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.

 

What's next for Oregon basketball without Sabrina, according to Kelly Graves

Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard are gone, but the Ducks revamped their roster with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, strong veterans and a key transfer.
READ MORE

9 men's college basketball coaches could be the next to reach 800 wins

These active men's college basketball coaches could be the next to reach the elusive 800-win mark in their careers.
READ MORE

2020 Pac-12 football schedule: Dates, matchups

Here is the 2020 Pac-12 football schedule. Get the dates, matchups and more information here.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

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