BRONX, NY (November 18, 2012) - The Sacred Heart women's cross country team closed out the 2012 season on Saturday in winning fashion, taking home their first-ever ECAC Championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The Pioneers topped a field of 19 teams in the 28th ECAC title race, finishing with 73 points.
"The consistency of this group throughout the season has been a thing to behold," stated head coach Christian Morrison. "Since late September they have run incredibly well, and they have performed wonderfully in all of our important meets.
"We had our best team finishes ever in the New England's and NCAA Regionals, and we only lost the Northeast Conference Championship by the slimmest of margins. To win the ECAC team title really puts a cherry on top of what was already a great season. I'm really happy for them, and I couldn't be prouder of a team. It's been such an honor to be their coach and to experience this season with them."
SHU finished in front of George Mason in second (120 points) and host Fordham in third (124). Fellow Northeast Conference member Monmouth ran in fourth (156). SHU's previous best finishes were second in 2008 and third in 2005.
Four Sacred Heart runners finished in the top-25 to earn All-East honors in the final race of the season. Senior Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) led the way as she has all season, finishing second overall with a time of 18:12.6 on the 5k course. She improved 66 places on her 68th place finish of a year ago, and chopped 1:26 off her previous course best time.
Selmquist (18:12.6) recorded the second fastest time in program history on the very challenging Van Cortlandt Park course while Castrogivanni (18:24.6) recorded the fourth fastest ever. Only former Pioneer Kim DeLoreto (18:01.6) has run faster at VCP and she recorded that time while winning the ECAC individual title in 2010.
Right on her heels again this week was junior Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) in third place, finishing the Bronx course in a time of 18:24.6. Castrogivanni improved 63 places on her 66th place finish of a year ago, cuttin 1:12 off her previous VCP best time.
Senior Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ) closed out her senior season with a 13th place finish, clocking in at 18:52.7. She improved 33 places from her 46th place finish of a year ago, knocking of 29 seconds from her best time on the Van Cortland Course.
Sophomore Emma Bolduc (Peterborough, NH) was 24th overall, finishing in a time of 19:15. For all four Pioneers, it was their first-ever All-East honors. Bolduc improved 19 places on her 43rd place finish of a year ago, and took four seconds off her previous best time on the course. Selmquist, Castrogivanni and Navarro also became the sixth, seventh and eighth women in program history to earn "All-New England", "All-NEC", and "All-East" honors in the same season.
It is also the first time in program history that more than one athlete has achieved this triple honor in the same season. The five athletes who achieved all three honors previously are Katie Wrinkle (2003), Katie Duffy (2005), Kathleen Henry (2006), Kim DeLoreto (2007, 2009, 2010), and Brittney Lane (2011).
Senior Megan Papp (Niantic, CT) did not run in the ECAC's last year, but she took two seconds off her previous best on the course, finishing 35th. Papp clocked in at 19:33.0. Sophomore Elizabeth Hutchins (Pawcatuck, CT) finishing in 46th improved 94 places on her 140th place finish a year ago. She ran a time of 19:43.2, taking 47 seconds off her previous VCP best time. Senior Mekenzie Krause (Bennington, VT) did not run in the ECAC meet last year, but broke 20 minutes at VCP for the first time in four years. She finished in 60th place with a time of 19:56.8.