WINNECONE, Wisc. – Senior Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) and the Brandeis women's cross country team turned in a historic performance today at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Wisconsin. Bryson finished fifth overall to earn her fourth career All-America honor, while the team tied for their best all-time finish by coming in sixth overall with 277 points.
- As she has throughout her career, Emily Bryson led the team with her fifth-place finish. She ran in fifth place throughout the entire race, covering the six-kilometer course in a time of 21:08.3.
- The time was the second-fastest of Bryson's career and a two-second PR for her at the national meet.
- The fifth-place finish is an improvement of 15 places from her previous best at nationals, which came last year (20th place). It was the second-highest finish in program history, trailing only the runner-up finish by Mariko Tansey Holbrook Neveu '03 in 2002.
- The All-America honor is the fourth in Bryson's career, making her Brandeis's first four-time All-American in cross country, men or women. She is also just the 14th woman in Division III history to earn All-America honors all four years. Overall, it was her sixth career All-America honor.
- Coming in second for the Judges was Emily's twin sister Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy), who came in 64th with a time of 22:17.2, the fourth-fastest time of her career. She finished about 17 seconds out of All-America range.
- Julia made her biggest move between the third and fifth kilometers, improving by 50 spots during that stretch.
- Right behind Julia was junior Danielle Bertaux (Prides Crossing, Mass./Beverly), who placed 67th overall with a time of 22:19.3. Bertaux had a strong final kilometer, moving from 90th place to 67th in that span.
- Bertaux ran a personal best by 28 seconds to finish as the team's third finisher for the third time this season.
- Sophomore Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) was in fourth for the Judges with a time of 22:25.2, good for 81st place overall.
- Kenney lowered her personal best, which came last weekend at the New England Regionals, by four seconds as she improved by 12 places over the final kilometer.
- Rookie Jac Guerra (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) rounded out the scorers for the Judges, coming in 164th with a time 23:00.2. It was Guerra's second-fastest time of the season and placed him 17th among first-year runners at the meet.
- Rounding out the Judges' runners were seniors Meaghan Barry (Marlborough, Mass./Worcester Academy), who was 214th with a time of 23:24.5 – the fourth-fastest of her career – and Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East), who was 258th with a time of 24:06.3.
- The Judges' 277 points mark the third-lowest team score in program history at the NCAA Championships and is tied for the best team placement. The Judges also finished in sixth place in 1991.
- The squad tied with SUNY-Geneseo for fifth place in the scoring, but the Knights finished ahead on tiebreakers – the five scoring runners were compared head-to-head, with three Geneseo runners placing ahead of their Judge counterparts.
- Brandeis was ranked 11th nationally in the pre-meet polls, but finished five places higher than their ranking.
- The Judges were second among New England schools, including ahead of Williams and Middlebury, who were ranked 5th and 8th, respectively. Regionally, they trailed only MIT, who was third with 247 points.
- The Judges were also the second team from the University Athletic Association (UAA) in the race, trailing only Washington University, who won the meet by one point, 98-99, knocking off two-time defending champions Johns Hopkins.
QUOTES FROM COACH SINEAD EVANS
- "Conditions were great. The ground was firm, it was chilly, but that's cross country. We are used to it."
- "Everyone ran great, they moved through the field nicely following the strategy."
- "Emily ran the best race she possibly could. She ran out with the leaders and stuck with them."
- "This year was a testament to the team's hard work. I told them at the end of last year that we had a chance to have a special year this year. Everyone trained hard over the summer and came back in great shape, and I knew it was going to be a terrific season."
- "To finish eighth in the region last year and sixth at nationals this year, it's just a great way for the seniors – Emily, Julia, Meg and Doyin – to finish out their careers."