Senior Kellie Hasselwander may have hit some snags in her training during last year’s cross country season due to injury, but she came back strong this year and made up for her losses, qualifying for the NCAA National Championship meet. She will travel to Northfield, Minn. on Saturday to participate in the race, hosted by St. Olaf College.

Last Saturday, the Yellowjacket cross country teams traveled to Van Cortlandt Park in New York City to participate in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship Meet. In a field of 255 runners, Hasselwander crossed the finish line in 14th place with a time of 22:29.8 for the 6-kilometer race.

“I was terrified beforehand but I just stayed confident and stuck with it,” Hasselwander said. “I am extremely honored and excited to represent UR in Minnesota, but, of course, I will really miss my team this weekend; we have had such a fun season.”

The top seven individuals who are not a member of a qualifying team are automatically given an invitation to the National meet. The top two teams of each region qualify to participate in the National race, and, in addition, at-large invitations are given out. Generally, the top five teams of each region participate. UR placed sixth overall out of a total of 37 teams.

“Our team was not really disappointed with our place because we felt that, all season, other teams hadn’t been taking us seriously and finally we showed them that we can make it happen when it counts,” Hasselwander said.

Behind Hasselwander was a pack of teammates to back her up. The next four members of the team all came in within 30 seconds of each other; however, they were nearly a minute and a half behind Hasselwander’s finish. The second runner for the ‘Jackets was senior Laura Richenderfer, who placed 58th with a time of 23:57.1.

Though UR did not crack the top five in the region this season, there is promise for next year, as the next four runners for the Yellowjackets were all sophomores.

The third runner to finish was sophomore Lisa Cole, who came in at 24:07.7 for 64th place. Less than a second behind her was fellow sophomore Sadie Gollub, who placed 66th with a time of 24:08.5. The final scoring member of the team was sophomore Heather Graham, finishing in 24:27.7 for 81st place.

The two displacers were sophomore Allie McComb, who placed 87th place with a time of 24:37.5, and junior Lauren Jewett, coming in at 25:10.4 for 116th place.

UR totaled 275 points to earn sixth place. This was a significant improvement over last year’s performance when the ‘Jackets placed 13th of 30 teams. The win was a tie between SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Plattsburgh, each with 41 points.

The men’s team also narrowly missed the top five in the region, placing seventh in a field of 39 teams. Senior Mark Stevens led the way for the final cross country race of his college career. He placed 28th amongst 271 runners with a time of 25:33.5 on the 8-kilometer course. Fellow senior Pat Hughes was less than two seconds behind him, crossing the line at 25:35.1 for 30th place. The third runner for the Yellowjackets was yet another senior. Dan Mueller finished at 41st place in a time of 24:54.0.

Freshman Jon Pinto came in fourth for UR, placing 52nd overall with a time of 26:10.7. Rounding out the team was junior Tom Brekke, who came in just behind Pinto with a time of 26:11.9 for 54th place.

The displacers were junior Dan Chebot in 104th place with a time of 27:03.0 and senior Nick Roosa, who placed 151st with a time of 28:09.7.

The ‘Jackets totaled 205 points overall, just 27 behind fifth-place Rochester Institute of Technology. The winner of the meet was New York University with 37 points. NYU is currently ranked second in the nation by the U.S. Track and Field and the Cross Country Coaches Association. This race marked the end of the men’s cross country season.

The gun goes off for Hasselwander’s race at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

“I really don’t know what to expect but I am extremely excited and hope to finish my last season of collegiate cross country with a great race,” she said.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.


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