It’s been a big year for the UMD Women’s Cross Country team, and it all culminated in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. Before the Championship meet last weekend, UMD defended their NCAA Division II Central Regional Title with a second regional championship on their way to the national stage.
The Bulldogs produced four All-Americans en route to a third overall finish. Both accolades rank at the top of the UMD record books as the highest ever finish and most runners to ever get the title of All-American.
Because of the much warmer weather in Kentucky, mud became a problem for the runners. The usual 6K race was shortened to a 5.78K due to wet conditions. However, sophomore Samantha Rivard was able to place 14th overall in a race between 233 athletes with a time of 21 minutes, 38 seconds. Her time led all Bulldog runners and earned her a second All-American Cross Country title. Rivard was also recently named the Central Region Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCA). Her race times this year have also landed her four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week accolades.
Her coach, Joanna Warmington, also received Central Region Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row by the USTFCCA.
Other athletes to take All-American honors were freshman Emy Trost (18), sophomore Breanna Colbenson (25) and junior Hannah Olson (27). Also competing were senior Allie Rudin (63) and freshman duo Amber Seidenkranz (133) and McKenzie Holt (185). The seven girls earned their team 118 points on the day.
Colbenson, Olson, Rudin and Rivard all competed at Nationals in 2013 as well, where Rivard one her first All-American title.
BY NICOLE BRODZIK Sports Editor