November 19, 2012

CROSS COUNTRY | Red Finishes 13th at NCAA Championship

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After a strong campaign the entire fall, the 2012 season for the women’s cross country team culminated in an invitation to compete for the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday for the first time since 2001. The Red took its talents down south and concluded the season with a 13th place finish in the Nation. Women’s cross country coach Artie Smith ’96 spoke about the experience of being in that kind of environment. “It was a great experience for our team,” said Smith. “They were really excited to be there. The environment was awesome. Everyone toes the line at the same time, and you get to run against the top individuals and top teams at the same time.” Senior co-captain and individual Heps champion Katie Kellner enjoyed being surrounded by such a strong field of competitors. “It was really neat,” she said. “The first night when we got there, they had a banquet for all the teams. It was such a great experience being around so many great runners.”However, when Kellner crossed the finish line, she began to realize that her Cornell cross country career had come to an end. “It was a weird feeling,” she said. “This is it, this is the last time that I’m going to run a cross country race in a Cornell uniform. It was the perfect place to be too, and it was the perfect way to finish my cross country career.”Smith said that the Red was pleased with its performance at the meet. “We’re not disappointed,” he said. “We’re happy that we were so competitive.” At the end of the race, with a score of 385 points, the Red finished 13th in a field of 31 teams. For the second time all year, junior Rachel Sorna was the Red’s top finisher in 32nd place (20:12.0) in the 6K course. Following right behind her was Kellner in 34th (20:12.8), followed by junior Devin McMahon in 123rd (20:56.1), junior Emily Shearer in 140th (21:03.4), and the last scorer for the Red was freshman Caroline Kellner in 171st (21:16.1). With finishes in the top 40, both Kellner and Sorna ran well enough for All-American Honors. Kellner was very happy to have the honor of finishing the season as an All-American. “I was so happy,” she said. “That’s been my goal the whole season, and it was such an amazing feeling to accomplish that.” Furthermore, Kellner spoke about how much the team has exceeded her expectations this season. “Coming into school in August I knew we were going to have a strong team,” she said. “Even knowing that, this team has exceeded my expectations. To blow away the other Ivy League teams and qualify for the national championships, it was an amazing feeling.” Smith, reflecting on the entire season, was proud that his team had competed hard all season long. “[The season] was great,” he said. “I don’t think any of us wanted to see it end. It was an amazing journey. Going to the national meet as a team really demonstrates what a great team they were. They achieved their goals all year. They competed hard all season. It was true at the national meet, and it was true all season.”

Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo