Tribe Women, Prettyman, Gallagher Impress At NCAA CC Championships
RICHMOND, Va. (November 25, 2013) – The William & Mary women’s cross country team made history over the weekend at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, finishing in 12th place as a team, while senior All-American Elaina Balouris placed 11th individually at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Tribe’s finish ranks second all-time in program history, behind only a 10th-place showing by the 1998 team. Balouris, who earned the top spot for the second straight year at the 2013 CAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 2, ended her cross country career in impressive fashion, racing through the challenging course in 20:22.7 in the 6k.
It is Balouris' fourth All-American performance, placing her second in school history alongside Jeri Daniels '82, and behind only Janice Brown '93 and Marcie Homan '95, who were honored five times each. Sophomore Emily Stites, who became the first Tribe women to win USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Runner of the Year honors after a first-place finish in the Regional last weekend, was caught in the pack and finished 46th overall in 20:50.3, just shy of the All-America cutoff (top 40 finishers), but her performance is still the second-best finish ever for a Tribe No. 2 behind only her showing in 2012 (26th last season).
Rounding out the top-five scoring effort for the Tribe was sophomore Meghan McGovern (21:24.7, 113th), senior Michelle Britto (21:28.1, 123rd), and junior Carolyn Hennessey (21:35.5, 141st).
Another CAA standout, Delaware’s Lindsay Prettyman, also performed well in her first ever NCAA Championship event. The senior Newark, Del., native earned a 117th place finish, with a time of 21:25.6 in the same 6K. She passed 100 runners over the final 4,000 meters to improve her standing.
Prettyman, who was the Blue Hens’ top runner in 18 of the final 19 meets of her career, was the first Blue Hen to compete at the NCAA Championships since Kim Mitchell competed at the 1984 meet at Penn State and finished 78th overall. She also was just the third UD runner to compete at the national meet, also joining Mitchell and Sandy Gibney, who earned All-American honors with a 16th place finish at the 1981 AIAW national championship at Pocatello, Idaho.
The only male runner to represent the CAA was Northeastern’s Wesley Gallagher, who placed 148th out of 253 runners. Gallagher, a sophomore, who led the Huskies in every race this season, became just the second member of the NU cross country program to compete at Nationals since Erik Nedeau in 1993. He earned a first-place finish at the CAA Championships on Nov. 2 and finished Saturday’s course in 31:46.6.
Gallagher qualified for the NCAA Championships after a 24th-place finish at the Northeast Regional two weeks ago, registering a time of 30:46.5 in the 10K.