The weather conditions seem to be a bit more ideal than what the weather models were predicting earlier this week. While the last few days had been sunny and windy, it helped dry out the course some of the muddier portions from early in the week rain. Upper 40s and partly cloudy – seems ideal though? The question will be how much the lingering wind will impact the races.
It was early pack running for the women as they traveled from the starting line down the gradual downhill into the first turn around 800m into the race. This pack essentially stayed together through the first 7 minutes, but depending on the webstream video angle, you got glimpses of Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano and Brown’s Natalie Schudrowitz among the top 50-ish. But due to the mass of bodies, it was hard to tell positioning within the first 2km, which the leaders brought through in about 6:41. 9:57 at the 3km point for the leaders. However, in team scoring, Princeton was sitting in 28th place.
About 10min in, the top 25 began to pull away from the field, and we could see Schudrowitz is included in that group but due to the camera angles and course layout, it was hard to determine who else was included in that top 25.
With 1km to go, Schudrowitz was the top Ivy runner, sitting in 23rd place.
Schudrowitz held on in the final 1km and finished with her first All-American honor as she cross the line in 23rd place with a time of 20:16.7, steps ahead of Harvard alumna Molly Renfer who was the 5th runner for New Mexico (24th – 20:17.5). Former Columbia runner Waverly Neer was about 2 seconds back and finished in 27th place in 20:19.8, helping out the Oregon Ducks. Top 40 finishers collect All-American honors.
Princeton had two runners finish in the top 100 (Elizabeth Bird in 58th, Kathryn Fluehr in 81st) to help the team to an unofficial 21st place team finish. New Mexico easily won the team title, unofficially with a score of 49 points – a new NCAA championship record
Notre Dame senior Molly Seidel won the race with a time of 19:28.6.
HepsNation women top 100 finishers:
23. Natalie Schudrowitz (Brown) – 20:16.7 (shown right)
24. Molly Renfer (Harvard-New Mexico) – 20:17.5
27. Waverly Neer (Columbia- Oregon) – 20:19.8
58. Elizabeth Bird (Princeton) – 20:35.6
60. Courtney Smith (Harvard) – 20:36.6
66. Dana Giordano (Dartmouth) – 20:37.9
73. Ashley Montgomery (Penn) – 20:40.4
81. Kathryn Fluehr (Princeton) – 20:44.0
The men’s race was a bit more spread out initially compared to the women’s race as Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan grabbed the early lead and was stringing out the field early within the first mile. Among the early top 25 was HepsXC champion Thomas Awad of Penn.
At the 2km time was 5:40 for the leaders and looks like Awad is sitting in 31st (5:46) while Yale’s Kevin Dooney is not far back in 37th place (5:47). Columbia’s Tait Rutherford was in 53rd place (5:48) also is in good position at the 2km point. In team scoring, the Penn men sit in 25th place. By the 3km, a front pack of 4 had been formed as ahead of the field by a good 20m distance.
At the halfway point, Awad moved up in position, sitting in 22nd place at 5.2km in 15:21.6. Dooney is still in striking distance of Awad as he passed the same point in 15:29 in 48th place. Rutherford (64th), Cornell’s Ben Rainero (91st) and Brian Eimstad (95th), Penn’s Nick Tuck (97th) are also among the top 100 at the halfway point. Team scoring wise, Penn dropped down to 27th place overall.
The things changed dramatically in the second half of the race for HepsNation. Awad continued to creep up the field, sitting in 17th with 2km and maintain pace through the final 100m, ultimately passing a few in the final 100m to grab 14th place in 30:06.1 – his best NCAA performance to date and his second cross country All-American honor. Rainero was the other big positive mover, climbing up to 58th place at 8km, flirting with the idea of making the All-American cut. Unfortunately, he was 1.1 seconds short as he finished 45th overall in 30:30.6 (40th place was 30:29.5).
Oregon’s Edward Cheserek was challenged by Tiernan for the first 8km of the race, but Tiernan just did not have enough strength to keep it up. Cheserek made it three in a row, winning the national title in 28:45.8. But there was an upset in the team battle as Syracuse unofficially bested two-time defending team champion Colorado, 82 to 91. The Penn men finished 24th unofficially in the team scoring.
HepsNation men in the top 100:
14. Thomas Awad (Penn) – 30:06.1
45. Ben Rainero (Cornell) – 30:30.6
61. Kevin Dooney (Yale) – 30:41.0
73. Nicholas Tuck (Penn) – 30:44.8
75. Brian Eimstad (Cornell) – 30:45.3
Congrats to all HepsNation athletes on some great races!