Nov. 21, 2009

 

By Jason Lloyd
Special to NCAA.com

CLEVELAND – DePauw senior Lauren Reich needed a couple of years to figure out how to run a cross country championship race. In her last chance, she finally got it right.
   
Reich finished fourth Saturday in the women’s Division III nationals, hosted by Baldwin-Wallace. More importantly, it signified her fourth trip to the event – every one of Reich’s seasons ended with nationals.
   
“It took me two times to understand how to run it,” she said. “I’ve always been more of a track runner than a cross country runner, so it’s more difficult for me.”
   
Reich finished 151st as a freshman and 73rd as a sophomore. She improved to 27th last year to become an All-American before peaking as a senior. DePauw coach Kori Stoffregen finally told Reich it was time for her to start winning races this year and start running with the lead pack, otherwise she’d struggle again at nationals.
   
“I’ve always struggled mentally,” Reich said. “I’d get out too hard or save too much at the end. I never hit the times right. I’m just happy. I left it all out today. This is the best I can do.”
FRESH FACES: Middlebury’s Addie Tousley and Whitworth’s Joy Shufeldt were the only freshmen women to earn All-America status. The top 35 automatically qualify for the honor.
   
Shufeldt finished 23rd and Tousley was 28th.
   
“It was pretty unexpected,” Tousley said. “I feel honored I was able to do that. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all when I started out, so I’m really happy.”
   
Both freshmen are now in position for the rare chance to earn four All-American awards.
   
“We’ll see what happens,” Tousley said. “It’s a long four years.”
   
There were no freshmen All-American among the men. The highest freshman finish was Cortland State’s Sean Curry, who was 48th.

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: A scoring glitch at the finish line resulted in disappointment for Calvin senior Jesi Hale. The unofficial results had her 35th, giving her the final All-American slot.
   
But a glitch with the microchips imbedded in the runners’ shoes prevented MIT senior Jacqui Wentz’s time from registering. Wentz finished 29th, bumping Hale to 36th and taking away her All-American award.

THREEPEAT: Tufts senior Jesse Faller and Bethel senior Daniel Greeno both ended their careers Saturday as three-time All-Americans. Faller finished eighth and Greeno was 10th.
   
“My goal was top 10, so I got it,” Greeno said. “I didn’t expect it to happen my sophomore year, then my junior year I barely qualified. This year my goal was a national championship, but getting into the top 10 anytime is a good thing. It’s been a good ride and I’ve enjoyed it.”
   
Faller is the first runner to be an All-American three times in cross country in school history.
   
“It’s special to be a three-time All-American,” he said. “I know not many guys can do that.”

FINISHING STRONG:  Jason Lindelof had a difficult road to nationals. The 25-year-old Wisconsin-Superior junior missed all of last season with injuries and didn’t begin running again until July. Then his house burned down in August, leaving him essentially homeless. Remarkably, he still qualified for nationals and finished 92nd on Saturday.

THIS & THAT:  North Central’s men’s team, which won the team championship on Saturday, has qualified for all 37 Division III men’s finals in NCAA history. … Freshman Josh Williams was the first runner in Edgewood history to reach nationals. He finished 201st. … Baldwin-Wallace’s women’s team finished 29th on its home course. B-W was the host school for this year’s championships. … Whitman’s women’s team, making its first appearance in a Division III nationals meet, finished 25th. … Joanna Johnson’s fifth place finish for Oberlin marked a historic day – it was the first time Oberlin reached nationals since 1984. It finished 23rd. … Trinity (Texas) junior Caitlin Masse showed the most dramatic improvement from one year to the next. After finishing 152nd last year, Masse finished eighth.