#12 women's cross country headed to NCAA Championships

The women's cross country team is headed back to the NCAA Championships! (photo courtesy @Brandeisxctf twitter)
The women's cross country team is headed back to the NCAA Championships! (photo courtesy @Brandeisxctf twitter)

WALTHAM, Mass. – For the fifth time in program history and first since 2013, the 12th-ranked Brandeis University women's cross country team will be headed to the NCAA Division III Championships next weekend in Winnecone, Wisconsin.

In head coach Sinead Evans' sixth year at the helm, the Judges earned an at-large berth to the championships after placing fourth at the New England Regional this past weekend at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. That showing was their best since 2002, which was also an NCAA Championship year for the squad. Brandeis also reached the NCAAs in 1991 and 1992.

Brandeis will be paced by seniors and twin sisters Emily Bryson and Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy), who finished second and seventh at the New England Regionals this past weekend. Emily turned in the best showing by a Brandeis woman since 2002, when Mariko Tansey Holbrook Neveu '03 was also the New England runner-up. Emily covered the six-kilometer course in 21:03.79, a personal best for 6K and about 20 seconds behind winner Kaitlyn Mooney of Coast Guard. Emily is a five-time All-American in cross country and track, including a national championship at the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 3,000-meter run. She is bidding to become Brandeis's first four-time All-American in cross country, male or female.

Julia finished in seventh place overall with a time of 22:09.19, improving by 17 places over her 2017 performance and picking up her second career All-New England honor in cross country. Julia earned All-America honors last year along with Emily as part of the Judges' third-place distance medley relay team at the indoor championships. This will be her first trip to compete at the NCAA Division III Cross Country championships. The twins' top-10 finishes marked the first time since 2001 that Brandeis placed two women in the top 10.

Also earning All-Region was sophomore Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover), who 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.

Joining the three All-New England selections with trips to Wisconsin for nationals will be 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 at the New England championships; senior tri-captain Meaghan Barry (Marlborough, Mass./Worcester Academy) who finished in 60th place with a time of 23:16.05, her season-best performance; 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 with a time of 24:01.03, and is a three-time NCAA Track and Field qualifier, twice in the 800-meter run outdoors and as part of last year's All-American distance medley relay team.

The Judges will compete at the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday, November 17th at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winnecone, Wisconsin, at 12:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. Central time). They competed on this course earlier this season at the Pre-National meet and finished in third place out of 52 teams, including 16 other nationally-ranked teams. The meet will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh and can be watched at FloTrack.com.

The complete NCAA Selection Announcement is available here.

For more information on Brandeis Women's Cross Country, please visit our web site at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/wxc