Northfield, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s cross country team tied for fourth at the NCAA Central Region Championships on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties racked up 136 team points to match Carleton, and finished behind first-place finisher Wartburg (72), second place St. Olaf (95), and third place Luther (121). Four Gusties finished in the top 25 to lead the way. The fourth place finish will likely push the Gusties on to the NCAA Championships next weekend, but that fate will not be known until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
“The women raced well,” stated head coach Dale Bahr. “A lot of times when you run with such high emotion like we did at the conference meet, it is hard to keep that emotion the following meet, but I thought we performed well enough to go on to the National meet.”
For the second straight race, Rebecca Hare (So., Albany, Minn.) paced the Gusties. Hare finished in 22:53.5 for 13th place. Just seven seconds behind her, Beth Hauer (Sr., Little Falls, Minn.) crossed the line in 23:00.5 for 16th place.
“Rebecca has been running really well for us lately,” mentioned Bahr of Hare’s performance in the late weeks. “She has been working hard, and as a sophomore, she has looked great.”
Also finishing in the top 25 for the Gusties were Caitlin Fermoyle (So, Mendota Heights, Minn.), and Kate Eggers (Sr., Montevideo, Minn.). Fermoyle crossed the line in 20th with a time of 23:12.6, while Eggers finished in 21st with a time of 23:12.8.
Saturday’s fourth place conclusion is the fifth top-five finish at the Regional Championships in program history, and the first since 2003 when the Gusties finished third. Gustavus went on to finish 12th at the NCAA Championships that year under the direction of Scott Jerome.
The Gusties await the selection of at-large teams in to the NCAA Championships field tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. If Gustavus moves on, it would compete next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in Terre Haute, Ind.