Avery wins NCAA XC - USA Athletics Scholarships

Avery wins NCAA XC

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On a chilly day in Terre Haute, the 2014 NCAA XC Championships were dominated by one athlete. Kate Avery. We apologise in advance. This report is going to be Avery centric. The Iona Gael, in only her 3rd XC race of the season, romped home to become Britain’s first NCAA Champ since John Nuttall in 1989. Here are some facts from the race:

  • Avery took the lead within the first 5 minutes
  • Went through 5k in 16:03
  • Her winning time of 19:31 was 3 seconds off Sally Kipyego’s 2008 CR
  • Last British or Irish women to win was Sonia O’Sullivan in 1991

Avery now has the chance to replicate O’Sullivans repeat wins in 1990 & 1991 next year, as the Shildon athlete still has one more year of eligibility should she wish to take it. The winning margin was ‘just’ 8 seconds from Wisconsin’s Sarah Disanza and Boise State’s Emma Bates but it reality, it was the same gap 2km previously. Avery’s hard push from 2km to 4km did the damage.

Behind Avery, the New Mexico women ran a storming race to nip 3rd place team over Georgetown by just 1 point. They required two All-Americans to do this in the shape of Alice Wright and Charlotte Arter, with Calli Thackery just outside the top 40. Special mentions must go to Rhianwedd Price who lived up to our pre-race billing as a shot for All-American. Bethan Knights, born in UK but grew up in CA, finished out the British All-Americans.

Then came the men’s race.  It was the complete antithesis of the women’s but enjoyable in equal measure. We are struggling to remember the last time an NCAA XC, a race renowned for being fast-paced from the get-go, turned tactical. It wasn’t until 25:00 and just after the 8km split that last year’s winner, Oregon’s Cheserek, turned the screw. At this point, Tulsa’s Marc Scott was in perfect position in the top 20. There was really no excuse not to be at the front of this race when the guys were operating well outside of 31:00 10k pace. Marc executed a brilliant race to finished 14th with 5:57 last 2km.

Behind him, it was the Northeast Region guys, hardened by the cold, who took All-American honours. Providence duo Shane Quinn and Ben Connor, with Yale’s Dooney not far behind. The Yale athlete would have certainly waved through Connor over the last 2km as the Providence athlete took 13 places to Dooney who lost 2.  Lamar’s Sam Stabler could arguably be a little disappointed given his positioning in the lead pack early on, but drifted to outside the top 200.

See below for results of both races, All-Americans are highlighted

1 Kate Avery JR – Iona 19:31.6
20 Alice Wright FR – New Mexico 20:29.1
22 Charlotte Arter SR – New Mexico 20:29.9
24 Rhianwedd Price SO – Miss State 20:30.0
25 Bethan Knights FR – California 20:30.0
43 Calli Thackery JR – New Mexico 20:48.8
60 Rosie Clarke JR – Iona 20:56.6
68 Pippa Woolven JR – Florida State 21:00.9
73 Tamara Armoush SR – New Mexico 21:02.8
78 Tara Jameson SR – Iona 21:06.0
102 Iona Lake JR – Virginia 21:12.6
111 Nicola Hood SR – New Mexico 21:16.2
148 Georgia Peel JR – Florida State 21:31.9
167 Melissa Hawtin JR – Iona 21:40.3

Mens race

14 Marc Scott JR – Tulsa 30:38.6
26 Shane Quinn SR – Providence 30:45.1
30 Benjamin Connor SR – Providence 30:48.6
34 Kevin Dooney JR – Yale 30:51.4
49 Jake Byrne SR – Iona 31:04.2
50 Jake Shelley SR – New Mexico 31:04.7
119 Ross Matheson SR – New Mexico 31:41.4
131 Daniel Studley JR – New Mexico 31:50.3
147 Harvey Dixon JR – Providence 31:55.7
152 Zak Seddon JR – Florida State 31:58.0
170 Tom Purnell JR – Harvard 32:08.0
177 Kieran Clements SO – Iona 32:11.8
178 Alex Cornwell SR – New Mexico 32:12.6
183 Alex George FR – Arkansas 32:20.5
201 Sam Stabler SR – Lamar 32:34.0
232 Kieran Reilly FR – Indiana 33:32.0

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