BRONX, N.Y. – In typical Quinnipiac women's cross country fashion, the Bobcats displayed superior depth to finish second overall in their first MAAC Championship appearance on Friday from Van Cortlandt Park. Five Bobcats placed in the Top 20 while an incredible total of 12 Quinnipiac runners earned a spot within the first 41 finishers for the best average finish (24) of any team in competition today. Despite the incredible total team effort, the Bobcats were outdone by Iona who picked up their ninth straight MAAC title on Friday. The Gaels managed to place four runners in the Top 5 overall which proved too much for the Bobcat depth to overcome.
2013 MAAC Championship Team Results
This first meeting between the two powerhouse cross country programs went the way of the Gaels but the Bobcats proved themselves with outstanding depth on Friday. Ranked No. 8 in the USTFCCCA Northeast Region, Iona faced their stiffest competition since the 2008 MAAC Championship as the Bobcats managed 59 points compared to 30 for the Gaels. Quinnipiac packed its runners up well and put together one of its best races of the season and Saturday, led once again by the freshman standout Niamh Ashe (East Islip, N.Y.).
The Bobcats' top performer all season was at her best in the conference meet as she posted a 3rd place finish overall out of 145 runners. For Ashe it was her second Top 5 finish this season and tied for her best result of the year (3rd at Stony Brook Invitational on Aug. 31). She clocked in with a blistering time of 22:12.05, equaling a pace of 4:28 per mile. Ashe has now finished as the fastest Bobcat runner in all five events in which she competed this season Already an All-New England performer, Ashe adds an All-MAAC distinction to her resume after cutting over 40 seconds off her time from the Iona Meet of Champions earlier this month, also held from Van Cortlandt Park.
Racing in their final conference championship meet together, seniors Brianna and Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.) crossed the line a mere four second apart in 11th and 12th place, respectively. The senior tandem have gone toe-to-toe all season and fittingly enough they both crossed the finish line with near identical times and All-Conference awards. The 11th place finish was Brianna's second-best result in a conference championship meet in her career while Amanda's 12th place was four spots higher than her result in last year's NEC Championship. For Brianna, the All-MAAC nod makes her the only current Bobcat to have been named to four straight All-Conference teams while Amanda picks up her third All-Conference honor.
Rounding out the All-MAAC performers on Friday for the Bobcats was senior Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Conn.) who finished in 14th place with a time of 23:19.49. Soja finishes her career with back-to-back All-Conference performances as she also picks up another Top 20 result for her third such honor of the season.
The final Bobcat to score on Friday was sophomore Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.) who clocked in at 23:40.68, good enough for 19th place overall. After finishing out of the scoring last year at the NEC Championships in 35th place, Savage was the fifth-fastest Bobcat on Friday and moved up the most spots (16) of any returning Bobcat from the conference championship meet in 2012.
2013 Women's Cross Country All-MAAC Team
Not to be outdone were the outings of freshman Allison Decker (Milford, Pa.) and senior Jill Humphreys (Burlington, Mass.). They both finished just outside the scoring but less than five seconds behind Savage's time. Racing in her first career conference championship, Decker placed 21st overall with a time of 23:44.27, while the senior leader Humphreys picked up a 22nd place result and was just fractions of a second behind Decker at 23:44.47.
The Bobcats will now prepare for the final meet of the season two weeks from now on Friday, November 15 in the NCAA Regionals. The meet will be held at 1:00 pm from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
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