Photo: Kyle Terwillegar/USTFCCCA
If the cold and the wind of Terre Haute, Ind., bothered Penn senior Ashley Montgomery on Saturday, it didn’t show. For she zoomed past 14 runners in the final 2,000 meters at the NCAA Cross Country Championships to finish 13th overall and lead her Quakers to a 24th-place showing in the school’s first ever team appearance. Montgomery’s finish also matched the highest placing ever by a Penn woman, matching Chris Lundy’s showing 25 years ago.
In fact, only 11 Ivy Leaguers have finished higher than Montgomery, including Olympians Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth (2011-12-13) and Kate O’Neill of Yale (2001-02). And helping her take the Red and Blue to the League’s highest team finish at the Champs were sisters Cleo and Clarissa Whiting, who were 93rd and 125th respectively, more than 40 seconds behind Montgomery.
One of those runners that Montgomery passed in the final stages of the six-kilometer race was Harvard junior Courtney Smith, who finished 35th overall and earned Harvard’s first outright All-America status since Jenny Stricker in 1985. The Crimson finished 26th as a team, its best since 1983, and the future looks great as its second, third and fourth runners are all freshmen, led by Erin Dietz (137th) and Lisa Tertsch (141st).
The last Ivy women’s team in the field, Yale, had a completely different complexion with seniors Frances Schmiede (119th), Emily Waligurski (157th) and Meredith Rizzo (165th) taking the team’s first three spots.
While the big shock of the women’s race was the unexpectedly close team title of the Oregon Ducks, while the men’s surprise was the third-place finish of Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, who was chasing his fourth individual championship. He was between by Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan, who edged Syracuse’s Justyn Knight.
Only one Heps men’s team competed and, while the Dartmouth Big Green were 25th overall, Coach Barry Harwick was pleased with the arc of the season.
“We started the season ranked seventh in our region and we finished 25th in the nation,” he said. “That’s a great accomplishment for us as a team. Julian (Heninger) ran a great race today to lead us along with the other four seniors who all finished in the points for us.”
There were two Ivy individuals who finished ahead of Heninger, who was 118th overall. Princeton freshman Conor Lundy, perhaps the most consistent runner in the League this year, was the first Leaguer across the line and the seventh freshmen, taking 94th in 30:49.9. Less than 10 seconds behind him was Yale’s James Randon, the 2016 Heps champion.
1. Karissa Schweizer (Missouri), 19:41.6
13. Ashley Montgomery (Penn), 20:07.1
35. Courtney Smith (Harvard), 20:21.1
93. Cleo Whiting (Penn), 20:48.6
119. Frances Schmiede (Yale), 20:55.0
125. Clarissa Whiting (Penn), 20:56.4
137. Erin Dietz (Harvard), 20:59.0
141. Lisa Tertsch (Harvard), 21:00.9
157. Emily Waligurski (Yale), 21:06.0
165. Meredith Rizzo (Yale), 21:09.7
176. Judy Pendergast (Harvard), 21:14.0
179. Dana Klein (Yale), 21:16.7
189. Henna Rustami (Columbia), 21:23.0
191. Elianna Shwayder (Harvard), 21:23.0
195. Andrea Masterson (Yale), 21:23.7
196. Kelli Reagan (Yale), 21:25.0
199. Abigail Hong (Penn), 21:27.0
212. Erin Feeney (Penn), 21:40.4
213. Gillian Meeks (Harvard), 21:40.7
217. Ellie Atkinson (Yale), 21:45.8
221. Christina Rancan (Penn), 21:57.4
231. Eliza Rego (Harvard), 22:10.7
233. Karli Visconto (Penn), 22:15.8
1. Patrick Tiernan (Villanova), 29:22.0
94. Conor Lundy (Princeton), 30:49.9
114. James Randon (Yale), 30:58.1
118. Julian Heninger (Dartmouth), 31:01.6
124. Brian Zabilski (Columbia), 31:04.4
127. Kenny Vasbinder (Columbia), 31:05.4
130. Nathaniel Adams (Dartmouth), 31:06.6
134. Matt Herzig (Dartmouth), 31:09.1
176. Daniel Salas (Dartmouth), 31:25.9
207. Nicholas Tuck (Penn), 31:47.0
210. Connor Clark (Dartmouth), 31:49.4
229. Kyle Dotterer (Dartmouth), 32:08.9
246. Quinn Cooney (Dartmouth), 33:13.6