Gustavus senior Hailey Harren (Cold Spring, Minn.) will attempt to win her second consecutive NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Individual Title this Saturday at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio. Harren, who won the NCAA Central Region title last weekend, will compete in a field of 280 runners for the chance to become only the third individual to win two NCAA Individual titles in NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country history. The two who have already accomplished the feat are Missy Buttry of Wartburg (2002, 2003, 2004), and Tori Neubauer of UW-La Crosse (1982, 1983).
Harren has won all six races that she has taken part in this season. Including last season, Harren has won nine consecutive races and 12 of 14 over the past two years. Last weekend, she finished 31 seconds ahead of her closest competitor at the Central Region meet in Northfield, Minnesota.
This year’s race will include plenty of competition for Harren as the seven other region champions from last weekend all finished in the top 60 a year ago. This veteran group includes Liz Montgomery, from Geneseo State (New York), who finished third last year, Ellen Davis from Wesleyan, who finished 15th last year, Sarah Zerzan, from Willamette, who finished 25th a year ago, Caitlin Bradley, from Dickinson, who finished 31st last year, Amy DiBianca of Emory, who finished 43rd last year, Katie Wieferich, from Wooster, who placed 54th last year, and Marcia Taddy, from UW-Platteville, who finished 59th a year ago.
Last year, Harren became the second runner from Gustavus to win the NCAA Women’s Cross Country title following Sarah Edmonds who won in 1992. She also became the sixth runner from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference following Julia Kirtland of Macalester in 1984, Lisa Koelfgen of St. Thomas in 1986, Shelley Sherer of Carleton in 1987, Anna Prineas of Carleton in 1988, and Edmonds in 1992.
The race will begin at 12:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)/11:00 am (Central Standard Time) on Saturday.