WAVERLY, Iowa – Senior Alison Smyth (Billings, Mont./West) finished third overall at the NCAA Central Region Championships, leading the Carleton College women's cross country team to a second-place finish and an automatic qualification to next weekend’s national meet. The Knights had four runners earn All-Region status.
Carleton totaled 85 points, finishing second behind host Wartburg College, which recorded 63 points. St. Olaf (93) and Nebraska Wesleyan (96) were next in the team competition and will be in consideration for at-large selection to the NCAA Championships.
Smyth finished the race with a personal-best time of 22:01.9. She finished only five seconds behind Wartburg's Alana Enabnit (21:56.4). Linda Keller of Minnesota-Morris was individual champion with a time of 21:44.6.
Four of Carleton’s top five finishers came from the senior class. All-American Simone Childs-Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) was the next Knight to cross the finish line, placing ninth with a time of 22:24.2. Taylor ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore/St. Mary’s) and Rachael Klehm (Jr./Wellesley, Mass) also received All-Region status finishing 14th and 17th, respectively.
Kaitlin Randolph (Sr./Drummond, Wis.) rounded out the scoring for Carleton, posting a personal-best time of 23:33.0 as she placed 42nd overall out of 188 runners.
“We’re very excited about how we ran,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “It will be fun to go back to nationals. This is one of the stronger teams we’ll be brining to the NCAA Championships.”
The NCAA Division III championships will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wis. The women’s race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.