St. John's Cross Country Battles Elements at NCAA Northeast Regional|
Nov. 10, 2017
Hosted by the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, the Northeast Regional served as a qualifier for the upcoming NCAA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. The event marked the third time this season the Johnnies have competed in a 6K race and the second-consecutive run where the elements played a large factor.
Featuring 39 teams and 358 individual competitors, St. John’s sophomore Therese Gallagher led the way by scoring in the top half with a 24:16.8 finish. The time was good for a 170th place finish for the sophomore, who led the Johnnies for the second-consecutive week in the 6K event.
Finishing close behind was fellow sophomore Stephanie Gerland at 24:45.1 for a 195th place finish. Gerland got off to a great start in the opening mile to pace herself to a top-200 finish.
Junior Nicole McCarthy put together another solid performance, registering a 25:35.7 time to place as the third scorer for St. John’s. McCarthy dominated the final half of the race by rising up ten spots and posting an impressive final 3K split.
Rounding out the scoring for the Johnnies was another sophomore, Jackie Gallagher, who finished just behind McCarthy at a 25:39.0.
Being led by a trio of sophomores and a junior, St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt was proud of his young team’s effort in battling both the conditions and top-ranked competition in the region.
“Our four finishers did a good job of dealing with the frigid and wet conditions,” said Hurt. “Our young runners got a look at NCAA competition and they did not blink.”
Unfortunately the injury bug bit the Johnnies during the race as Melissa Hidalgo was unable to finish the race due to a back injury. The senior hopes to be ready for the ECAC Championship next weekend, but Hurt was proud of Hidalgo’s ability to gut it out for as long as she did.
“The tough conditions took a toll on Melissa today,” said Hurt. “She was able to battle through an aching back, but we had to pull her from the course.”
Providence College, who finished second at the BIG EAST Championships, captured the team title honors while New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier won the overall individual title.
Next week marks the final meet of the season for St. John’s as the Johnnies return to their home course at Van Cortlandt Park for the ECAC Championship on Nov. 18.
“I am excited to see what they can do next week at the ECAC Championship,” exclaimed Hurt.
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