cross-country-women-d1 flag

Oregon Athletics | November 19, 2016

No. 12 Oregon surprises with NCAA championship win

2016 DI Women's Cross Country Championship: Recap

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Oregon cross country program captured a national title Saturday at the NCAA championships, though not the one most were expecting. Maurica Powell's UO women captured the team title by the barest of margins, a single point over Michigan.

Freshman Katie Rainsberger finished fourth for the Ducks over the six-kilometer LaVern Gibson Championship Course, in 19:51.1, leading three All-American finishers from Oregon. Junior Alli Cash was 14th in 20:08.2, and Samantha Nadel took 21st in 20:14.0.

By the time seniors Ashley Maton (61st, 20:37.0) and Maggie Schmaedick (64th, 20:38.1) crossed the finish line, the Ducks knew they'd run exceptionally well. But the projected champs from Colorado also had a solid day, and Michigan was led across the line by the second-place individual, senior Erin Finn.

After an agonizing wait that included reviewing race video for confirmation, the Ducks were announced as national champs with 125 team points, one fewer than the Wolverines. Only then did the significance of Schmaedick's finish — one place and one-tenth of a second ahead of Michigan's fifth finisher — begin to resonate.

Colorado was third with 134 points. The Oregon women won their fourth NCAA cross country title, having previously taken first in 1983, 1987, 2012.

Powell said the Ducks' pacing and placing through 2k led her to think they had a shot to win. "It was like, they're either going to go big or go home," she said. "And they held on."

The 12th-ranked UO women became the lowest-ranked team to win an NCAA title. The previous record was set when No. 4 Georgetown won in 2011. Rainsberger's fourth-place finish was highest-ever by a UO freshman.

 

2021 Maui Invitational: Wisconsin beats Saint Mary's to win the 2021 tournament

Wisconsin snuck past Saint Mary's 66-59 to win the 2021 Maui Invitational championship game. Click here to see the rest of the scores from the tournament.
READ MORE

UC Irvine knocks off UCLA, the last remaining undefeated DI women's college soccer team

We tracked every undefeated NCAA women's soccer teams in the 2021 season until the final unbeaten team fell in the 2021 NCAA tournament.
READ MORE

Cincinnati, Oregon, Oklahoma and other college football wins from October that will shape the 2021 season

These wins from October have shaped the college football season, including Cincinnati at Notre Dame.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners