Batt-Doyle, Van Pelt Lead Cross Country At NCAA Northeast Regional

Freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle is the first St. John's student-athlete to crack the top-100 at the NCAA Northeast Regional since Nicole Cocozza, who was 94th overall in 2011.

Nov. 14, 2014

BRONX, N.Y. – A pair of career-best efforts by freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle and junior Stephanie Van Pelt saw the Red Storm cross country team place 31st out of 40 teams at Friday’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championships at historic and frigid Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. St. John’s totaled 851 team points and improved by two places from its 2012 finish.

“I was very pleased with our team’s effort today in a very intense race,” said Red Storm head coach Jim Hurt. “We have overcome some physical challenges all season and it was great to see people step up in the big meet. We hope to continue the momentum next week at the ECAC Championships.”

The NCAA Northeast Regional was one of nine regional meets across the country scheduled for today, which determined the teams and individuals that will compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22. On the women’s side, Iona College and Providence went 1-2 in the Northeast Regional team race to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship. Additionally, 13 at-large bids will make up the field of 31 in Terre Haute.

As she has done in all but one race so far this season, freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle set the pace for the Red Storm on her way to finishing 83rd out of 273 runners in a personal-best 6K time of 21:52.32. Batt-Doyle is the first St. John’s student-athlete to crack the top-100 at the NCAA Northeast Regional since Nicole Cocozza, who was 94th overall in 2011. Batt-Doyle’s time on Friday was 42 seconds faster than her 6K time from this season’s BIG EAST Championship where she finished 43rd.

Also setting a new 6K personal best in the Bronx was Stephanie Van Pelt, who improved by over 100 places from her 2013 finish to place 114th in a career best 22:17.90. The junior improved her 6K personal best by approximately 18 seconds after running 22:35 earlier this season in Princeton, N.J.

Finishing third for St. John’s and continuing a successful return from injury was junior Kerri Butler, who was 193rd in 23:29.20, while classmate Michelle Van Pelt was 223rd in 24:05.81. Junior Tiffany Evanego was 15 more places back to round out the Red Storm scorers in 24:24.87, and classmate Veronica Thompson crossed the finish line in 25:37.41. Freshman Melissa Hidalgo joined classmate Batt-Doyle in making her first career appearance at the Northeast Regional and clocked a time of 28:02.45.

St. John’s averaged 23:14.02 as a team and posted a first-to-fifth spread of 2:32.55.

The Red Storm will return to Van Cortlandt Park next Saturday to conclude its 2014 campaign at the ECAC Championships on Nov. 22.




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