HANOVER, Ind. — The Brandeis University women's cross country team finished in 22nd place out of 32 teams at the NCAA Division III championships, held at Hanover College today. The Judges were led by senior Amelia Lundkvist (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) who finished 21st overall out of 280 runners to earn her first career All-America honor.
"It's been an incredible year for the team," said head coach John Evans, who led the Judges to the NCAAs for the first time in 12 years. "We weren't even picked to be in the top 10 in New England at the start of the year, so to qualify for nationals and finish 22nd is awesome."
Lundkvist covered the six-kilometer course in a time of 21:50.3, slightly off her personal best set a week ago at the New England regional championships, when she ran 21:28.9. Lundkvist, who finished sixth at those championships, was the fourth finisher to cross the line from New England and the third from the University Athletic Association.
Lundkvist is Brandeis's first All-American in women's cross country since 2002, when Mariko Tansey Holbrook '03 and Caitlin Malloy '03 placed 2nd and 22nd, respectively. She is Brandeis's ninth different woman to earn cross country All-America honors.
"Amelia ran a great race," Evans said. "She is primarily a miler, so this is a great achievement. It bodes well for the upcoming indoor track season."
Running second for the Judges was rookie Maddie Dolins (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park), as she has all season long. Dolins finished 91st overall with a time of 22:35.2. She was ninth among first-year runners in the race, 10th from the UAA and 22nd among New England competitors.
Next up for the Judges was sophomore Kelsey Whitaker (Kingston, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.), who placed 155th with a time of 22:58.1. This marked the third time overall that Whitaker has been Brandeis's third runner this season, but the first time since Oct. 19. Senior Victoria Sanford (LaGrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) was the fourth runner for the team, with a time of 23:02.5. Another rookie, Ashley Piccirillo-Horan (North Granby, Conn./Granby Memorial) rounded out the top five with a time of 24:00.8, placing 251st overall. Brandeis's final representatives, Rookie Kate Farrell (Windham, N.H./Windham) and sophomore Maggie Hensel (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) were 275th and 279th overall, with times of 25:02.06 and 25:16.0, respectively.
Brandeis's 517 team points put them in 22nd place overall, just 18 points behind UAA rivals Washington University and 32 ahead of Ithaca College. Johns Hopkins University won the title with 85 points, while the next five finishers were either in Brandeis's region (#2 Williams, 137 points; #3 Middlebury, 185; #5 MIT, 261) or conference (#4 Chicago, 261 points; #6 NYU, 278).