Oct. 27, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - With fall in full swing, the St. John’s cross country team prepares to head to the bitter cold of the Upper Midwest for the 2017 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships in Kenosha, Wis. on Saturday.
About the BIG EAST Championships
Hosted by Marquette University at the Dennehl National Course, the BIG EAST Championships bring together some of the best teams in the NCAA. Nationally, BIG EAST women’s teams have won four of the last eight NCAA national championships. Providence won the NCAA women’s title in 2013. Villanova has won nine NCAA women’s titles, the last coming in 2010. The Friars, who are ranked No. 7 in the latest USTFCCCA Poll, have won the last two BIG EAST titles and three of the last four, including the 2014 championship at Dannehl. The competing teams are: Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, and Xavier.
Last Time Out
St. John’s wrapped up its fourth meet of the season on Oct. 13 with a sixth-place finish at the Metropolitan Cross Country Championships from historic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Stephanie Gerland grabbed the top spot for the Johnnies on Friday, posting a new personal best at 19:11.8 to finish 11th. The sophomore has now finished in the top-11 in all three of her 5K races this season, with two coming at Van Cortlandt Park. Also placing in the top-20 was teammate Therese Gallagher, who finished 17th at 19:21.7.
Rounding out the top-50 for St. John’s was junior Elizabeth Costantino (20:13.0, 39th) and senior Melissa Hidalgo (20:23.7, 43rd). Costantino, who suffered an injury and was unable to finish at the Paul Short Run last week, was able to secure a top-40 finish and register as the No. 3 scorer for the Johnnies.
Finishing just outside the top-50 was junior Nicole McCarthy whose time of 20:52.3 (55th) was good for a new personal best, and closed out the scoring for St. John’s.
2016 BIG EAST Championships
Last season, the Red Storm finished eighth at the 2016 Championships at Van Cortlandt Park. Sophomore Antonia Howard led the way for St. John’s with a 13th-overall finish to earn 2016 All-BIG EAST Cross Country Team honors.
Costantino and Hidalgo also earned top-50 honors for the Red Storm; while Therese Gallagher and Stephanie Gerland rounded out the scoring for the Johnnies with top-65 finishes.
The BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN) will produce a Championship Recap show for BIGEAST.com, Facebook Live, and the BIG EAST YouTube Page.
St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt said this about the BIG EAST Championships, “We will need everyone's best effort going into the BIG EAST in Wisconsin."
Saturday’s weather in Kenosha, Wis. will be in the cold category with temperatures near 40 and 14 mph winds from the WNW at the time of the race.
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