Marquette Women Notch Top BIG EAST Finish Since 2008
Oct. 26, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. - The Marquette University women's cross country team placed seventh, its highest finish since 2008, at the BIG EAST Conference Cross Country Championships Friday morning at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. The men placed eighth overall for the fourth time in their eight-year affiliation with the league.
Georgetown won the women's race with 58 total places, while Syracuse captured the men's crown with 37 places. The MU women finished with 222 total places and the men 240.
The Syracuse men were led by freshman Martin Hehir (24:37.20), the individual champion, while Villanova's Emily Lipari (20:45.33) won the women's race.
The Marquette women's squad, which finished seventh for the first time since Van Cortlandt Park last hosted the conference meet in 2008, was led by a trio of freshman among its top four runners. Freshman Molly Hanson continued her impressive first year at Marquette while leading the Golden Eagles in 41st place with a time of 22:27.80. The Dodgeville, Wis., native has been MU's top finisher at each of the last four meets.
“I thought the women did a really nice job and got the day off to a good start,” Marquette head coach Mike Nelson said. “The women packed up and ran really well together as our 2-5 runners went 51-52-53-55. Last year we scored around 300 points and this year we got that number down to 222, which is a significant improvement. Molly Hanson led us again and did a really nice job.”
Fellow freshman Kellie Greenwood was Marquette's second finisher in 51st place (22:53.53), after having never finished higher than sixth on the squad this season. Greenwood was followed by junior Rebecca Pachuta (52nd, 22:56.50) and freshman Sarah Poirier (53rd, 23:02.63), while junior Hannah Frett rounded out MU's top five in a time of 23:09.28 (55th overall).
Senior Jack Hackett led the men's squad for the second-straight meet in 33rd place with a time of 25:29.32. Senior Jack Senefeld (26:04.26) was 50th in the men's race and was followed closely by classmate Connor Callahan (52nd, 26:05.91), who had led the MU men at each of the first three meets to begin the year.
“Jack Hackett did a solid job and had a good race, even if he would have liked to finish a little higher,” Nelson said. “Connor Callahan struggled a bit but held on strong and showed good leadership.”
Freshman William Hennessy continued to make a difference for the Golden Eagles with a 63rd-place finish in 26:30.31. Senior A.J. Gedwill, running in his third conference meet, placed 64th in 26:35.88 to round out Marquette's top five.
“It was probably William Hennessy’s best race of the season and I was really impressed with that freshman. Unfortunately Patrick Maag wasn’t able to finish due to an ankle injury, which hindered our ability to move up on Cincinnati in that seventh position. Overall it was a solid showing, but we will regroup and get ready for regionals,” said Nelson.
In addition to this season and 2008, Van Cortlandt Park also hosted the league championships in 2005, Marquette first year in the BIG EAST. The women finished third in 2005, the highest finish in program history, and their roster included former track and field All-American Michaela Courtney, Hanson's sister, who placed 20th overall.
The Golden Eagles return to action Friday, Nov. 9 at the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wis.