Bison take fourth at CAC Women's Cross Country Championship
WALKERSVILLE, Md. - The Gallaudet University women's cross country team stunned the field at the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference championship with a fourth-place team finish on Saturday at Heritage Farm Park. GU accumulated 139 points as Salisbury University repeated as champions with 30 points to edge University of Mary Washington by five while York (Pa.) College rounded out the top three with 84 points. This is the fifth conference championship for the Sea Gulls in the past six years.
Junior Rose Ritz (Wauwatosa, Wis.) led the Bison as she completed the 6,000-meter course in fifth place with a time of 25:12.39. Ritz's performance earned her all-conference first team accolades as the first seven runners to finish make the first team and the next eight earn second team recognition.
The surprise of the race for Gallaudet was junior Adelaida Moreno (Anchorage, Alaska), who was the second Bison across the finish line. She finished 26th overall with a time of 27:27. Right behind Moreno was fellow junior teammate Kayla Castro (Tucson, Ariz.) in 31st position with a time of 27:50. Freshman Amy Bachtel (Columbus, Ohio) earned a Top 50 finish as she crossed the finish line 43rd overall with a time of 29:29. The final Bison to earn team points was junior Kirsten Swanson (Grapevine, Texas) as she just missed the Top 50 as she finished 53rd overall with a time of 32:29. Freshman Lucita Alford (Chicago, Ill.) also competed for the Bison as she checked in at 60th overall with a time of 36:30.
Mary Washington junior Sarah Dawes won the race in 24 minutes and 12 seconds and took home CAC Athlete of the Year honors. Salisbury freshman Jessie Early was named CAC Rookie of the Year and Salisbury coach Jim Jones earned Coach of the Year honors for a third time.
This was the first time in CAC history that every team that competed scored in the team standings. St. Mary's (Md.) College followed Gallaudet, which revived its program in 2008 under Coach Andrew Brinks after a several year hiatus, with a fifth-place showing with 156 points. Rounding out the team scores were Stevenson University (166), host Hood College (182), Marymount (Va.) University (197) and Wesley College (220).
Ritz qualifies to participate in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Championship next Saturday, November 14, in Greensboro, N.C., due to her top five finish in the CAC championship. Overall, Gallaudet had a very successful season as the Bison placed five times out of eight races as a team.