BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Brandeis University women's cross country team turned in their best performance in more than a decade as the Judges finished fourth out of 57 teams at the 2018 NCAA Division III New England Championships at Bowdoin College. The Judges hope to earn their first bid to the NCAA Championships since 2013 when the field is announced tomorrow.
"I'm really proud of how everyone ran today," said fifth-year head coach Sinead Evans. "They have worked so hard all season, and it all paid off today."
Leading the way as she has all season was senior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy). A three-time All-New England selection entering the meet, Bryson had her best-ever placement at the regional championship meet, finishing as the runner-up. Bryson covered the six-kilometer course with a time of 21:03.79, a personal best for 6K and about 20 seconds behind winner Kaitlyn Mooney of Coast Guard. Bryson had Brandeis's best finish since 2002, when Mariko Tansey Holbrook Neveu '03 was also the runner-up. Tansey Holbrook Neveu followed up that performance with a runner-up showing at nationals. Bryson, who will at least qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championships, has a chance to become Brandeis's first-ever four-time cross country All-American, male or female.
Bryson's impressive performance was nearly matched by her twin sister Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy), who finished in seventh place with a time of 22:09.19. Julia earned her second All-New England cross country honor, improving by 17 places over her junior season. The time was her fastest of the season by about 20 seconds. The Judges' two top-10 finishers mark the first time since 2001 that Brandeis had two runners finish that high at New Englands.
The All-New England honors continued, as third-place finisher, sophomore Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover), finished in 21st place overall with a time of 22:29.30. Kenney, who had been running fourth and fifth for the Judges all season, improved by 41 places from her debut season at New Englands last year after shaving 12 seconds off her time. This is her first All-New England honor, and marks the first time since the 2013 NCAA qualifying team that the Judges have had three All-Region selections in the same season.
Coming in in fourth place for the Judges was rookie Jac Guerra (Guilford, Conn./Guilford), who came in 46th overall with a time of 23:03.58. Guerra finished sixth among all first-year runners and was about 15 seconds out of making the top 35 and All-New England honors. The time was Guerra's second-fastest of the season.
Rounding out the top five for the Judges was senior tri-captain Meaghan Barry (Marlborough, Mass./Worcester Academy). Barry, who was the team's fourth runner a year ago, improved by 17 places to finish in 60th place with a time of 23:16.05, her season-best performance.
The final two runners for the Judges were junior Danielle Bertaux (Prides Crossing, Mass./Beverly), who placed 78th overall with a time of 23:35, an improvement of nearly 200 place from her sophomore campaign; and senior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East), who came in 105th as she attempts to reach the NCAA Championships for the third season in a row and first time in cross country, with a time of 24:01.03.
Brandeis, ranked #12 in Division III entering the meet, finished with 136 points, coming in 21 points behind Williams (115) and 23 points ahead of Tufts (159). MIT won the meet with 87 points, ahead of Middlebury with 108.