TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Wearing her heart and a Villanova ‘V’ on her cheek, senior Sheila Reid emerged from a pack of runners in the final 500 meters on Monday afternoon to earn her second consecutive individual NCAA Cross Country Championship. Her two-time defending champion Wildcats finished third in the team race as Georgetown won its first national championship in program history with a 162-point effort at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
“This is what I came here to do – I also came here for a team title (but) we were a little bit short,” Reid said.
Exploding in the final 100 meters of the 6,000-meter race, Reid finished in 19:41.2, edging Oregon junior Jordan Hasay and her time of 19:41.8 to best 253 participants.
“Jordan and I have raced each other so many times and it’s come down to a sprint finish so many times, I had to believe that I had the kick,” Reid said, adding she was thinking about being outkicked in a loss to Hasay in the 3,000-meter race last March at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. “I just didn’t want that to happen again so I left it all out there.”
“I told myself today that I was going to give it the best I had, and if I get second to Sheila, that was the only person I was going to get second to,” Hasay said. “I can’t be disappointed.”
Dartmouth sophomore Abbey D’Agostino was third in 19:42.9 for the best finish in school history for either the men’s or women’s team. “I was expecting it to be a pretty big group right until the end, that’s usually how these races go,” she said.
The fourth-ranked Hoyas surprised No. 3 Washington (170), No. 2 Villanova (181) and No. 1 Florida State (189) in winning the 31-team field. The eight-point differential was the closest since Stanford edged BYU 120-128 in 2003.
“The biggest thing is, they believed in the middle of the season when we were having a rough go and we had a bunch of injuries and ups and downs,” Georgetown coach Chris Miltenberg said. “They never stopped believing in each other and what we do. I think this is what you see happens when people get to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Led by senior Emily Infeld, who finished fourth in 19:44.3, Georgetown scorers included Claire Richardson (50th; 20:37.2), Emily Jones (54th, 20:40.5), Kirsten Kasper (64th, 20:45.3) and Katrina Coogan (67th, 20:46.3).
“They all went out and did what they were really capable of doing and ran really tough,” Miltenberg said.