dana Giordano (31st, 20:41.1), and Princeton freshman Megan Curham (34th, 20:42.3).  Harvard alumna and now New Mexico Lobo Sammy Silva also earned her first All-American honor with her 12th place finish (20:25.6).  Princeton alumna and now Colorado Buffalo Abby Levene finished 59th overall (20:57.4).

Unofficial OFFICIAL women results have Heps champion Dartmouth as the highest finisher in 16th place (369), Cornell in 23rd (569), and Princeton in 30th (704).  The Providence College Lady Friars won the team title, their first title since 1995.

photo courtesy of Chris Chavez from Flotrack

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