Nov. 24, 2008
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (SMU) - The SMU cross country team ran to an impressive 20th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course on Tuesday morning, braving the cold, windy and rainy conditions to earn their best finish in over a decade.
Sophomore and C-USA Champion Silje Fjortoft led SMU, taking 40th in the team race in 20:51, while senior Rachael Forish clocked in 20:56 for a 51st-place showing. Mustang freshmen Claire Hardwick (21:43) and Monika Korra (21:45) also scored well, finishing 133rd and 136th, respectively. Jessa Simmons (21:49) rounded out the SMU scorers in 144th, while Ilyssa Pettigrew (22:13/181st) and Sierra Anderson (23:35/212th) rounded up their cross country careers with great races.
The race was won by Washington, who placed all five of their athletes in the top 30 to compile a team score of 79 points. Oregon finished as the runner-up for the second straight season, as the Ducks compiled a team score of 131 to finish ahead of Florida State in third place with 163 points. West Virginia placed fourth in the race with a team score of 198 and Princeton rounded out the top five with a team score of 220.
Complete results are available here.
Two-time defending champion Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech led nearly the entire race to win her third-consecutive NCAA championship. Her time of 19:28.1 broke the previous course record of 19:30.9, which she set at the 2007 NCAA Championship in Terre Haute. Florida State's Susan Kuijken raced right next to Kipyego for the majority of the race but fell just a bit short in second place with a time of 19:34.9. Virginia Tech's Tasmin Fanning was the third-place finisher in a time of 19:37.1 and finished just behind the leaders. North Carolina's Brianna Felnagle finished in fourth place with a time of 19:53.3 and Racheal Marchand of Iowa rounded out the top five with a time of 19:54.9.
The 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will once again be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. It will mark the sixth-straight time that the championships will be hosted by Indiana State and the seventh time in the last eight years.