Ladies first - NCAA XC Preview - USA Athletics Scholarships

Ladies first – NCAA XC Preview

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It’s time for our NCAA XC Preview. We give the complete run-down on each of the 13 female athletes toeing the line at Terre Haute on Saturday. 6kms of one of toughest courses in the country await. The men’s preview can be found here.

Kate Avery

Last year, Avery almost completed the most unlikely gun to tape victory in a NCAA XC Championship. After 1 mile, Avery started to pile on the pressure and it was only in the last 400m that eventual winner and pre-race favourite, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, came by her, and in doing so towed Boise State’s Emma Bates into 2nd. Many media outlets are touting Avery as a potential winner this year given the absence of D’Agostino. It remains to be seen how she will run this race. Will she be given the freedom to impose her aggressive racing style or will she be roughed up by the other teams. It must also be noted that Iona women have a strong team. We assume Avery will be cut some slack from team orders in order to chase the win, so will this isolate her or benefit the team effort with a low-stick finisher?

Previous NCAA XC experience – 2013: 3rd

Rosie Clarke

In her first XC season in the NCAA, she has adapted superbly. A great 4th at Paul Short Invitational set her up nicely for Conference and her recent 2nd at Regionals behind Avery. Another great low-counter for the Iona Gaels who could be a threat if they can sort out counters 4 & 5.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Tara Jameson

Another of the big Iona 3. The Irish athlete will be crucial along with Rosie Clark in backing up the low number of Avery. Has performed well this season and looks set to be an important part of this team.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Melissa Hawtin

The Birmingham transfer didn’t count for Iona in their Regional win, but will be keen to push up their order if the team is to challenge for a top 5 berth. Numbers 4 & 5 will prove crucial for Iona.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Iona Lake

Iona Lake

For purely pun value, we wished the former Birmingham student had opted for New Rochelle and the Iona Gaels, but she seems to settling into life in Virginia well and has made a smooth transition to US XC. With a 3rd place in a competitive Region, she will head to Terre Haute with no team commitments. This is sort of scenario that leads to great runs, and she will for sure be hoping for a top 40 slot for All-American.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Rhianwedd  Price

The Mississippi State athlete is in her 2nd year in Starkville and has continued where she left off the 2014 track season. The true sophomore has notched up a 3rd at SECs and and 4th at Regionals, and like Iona Lake will have free reign to attack the race with no team commitments. Another possibility for All-American.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Pippa Woolven

The Commonwealth Games Steeplechaser spoke to us about her desire to help her team to a high placing at this year’s NCAAs after a disappointing 9th place finish last year. Without the talented Hannah Walker, Woolven looks set to be 2nd counter behind Colleen Quigley. She would hope to place considerably higher than last year’s run, just outside the top 100.

Previous NCAA XC experience – 2013: 106th

Georgia Peel

Could be an important piece in the FSU puzzle if they are push to a good team placing. Has shown steady progress from her freshman season.

Previous NCAA XC experience – 2013: 191st

Alice Wright

The redshirt freshman won the Mountain Region for the Lobos, and led them to a second place finish behind Colorado. Whilst not as competitive a region as their male counterparts still a great run and continued progress from 8th at Notre Dame mid season.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Charlotte Arter

Impressive winner at Notre Dame early on and will be looking to return that sort of form for Nationals after being edged out by Lobo teammates at Conference and Regionals. Difficult to tell team order in this competitive outfit. Can she comfortably make All-American again after a great 18th place last year.

Previous NCAA XC experience – 2013:18th

Calli Thackery

Solid mid-order runner for the Lobos and will be important if they are to look towards a top 10 spot in Terre Haute. Wasn’t far outside the top 40 last year and that must be on her radar this year.

Previous NCAA XC experience – 2013: 67th

Anna Burton

Lightly raced in her first year in the NCAA so plenty of unknowns here. As with Thackery, will prove important in bolstering their mid-order, crucial in the depth at Terre Haute.

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

Nicola Hood

After several seasons of setbacks, it is great to see Nicola Hood back competing well for the Lbbos. Joe Franklin will look to her to continue her progression over the last 6 months with a good placing at NCAAs,

Previous NCAA XC experience – N/A

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