Poets searching for NCAA Championship berth; Five earn All-Regional Honors
Photo by: Lance Franey
CLAREMONT, Calif. – Despite the cold, and rain, the Whittier College women's cross country put together a strong team effort as they finished 3rd overall in the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships out of 21 teams.
With this 3rd place finish the women are now eligible for an at-large selection for the NCAA Championships, which will take place on November 19 in Oshkosh, Wisc. The entries for the NCAA berths will be determined and announced by tomorrow afternoon.
This 3rd place finish also matches last year's performance and marks the 4th consecutive year they finish the season with a regional ranking. Only 1994's women's cross country team saw a higher team finish when the Poets placed 2nd qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
Five Poets earned All-NCAA West Region honors including junior's Christine Verduzco and Adrianna Davidek, and seniors Michele Callaway, Eva Aguilar, and Molly Litherland. This is the 4th such honor for Callaway, 2nd for Verduzco and Litherland, and first for Aguilar and Davidek.
Despite a 27th place finish and not as a strong of a race for Callaway, she is hoping the team will be able to make it the NCAA Championships for the second straight year because of their strong team performance.
Verduzco paced the Poets with a 19th place finish, running strongly the entire race making a strong move towards the leaders near the latter parts of the run helping her post a 22:27.5 time.
Whittier keeps their fingers crossed for an at large berth into the NCAA Championships in order to prolong their very successful 2011 season. With the Poets graduating seniors Callaway, Aguilar, Litherland, Jennifer Rivas-Guillen, Jamie Slingluff, and Candace Wray, they look towards their young talent coming off of a strong season in order to prepare for 2012.