Pomeroy Cross Country National Runners-Up
November 14, 2012
The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College cross country team capped a remarkable end to the 2012 season as national runners-up at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Cross Country National Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. In their fourth consecutive trip to the national meet, the Pomeroys were able to make school history as they captured its first ever runner-up finish. Since the program’s inception, SMWC has not finished lower than third place in the national meet. SMWC won titles in its first two seasons (2009, 2010) and finished in third place last year.
Individually, several Pomeroys displayed astonishing performances. Senior Stephanie Runyon was able to defend her 2011 individual champion title by winning it again for the second consecutive year. She was able to outdistance the rest of the field, crossing the finish line at 24:11 in the six kilometer race. Runyon finished 21 seconds ahead of Alex Leandri of PSU Wilkes Barre to capture the individual title. Earning a top-five finish was junior Logan Fry. The 2010 individual champion was able to finish in fourth place with a time of 25:12. Both Runyon and Fry were named to the All-American team since they finished in the top seven.
Casandra Barnett was able to complete a strong finish, earning third place honors for the team and finishing in 15th place overall. Both Lauren Sutton and Sarah Hudson also ran a superb race and were able to round out the team scoring, finishing in fourth and fifth place.
Other noteworthy performances included excellent finishes by teammates Corianna Frederick, Nicole Nyers, and Jennifer Hughes. Erin Harnett was unable to finish the race due to a previous injury, but continued to have a strong spirit for herself and her teammates as the race completed. Every Pomeroy runner was able to give their best individual effort, which resulted in a terrific finish overall as a team.
SMWC head cross country coach Danelle Readinger couldn’t have been more proud of her team, especially with the changes in the competition that were seen in this year’s meet. “The last four years have gone so quickly, I can't believe the change in the competition within the USCAA. This year, they added a total of 10 new teams at the national championships which really brought an increase level of competition. Last year, Stephanie won with a time more than a minute slower on the same course. Our girls who finished in 42nd and 50th place would have finished in the top 20 last year. Needless to say this year we knew we really had to increase our performances to place in the top three.”
Readinger also adds how placing in the top three wasn’t easy and how extremely pleased she was of her team’s effort in the meet and throughout the entire season. “The ladies worked so hard for it and they all ran amazing, pouring their heart and soul into the race. With that, we brought home second place which is huge with the level of competition we had. The team was so united, strong, and their effort all year really proved itself. I could not be more proud of them and blessed to coach these nine amazing girls!”
In addition to the runner-up finish, five Pomeroys were awarded as Academic All-Americans. Casandra Barnett, Corianna Frederick, Jennifer Hughes, Stephanie Runyon, and Lauren Sutton were each honored at the USCAA awards banquet.
SMWC finished with a total of 94 points, behind champion Southern Virginia University with 67 points. Rounding out the top five team scores were SUNY ESF (104), Dine College (110), and the University of Dallas (124).