William Smith junior Emily D’Addario became just the second Heron harrier to qualify for the NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Championship today. The rookie runner placed seventh out of 256 runners in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship to secure a spot in next week’s national championship run in Winneconne, Wis.
A soccer student-athlete during her first two years on campus, D’Addario’s storybook transition to cross country this year continued today with a 6-kilometer time of 22:19.6, lowering her season’s best time at that distance by 2.4 seconds.
The top two teams in each of the eight regions nationwide automatically qualify for the national championship. Eight additional teams receive at-large bids. Once team selections are made, the top seven individuals not on a qualifying team are added to the championship field. By finishing in the top seven, D’Addario guaranteed she will join Amy Young ’03 (2000 & 2001) as the only Herons to run on the national stage.
D’Addario wasn’t the only Heron to post her best 6k of the season. Senior Molly Sharry (26:56.8), junior Kelly Watters (24:31.9), and sophomore Marielle Verni (26:46.8) also logged their best times of the season.
William Smith finished 19th out of 36 in the team standings, the Herons’ best finish since placing 19th in 2005.
The 2011 national championship is being hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at the Lake Breeze Golf Course. The race is scheduled to being at noon Eastern time.