Marquette Women's Cross Country 12th at NCAA Regional
Nov. 14, 2014
VERONA, Wisconsin – With a 12th-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Great Lakes Region Championships, the Marquette University women’s cross country team matched its USTFCCCA regional ranking in Verona, Wisconsin at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. The women were 12th out of 32 teams, while Marquette men were 18th out of 30 squads.
“The big goal for the women today was to beat our performance from last year and finish higher in the region,” Marquette head cross country coach Mike Nelson said. “We tied for 11th but lost the tie-breaker, so technically Miami of Ohio finished 11th and we were 12th.”
Junior Kellie Greenwood led the Marquette women once again on Friday afternoon with a personal-best 6,000-meter time of 21:06. The Two Rivers, Wisconsin, native has led the Golden Eagles at each meet this season in which she competed and at 47th-place overall finished 19 places above her 2013 regional finish.
“I thought the women had an awesome day,” Nelson said. “Kellie (Greenwood) at 21:06, she stuck her nose right up at the front and ran a tough race right around her fastest time ever, so I am really happy with her performance. We had seven ladies run 22:03 or faster, so I don’t know if we have ever done that. Really as a whole I thought the ladies did a fantastic job today.”
Freshman Jennifer Parker (70th overall) led a pack of Marquette women as the squad’s No. 2 runner in a time of 21:38. She was followed closely by sophomore Brittney Feivor (21:39) in 72nd place, while junior Kayla Spencer (21:43) was 74th and Jessica Parker (21:47) was 79th. All of the MU women placed in the top 100 as Mariah Frank (21:53) was MU’s No. 6 at 85th overall and Elisa Meyle (22:03) rounded out the MU contingent at 99th.
“For the women to have the race they did today with how banged up the squad was early in the year show a lot of resolve and character,” Nelson said. “They ran tough and moved up throughout the race and closed the season out on a high note.”
Redshirt junior Blake Lawson led the men’s squad in a personal-best 10k time of 31:49 to place 75th overall, a 31-place and 1-minute and 18-second improvement over his finish from last season’s regional meet where he was MU’s No. 3 runner. Freshman Alec Miller, who led the MU men at three of their first five meets, was the squad’s second runner at 32:10 (96th overall).
“The men had their best race of the season,” Nelson said. “I was super impressed with Blake Lawson and his performance today. He went out there and put himself in the mix. His PR in the track for 10k was about what he ran today. He basically tied his 10k track PR in cross country, so you can’t ask for more than that.”
Fellow freshman Jack Carpenter was MU’s only other runner in the top 100 with a 99th-place finish in a time of 32:13. Junior William Hennessy (111th) and sophomore Nate Gomoll (135th) rounded out the top five for the Marquette men in times of 32:22 and 32:44, respectively.
“Anytime you have a freshman in the top-100 at regionals, that’s tremendous,” Nelson said. “With this being such a young group I really feel like the future is bright and these guys are hungry.”
The top two teams in each of the NCAA’s nine regions advance to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Indiana, along with 13 additional at-large teams, selected by the NCAA. Each of the top-25 individual finishers at Friday’s meet received all-region recognition.
The women’s race was won by Michigan State, while Wisconsin captured the men’s crown.
The Badgers also hosted last year’s NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships at the Zimmer Course, where Marquette’s women took 14th place and the men finished 17th.
12. Marquette 342
18. Marquette 516
75. Blake Lawson (R-Jr.) 31:49
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